Browsing by Subject "STUDENTS"

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  • Sandström, Niclas; Nevgi, Anne (2019)
    This paper took a pedagogical campus developer’s look into a campus retrofitting process. The paper presents a case study of a major Finnish research-intensive university. The data consist of semi-structured interviews of information-rich key stakeholders identified using snowball sampling method. The findings suggest that co-design should be followed through the whole retrofitting process with sufficient communications between stakeholders. The study introduces the concept of learning landscape reliability, putting digital age basic needs in the centre of learning landscape usability.
  • Karonen, Maarit; Murtonen, Mari; Södervik, Ilona; Manninen, Marianna; Salomäki, Mikko (2021)
    Understanding chemical models can be challenging for many university students studying chemistry. This study analysed students’ understanding of molecular structures using the Lewis structure as a model, and examined what hinders their understanding. We conducted pre- and post-tests to analyse students’ conceptions and changes in them. The measures contained multiple-choice questions and drawing tasks testing their understanding of concepts, such as polarity, geometry, charge or formal charge and expanded octet. The pre-test revealed a lack of knowledge and several misconceptions in students’ prior knowledge. For example, the concept of polarity was well-known, but the combination of polarity and geometry appeared to be difficult. For some students, the representation of molecules was intuitive and lacking a systematic approach. Certain students used mnemonics and draw ball-and-stick models connected to surficial representations. After the chemistry courses, the conceptions and drawings had generally changed, and the level of the students’ knowledge increased markedly. Although, fewer ball-and-stick models were drawn in the post-test, some students still used them. The main result was that students who drew ball-and-stick models in the pre-test were less capable of drawing the correct Lewis structures with electrons in the post-test. In addition, heuristics seem to hinder learning and some concepts, such as resonance, remained difficult. This is probably due to the fact that understanding molecular structures requires systemic understanding, where several matters must be understood at the same time. Our study highlights that the understanding of molecular structures requires conceptual change related to several sub-concepts.
  • Thuneberg, H. M.; Salmi, H. S.; Bogner, F. X. (2018)
    An informal mathematical module integrating Arts (modifying STEM to STEAM) and following an inquiry-based learning approach was applied to a sample of 392 students (aged 12-13 years). The three lesson module dealt with mathematical phenomena providing participants with the commercially available hands-on construction kit, aiming to advance STEAM education. Pupils built original, personal, and individual geometrical structures by using plastic pipes in allowing high levels of creativity as well as of autonomy. Tutors supervised the construction process and intervened only on demand. A pre-/ post-test design monitored the cognitive knowledge and the variables of relative autonomy, visual reasoning, formal operations as well as creativity. Our informal intervention produced newly acquired cognitive knowledge which as a process was shown of being supported by a broad basis of (soft) factors as described above. A path analysis elaborated the role of creativity (measured with two subscale: act and flow) to cognitive learning (post-knowledge), when flow was shown to lead. Pre-knowledge scores were significantly influenced by both creativity subscales: act and flow. However, relative autonomy, visual reasoning and formal operations contributed, too. In consequence, cognitive learning within STEAM modules was shown dependent on external triggers. Conclusions for appropriate educational settings to foster STEAM environments are discussed.
  • Laine, Anu; Ahtee, Maija; Näveri, Liisa (2020)
    The aim of this article was to determine the factors in teachers' actions that could explain differences in the emotional atmosphere of primary school classrooms. Based on pupils' drawings about their mathematics lessons, we analyzed both the pupils' and their teachers' actions, including pupils requesting help, sitting alone, and talking about mathematics, as well as the teacher helping, praising and criticizing. We could conclude that the teacher has a central role in the formation of the emotional atmosphere in mathematics lessons. The emotional atmosphere can be built up to be positive when the teacher encourages the pupils to talk about mathematics and their own understanding with each other. The emotional atmosphere is then open and tolerant. The emotional atmosphere can turn to be negative when the pupils are working by themselves and are afraid of criticism and embarrassment.
  • Tammeorg, Priit; Mykkänen, Anna; Rantamäki, Tomi; Lakkala, Minna; Muukkonen, Hanni (2019)
    Trialogical learning, a collaborative and iterative knowledge creation process using real-life artefacts or problems, familiarizes students with working life environments and aims to teach skills required in the professional world. We target one of the major limitation factors for optimal trialogical learning in university settings, inefficient group work. We propose a course design combining effective group working practices with trialogical learning principles in life sciences. We assess the usability of our design in (a) a case study on crop science education and (b) a questionnaire for university teachers in life science fields. Our approach was considered useful and supportive of the learning process by all the participants in the case study: the students, the stakeholders and the facilitator. Correspondingly, a group of university teachers expressed that the trialogical approach and the involvement of stakeholders could promote efficient learning. In our case in life sciences, we identified the key issues in facilitating effective group work to be the design of meaningful tasks and the allowance of sufficient time to take action based on formative feedback. Even though trialogical courses can be time consuming, the experience of applying knowledge in real-life cases justifies using the approach, particularly for students just about to enter their professional careers.
