Teaching Philosophy

I enjoy teaching and this naturally brings a lot of energy to the classroom. With a strong emphasis on critical thinking and reflexivity, I strive towards providing lasting learning experiences and bring the best out in my students by building a safe environment for participation and discussion – students learn best when they feel welcomed, comfortable and safe. It is important for me that students feel capable of addressing their doubt, confusion, or inquisitiveness, by daring to ask questions.

I am a strong believer and practitioner of active and differentiated learning, and I believe the classroom is a shared and communal space where everyone, students as well as lecturer, must contribute in order to maintain a constructive and stimulating atmosphere. In my inquiry-based approach to teaching, I give students time to think when I ask questions, and I try to connect what they already know with course learning objectives. Students bring a diverse set of worldviews to the classroom, sometimes even controversial and confrontational – grounded in a Socratic ethos, I take the role of a critical moderator, encouraging students to defend their positions, develop positions and counter positions in order for them to experience first-hand the importance of considering manifold perspectives.

Cultivating intellectual diversity is a hallmark of the type of learning environment I try to create. Class discussions are allowed to naturally unfold, often in surprising ways, which I find to significantly motivate student participation and learning engagement. I encourage students to solve problems together and learn experientially through tasks that include physical movement within or outside the classroom.
I believe that teaching requires one to set high goals and clear standards – and once an expectation has been set, it should be a beacon throughout the remainder of the semester. I enforce this principle by a detailed and clearly communicated syllabus, taking great effort to present and explain the course description, associating learning objectives with the exam structure and grading principles.

Teachers have a duty to their profession, to their students, and to themselves, to never stop learning, and to embrace an ongoing evaluation of their performance among colleagues and students. I am well aware that my relationships with my mentors, the teaching experiences I have gained, and the support I have found in my colleagues have all contributed to the formation of my pedagogical philosophy. I must lead by example for my students, as my mentors did for me.

Teaching Experience

I have organized and taught various courses at University of Southern Denmark (SDU), first as a student teaching assistant, later as an external lecturer and research assistant, and most recently as a Ph.D. student and external lecturer. In addition to having supervised individual essay assignments and bachelor and master theses, I have held lectures in marketing, branding, consumer culture, strategic communication, cultural sociology, organization, project management, and philosophy of science. In some of these courses, I worked with teaching instructors which gave me the opportunity to work with learning objectives across a wider spectrum of student touchpoints. Coordinating lecture content and exercise classes was a challenging but rewarding experience, that I hope to repeat at some point.
Learning has always been a strong personal interest and ambition for me. I began working systematically with teaching techniques while I was training and coaching employees in personal sales, and I immediately became captivated by the critical role of building and cultivating an environment that supports and motivates people to learn. Acquiring new skills and knowledge is strongly driven by an inner drive, and I believe the teacher is in a unique position of becoming a catalyser for people to nurture the desire to learn and improve.

I was deeply fascinated by the significant role pedagogical philosophy plays on group dynamics, and I was thrilled to get the opportunity as a sales manager to develop and implement internal educational programs in personal sales and sales management. Designing learning environments taught me how important it is to find a reasonable balance between individual and group preferences. Creating a space that accommodates diverse learners, using an assortment of teaching methods and tools, is an important ideal that I have since tried to foster.

As a team-building instructor, I was introduced to experiential learning methodology. Developing company culture and team dynamics for Danish companies widened my understanding of learning as a process of converging mind and body, as opposed to approaching learning simply as an aspect of detached cognition. Viewing learning as a distributed and shared achievement has since been the philosophical backbone of my approach to teaching.

When I started working with university teaching, I was fully aware that I was entering a new domain vastly different compared to what I had encountered during my time working in the private sector. Teaching students, as opposed to employees or clients, not only affords a different set of conventions in communication, but also another kind of organization and design in pedagogical. Yet, while curriculum development, learning objectives, and examination regimes in university education opened up a new field for me, I saw that some things remained equally important, such as the value of providing an open space for debate and critique. I believe that some pedagogical principles are fundamentally important, and although identifying even a small portion of them might be a lifelong journey, it is an important feature of being a responsible and self-reflexive educator. I acknowledge I have much to learn, but also confident in the skills I have acquired so far.

Teaching Methods

Differentiated and experiential learning
I complement conventional lecturing with small-group tutoring, and whenever possible and relevant, I use my own research to bolster my teaching with timely examples and state-of-the-art theory. My lectures are framed by an inquiry-based approach, including Socratic questioning, including problem and case-study learning tasks designed to engage and involve students. I have with success incorporated team-building exercises in my lectures, including interactive discussion groups and reflection exercises, which have allowed me to challenge some of the conventional norms that sometimes govern university teaching.

Blended learning
I have used and facilitated student wiki and discussion groups on Blackboard on several courses, as well as various web-based quiz tools during lecturing. The covid19 pandemic has dramatically pushed for greater initiatives in distance learning and call for new instructional strategies to keep student learning and engagement high. I have taught several online courses and experienced close hand what works, and what doesn’t. Online engagement requires a different mode of interaction, a learning atmosphere with greater consistency, not only in relation to pedagogical styles but also to the material limitation of technology, such as the role of webcams and microphones. This challenges the philosophy of blended learning from the outset, but can work well with a different “pace” in how activities are planned and executed.

Teaching material
Through my lecturing, I have designed a considerable amount of new teaching material. I often use visuals, videos, analogies, and metaphors to stimulate reflection, and frequent examples to reinforce main points and provide approachable perspectives to abstract ideas and theories.

