Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching to Stefano Tardini and USI eLab


Institutional Communication Service

10 May 2021

The Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching has been assigned this year to Dr. Stefano Tardini, "for the crucial support offered in the transition to online and blended learning at Università della Svizzera italiana during the pandemic. This support allowed the continuing of all training activities without any interruption and with high levels of quality and satisfaction". The award was presented by the Head of the Ticino Region of Credit Suisse, Marzio Grassi, and the Rector of USI Boas Erez during the Dies academicus 2021.

The Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching is presented this year for the first time to a staff member, ideally rewarding the entire service for which he is responsible.

The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged Università della Svizzera italiana to shift its entire coursework online so that students can continue to attend lectures and take exams at a distance. It was "a huge challenge," explains Stefano Tardini, director of operations for eLab, USI's eLearning service, which aims to improve the quality of teaching through the integration of digital technologies.

"The biggest challenge, last spring, was accompanying students and faculty in the switch to a new teaching model," adds Tardini. A challenge that was overcome thanks to the "more than collaborative" response: there was minimal disruption and we never had to interrupt lectures.

The experience gained during the months of the pandemic has allowed "to acquire innovative ways of teaching that can be maintained," continues Tardini. Moreover, "several students have appreciated the greater flexibility provided by the online lessons. In this sense, in the future, we can work on the implementation of mixed modes, and alternate classroom lectures and remote teaching". In general, however, "once the first phase of the emergency had passed, we noticed a growing tiredness". The difficulty of having a real interaction between faculty and students during the long months of the pandemic, as well as the lack of social moments typical of the university context, "weighed heavily, even emotionally. We've made some attempts to encourage informal meetings online, outside of class, but it's certainly not the same."

The Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching was established in 2006 to mark the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the credit union. The purpose of the award is to celebrate those professors at universities and vocational schools in Switzerland who distinguish themselves through excellent, creative, efficient and effective teaching.


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