  • Rissanen, Inkeri; Kuusisto, Elina; Tuominen, Moona; Tirri, Kirsi (2019)
    In this article we take up the two-fold task of creating a framework for a growth mindset pedagogy on the basis of our previous studies and exploring the critical points of this pedagogy in the classroom of a mixed-mindset teacher. The data include classroom observations and stimulated recall interviews. The results show how a teacher who is socialized into the Finnish educational system pursues core features of growth mindset pedagogy, despite not having a dominant growth mindset herself. However, we identify critical points in her practices, which suggest that teaching the theory of mindset in teacher education is needed. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Janhonen, Kristiina; Torkkeli, Kaisa; Mäkelä, Johanna (2018)
    This exploratory article examines the novel term food sense and informal learning in the context of home cooking. Its theory draws from Dewey's work and from his notions of reflexive thought and action. The data consist of a transcribed audio recording of an in-depth, video-based, stimulated-recall (SR) interview. The auto-ethnographic videos were used to stimulate conversation during the interview and were previously collected as part of a broader research project on home cooking in a Finnish family context. Based on the theory and the data, the definition of food sense was refined into a model consisting of three levels: ‘Understanding’ as the ability to define and interpret emerging ruptures in activity; ‘Applying’ as the competence to plan and execute solutions that function in context; and ‘Re-defining’ as the reformulation of activities to enable new ways of doing. In reference to the empirical examples, two of the three episodes represented ‘Understanding’ and ‘Applying’; whereas the third example included also the potential for re-defining habitual ways of action. However, despite possession of relevant knowledge and initial motivation, the emergence of negative emotions of the person in charge of the cooking process prevented reformulating existing cooking habits. By providing novel insights into the social, cultural, and situated nature of home cooking, the article complements the more individual-focused and/or knowledge-based approaches used by other recent studies of cooking skills and learning.
  • Abdollahi, Anna Minerva; Masento, Natalie; Vepsäläinen, Henna; Mijal, Michal; Gromadzka, Monika; Fogelholm, Mikael (2021)
    Objective: As a pilot trial under the Games of Food consortium, this study assessed the effectiveness of an educational escape game alongside a self-study method as a nutrition knowledge intervention. Furthermore, this study explored the use of an escape game as an educational tool for young adolescents. Materials and Methods: Altogether three schools participated, one from Finland and two from the UK. Baseline questionnaires assessing knowledge were administered before intervention day. Participants from each class were randomly allocated by the researchers into either the escape game condition, where participants played a nutrition education escape game with a focus on plant-based protein sources, or the self-study condition, where participants received an educational leaflet with identical content. In addition to the knowledge post-assessment, the educational escape game condition answered an enjoyment and intrinsic motivation questionnaire to evaluate the game experience. Paired t-tests were used to determine significant changes within intervention conditions and ANCOVA was used to estimate the differences in knowledge. Results: The participants were 130 children (11-14 years), divided into educational escape game (n = 68) and self-study (n = 62) conditions. Both the educational escape game (20.7 vs. 23, p < 0.001) and self-study (21.1 vs. 23.1, p = 0.002) had improved overall knowledge scores. No significant differences in gained knowledge existed between groups. Of the educational escape game participants, 60% reported the game as mostly enjoyable and 46% reported added use and value for learning. Conclusion: The educational escape game condition was comparable to the self-study method for nutrition education in adolescents. However, since the educational escape game provides an enjoyable experience that may enhance intrinsic motivation to promote learning and possible behavior change, the use of escape games for nutrition education warrant further investigation.
  • Holm, Marja Eliisa; Hannula, Markku Sakari; Björn, Piia Maria (2017)
    This study examined the relation of mathematics performance and gender with seven mathematics-related emotions (enjoyment, pride, anger, anxiety, shame, hopelessness and boredom) among adolescents. Using strict and lenient mathematics performance cut-off scores, respective groups of adolescents with mathematics difficulties (MD, n=136), low (LA, n=166) and typical mathematics performance (TA, n=1056) were identified. Our results revealed that the MD group reported more shame than the LA group. The MD group also reported more negative emotions and less positive emotions than the TA group, with the exception of boredom, for which there was no statistically significant difference. The interaction effect between mathematics performance group and gender on emotions was significant. Only females with MD showed significantly higher levels of hopelessness and shame than females with LA, while males with LA even reported more boredom than males with MD. Concerning gender differences, males reported slightly more pride and enjoyment than females. However, the direction and magnitude of the gender differences showed great variance among mathematics performance groups. The practical implications of the results are discussed.