Teaching Evaluations

I provide here a selection of student evaluations.

Advanced Brand Management
Postgraduate course in Economics and Business Administration (MSc.), SDU
Fall 2020
The subject was taught in English.

Course overview
The purpose of the course is to have an integrative look at brands and their roles in today’s markets. This implies a use of managerial as well as more socio-cultural approaches to analyse the role of brands in markets, in people’s lives, and in societies. While there can be divergent knowledge goals, the direction of the course is to argue that an integrative perspective on brands can help so diverse goals as strengthening brand equity or criticizing the social consequences of a branded personality. The subject is based and connected on a wider understanding of globalized market & consumption systems. The general competence objective refers to the investigation, analysis, and solving managerial problems thoroughly by means of relevant academic theories and methods as well as incorporating current international research. This is connected to the critical evaluation of sources and documents and the following participation in an academic dialogue. A basic competence is then the ability to work independently, in groups as well as individually, in a structured and goal-oriented way.

Syllabus is based on a collection of journal articles.

Student Evaluations
Fall 2020
Overall average: 4 (out of 5) with 39.6% overall response rate

“I really like Jannek’s positive way of teaching and motivating people. Interacting with the students and also the questionnaires are during this online teaching period a good idea and are fun”

“It has been a struggle with some learning activities during the lecture due to Covid-19, however, there have been some activities. Secondly, I think the lectures have handled the change of being online very well”

“Especially Jannek can present the content in the lectures very well”

Marketing and Strategic Communication
Undergraduate course (BSc.) in Market Anthropology, SDU
Spring 2021, 2018, 2017, 2016
The subject was taught in English.

Course overview
This course is focused on giving students the ability to understand marketing as a wider practice and system of thought to evaluate marketing phenomena and enable them to link wider social sciences and especially cultural anthropology, and knowledge in a critical and independent perspective in a practical organizational setting. This objective is based on a multi-perspective view of marketing as a business function, as a philosophy of doing business, as a synonym for structuring macro relations in a global world, and as an individualized, personal ideology. These more general areas are then exemplified and concretized in the strategic communication field, which is embedded in the general idea of marketing but developed historically beyond a narrow functional definition. Especially with the new global and digital environments, it can exemplify the wider global embeddedness in the foundation and effects. With this knowledge, students are enabled to understand a fundamental discourse system of management, and a prerequisite for business practices in a global and digital world. The course aims to enable the student to apprehend and being able to critically evaluate the development of marketing and strategic communication as a dynamic field of practice and theory. It is linked with the general program idea to understand the development of markets and their structuring mechanisms in a global perspective by cutting across business, political, and cultural layers with shifts in public and private sectors.

The syllabus is based on literature covering both marketing and strategic communication. The marketing-based part of the course uses Ellis, Nick et al. (2011). Marketing: A Critical Textbook. London: Sage Publications, in addition, to select journal articles. The part on strategic communication rests on Christensen, Morsing & Cheney (2008), Corporate Communications: Convention, Complexity, and Critique, London: Sage, as well as a selection of journal articles.

Student evaluations

Spring 2018
Overall average: 4 (out of 5) with 39.4% overall response rate

“Jannek is the best teacher I have seen during my studies in the past years.”

“I am very happy about our lecturer. His happy and enthusiastic self wakes up the whole room and keeps us engaged.”

Jannek’s lectures are exciting because he manages to capture our attention without talking in a monotone, boring voice. It feels as if he is passionate about the subject and has a lot of fun teaching.”

Spring 2017
Overall average: 3.67 (out of 5) with 45.9% overall response rate

“We all love Jannek. Brilliant professor, very motivating and very good at explaining the core concepts.”

“Jannek is a terrific lecturer and has a captivating way of teaching.”

“The lectures are very very good! Both because they are captive of a student’s attention, but also because they are good to take notes to, and at the same time allow for good meaningful discussions, this perhaps is the best part of the lectures. The ability to discuss the contents of the lectures really is very meaningful and gives good comprehension of the subjects.”

Spring 2016
Overall average: 4.31 (out of 5) with 33% overall response rate

“Jannek is really anticipated and tries to explain concepts with real-life examples that make it interesting to participate in class.”

“Lecturer is motivating and his way of lecturing bursts student’s participation.” ”Jannek has been superman! Goods energy and passion for the course radiate from his eyes.”

Brand Management
Undergraduate course (BSc.) in Economics and Business Administration, SDU
Autumn 2017, 2018
The subject was taught in English.

Autumn 2018
Overall average: 3.74 (out of 5) with 23.2% overall response rate

“The teacher is really passionate into the subjects, almost pure gold lecturer!”

“The lecturer makes the lectures interesting and includes a lot of relevant/life examples.”

“The lecturer is extremely good at teaching and I feel very comfortable in the class room.”

Autumn 2017
Overall average: 3.92 (out of 5) with 31.2% overall response rate

“Very awesome way of teaching!”

“You just feel the passion of the lecturer. He puts a lot of thought in his PowerPoint presentations, and the images and videos are great to understand the theory better. It gives you practical insight. This is a course you can easily apply outside of university life.” “The lecturer is very motivating and encouraging. The lessons are good to follow, and it is nice that there is humour and interaction in it as well so it’s not only 2 hours of listening, but also participating. The big class makes it less comfortable sometimes to talk about our opinions, but because of the humour I think everyone feels (kinda) comfortable to talk.”