Trial Lecture at the University of Jyväskylä Faculty of Humanities

Faculty of Humanities
February 10th, 2014

Trial Lecture


The trial lecture is a teaching situation which can be imagined as arising in the course of the duties belonging to the post applied for. It is most typically a lecture-type presentation.

The audience to whom the trial lecture is considered to be directed to consists of students in the field of study in question. The candidate should consider informing the board of examiners at the beginning of his or her demonstration as to the level of study at which the trial lecture is aimed. The lecture is not supposed to be a description of scientific research work nor a lecture targeted at experts.

The candidate shall announce prior (max. 5 minutes) to the trial lecture:

  • the level of the course in question;
  • which course the lecture belongs to;
  • the topic of the lecture;
  • whether the students have a handout or a textbook at their disposal.

The duration of the trial lecture is 20 minutes. If the time deviates by several minutes, it will be considered negative. It is the duty of the candidate to take care of this. If this time is exceeded, the presentation may be stopped. Notes can be used as a support during the trial lecture, but the presentation should be given extempore; it should not be read from a prepared script.

The candidate may distribute handouts and use audio-visual equipment while giving the lecture. If they are used, the handouts are to be provided by the candidate him/herself. If the candidate wishes to use audio-visual equipment he or she should inform the Department in question.

Public Access to the Trial Lecture

The trial lecture is public to the extent that teachers and students of the field of study concerned can attend it. Other candidates for the same post are not allowed to attend the presentation. Public access applies only to the presentation; the presence of the public is not allowed during the evaluation of the trial lecture.

Evaluation of the Trial Lecture

Applicants to the position of a University Lecturer, University Researcher, Postdoctoral Researcher and Adjunct Professor are required to give a trial lecture, and the language proficiency required will be evaluated by the Dean after listening to the Trial Lecture Evaluation Board set by the Head of the Department. The Dean will make a decision on the topic of the trial lecture as well as grant exemption from it. The lecture is open to public.

Exemption from the Trial Lecture

The Dean may grant exemption from the trial lecture if:

  • the candidate has given a corresponding lecture at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Jyväskylä, within ca. two years from the date of application;
  • the candidate has given corresponding trial lectures at other universities which have been graded at least good;
  • the candidate’s teaching skills can be reliably ascertained in some other way (e.g. long-standing experience in corresponding tasks, sufficiently specific teaching portfolio including feedback).

Exemption will always be considered individually, with due consideration of the prerequisites of the task in question; for example, a short duration of the task or the emphasis of the task not being on teaching.

Evaluation and Grading of the Trial Lecture

In the evaluation of the trial lecture due attention is paid to the following criteria:

  • the contents and their relevance to the field of study of the post;
  • the suitability of the material for the chosen target group;
  • the candidate's mastery of the subject; and exploitation of up-to-date research information;
  • contact with the audience; capturing and maintaining their interest;
  • choice of the point of view; argumentation;
  • the structure of the presentation; timekeeping;
  • the illustration of the presentation, teaching material, use of audio-visual equipment.

Trial lectures are assessed using the grading scale excellent, very good, good, satisfactory, pass, fail. An extract of the records of the board of examiners, including the grade given, will be sent to the candidate after the presentation. The grade awarded is public.