  • Kokkonen, Tommi; Schalk, Lennart (2021)
    To help students acquire mathematics and science knowledge and competencies, educators typically use multiple external representations (MERs). There has been considerable interest in examining ways to present, sequence, and combine MERs. One prominent approach is the concreteness fading sequence, which posits that instruction should start with concrete representations and progress stepwise to representations that are more idealized. Various researchers have suggested that concreteness fading is a broadly applicable instructional approach. In this theoretical paper, we conceptually analyze examples of concreteness fading in the domains of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology and discuss its generalizability. We frame the analysis by defining and describing MERs and their use in educational settings. Then, we draw from theories of analogical and relational reasoning to scrutinize the possible cognitive processes related to learning with MERs. Our analysis suggests that concreteness fading may not be as generalizable as has been suggested. Two main reasons for this are discussed: (1) the types of representations and the relations between them differ across different domains, and (2) the instructional goals between domains and subsequent roles of the representations vary.
  • Zhang, Junfeng; Kuusisto, Elina; Nokelainen, Petri; Tirri, Kirsi (2020)
    Given that little is known how peer feedback reflects adolescents’ academic well-being in different cultures, this study investigates, by means of multiple-group structural equation modeling (SEM), the influence of peer feedback on the mindset and academic motivation of Chinese (N = 992) and Finnish (N = 870) students in the fourth to the ninth school grades. Within this investigation, we also explore the culture-invariant and culture-dependent nature of student feedback, mindset and academic motivation. The results indicate that the way students praise their peers in their feedback primes and modifies their mindsets and academic motivation. Person-focused praise reflects a fixed mindset and negative academic motivation (i.e., avoidance), whereas process-focused praise undermines negative academic motivation. The pupils in the two samples had growth mindsets. However, the Finnish students preferred to bestow neutral praise and to be more negative with regard to their academic motivation whereas the Chinese students favored process- and person-focused praise, the former reflecting not only their growth mindset but also their positive academic motivation (i.e., trying).
  • Mundy, Lisa K.; Canterford, Louise; Kosola, Silja; Degenhardt, Louisa; Allen, Nicholas B.; Patton, George C. (2017)
    OBJECTIVE: Peer victimization is a common antecedent of poor social and emotional adjustment. Its relationship with objectively measured academic performance is unclear. In this study we aimed to quantify the cross-sectional associations between peer victimization and academic performance in a large population sample of children. METHODS: Eight-to 9-year-old children were recruited from a stratified random sample of primary schools in Australia. Academic performance was measured on a national achievement test (1 year of learning equals 40 points). Physical and verbal victimization were measured according to child self-report. RESULTS: Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression analyses were conducted. For female children, verbal victimization was associated with poorer academic performance on writing (beta = 17.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 28.2 to 6.2) and grammar/punctuation (beta = 20.8; 95% CI, 40.1 to 1.6). Physical victimization was associated with poorer performance on numeracy (male children: = 29.0; 95% CI, 53.8 to 4.1; female children: beta = 30.1; 95% CI, 56.6 to 3.5), and writing (female children: beta = -21.5; 95% CI, 40.4 to -2.7). Verbal and physical victimization were associated with poorer performance on reading (male children: beta = -31.5; 95% CI, -59.9 to -3.1; female children: beta = -30.2; 95% CI, -58.6 to -1.8), writing (female children: beta = 25.5; 95% CI, 4-2.8 to -8.2), spelling (female children: beta = -32.3; 95% CI, -59.6 to -4.9), and grammar/punctuation (female children: beta = -32.2; 95% CI, -62.4 to -2.0). CONCLUSIONS: Children who were physically victimized were 6 to 9 months behind their non-victimized peers on measures of academic performance. There are growing reasons for education systems to invest in the prevention of bullying and promotion of positive peer relationships from the earliest years of school.
  • Savec, Vesna Ferk; Urankar, Bernarda; Aksela, Maija; Devetak, Iztok (2017)
    The main purpose of this paper is to present Slovenian and Finnish prospective chemistry teachers' perceptions of their future profession, especially with regard to their understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts (macro, submicro and symbolic) and their representations in chemistry learning. A total of 19 prospective teachers (10 Slovenian, 9 Finnish) at master's level in chemical education participated in the research. The prospective teachers' opinions were gathered using an electronic questionnaire comprising six open-ended questions. The study revealed many parallels between Slovenian and Finnish prospective chemistry teachers' perceptions of their future profession and their understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts, especially particle representations, in chemistry learning. The majority of the prospective teachers from both countries believe that personal characteristics are the most important attribute of a successful chemistry teacher. Thus, they highly value teachers' enthusiasm for teaching and the use of contemporary teaching approaches in chemistry. The prospective teachers displayed an adequate understanding of the role of the triple nature of chemical concepts (i.e., particle representations) in the planning and implementation of a specific chemistry lesson.
  • Åhs, Vesa; Poulter, Saila; Kallioniemi, Arto (2019)
    The aim of this study is to explore pupil perspectives on religions and worldviews in a mutual integrative space of religious and worldview education in a Finnish context. Analysing group interview data (N = 38) gathered from lower secondary school pupils attending mutual classes of religious and worldview education, the article explores how religious and non-religious worldviews can be explored in order to enhance subjectification in worldview education. The findings indicate that for pupils, the heterogeneity and lived dimensions reflected in personal worldviews, and questions relating to meaning, emotion and individuality in worldviews, are at the forefront in learning from religions and worldviews. The experiences of the pupils indicate that the concepts employed in religious and worldview education concerning religions and worldview phenomena should be examined critically in the light of the personal meaning making level of the pupils themselves.
  • Jokela, Markus; Pekkarinen, Tuomas; Sarvimäki, Matti; Terviö, Marko; Uusitalo, Roope (2017)
    Although trends in many physical characteristics and cognitive capabilities of modern humans are well-documented, less is known about how personality traits have evolved over time. We analyze data from a standardized personality test administered to 79% of Finnish men born between 1962 and 1976 (n = 419,523) and find steady increases in personality traits that predict higher income in later life. The magnitudes of these trends are similar to the simultaneous increase in cognitive abilities, at 0.2-0.6 SD during the 15-y window. When anchored to earnings, the change in personality traits amounts to a 12% increase. Both personality and cognitive ability have consistent associations with family background, but the trends are similar across groups defined by parental income, parental education, number of siblings, and rural/ urban status. Nevertheless, much of the trends in test scores can be attributed to changes in the family background composition, namely 33% for personality and 64% for cognitive ability. These composition effects are mostly due to improvements in parents' education. We conclude that there is a "Flynn effect" for personality that mirrors the original Flynn effect for cognitive ability in magnitude and practical significance but is less driven by compositional changes in family background.
  • Wu, Xue; Mauranen, Anna; Lei, Lei (2020)
    This study complements previous research on linguistic features of English as a lingua franca (ELF) from a syntactic complexity perspective. Specifically, the present study seeks to find out how ELF users express meaning relations in research articles using different syntactic structures. The same syntactic phenomena are also analyzed in comparable texts written in American English (AmE) to see in which way ELF writing is shaping research writing in English. Our findings show that the values of nine indices from four syntactic complexity dimensions in ELF research articles are significantly different from those in comparable AmE research articles. ELF authors use longer sentences to improve communication efficiency, and more coordinate phrases and complex nominals to enhance clarity and to increase explicitness. In addition, considering phrasal complexity, ELF research articles show greater reliance on nominal phrases in comparison to AmE articles. In other words, the convention of a nominal style is valued in ELF academic written discourse. These features of syntactic complexity illustrate writers’ handling of two competing goals, explicitness and conciseness, in the ELF academic writing. This study is significant in that it offers insights to the description of the emerging use of ELF in academic written discourse.
  • Cao, Yanling; Postareff, Liisa; Lindblom-Ylänne, Sari; Toom, Auli (2019)
    This study explores teacher educators' perceptions of their approaches to teaching and the closeness of their research and teaching. A total of 115 participants completed a questionnaire. The results showed that these teacher educators perceived information transmission as an element of the student-focused approach to teaching. Three clusters were identified which mirrored different kinds of combinations of the teacher- and student-focused approaches to teaching. The results further revealed that these clusters were related to how closely teacher educators considered their teaching and research to be related to each other. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Levola, Jonna; Pitkanen, Tuuli; Kampman, Olli; Aalto, Mauri (2018)
    To compare the associations of alcohol-related variables with Quality of Life (QoL) in depressed and non-depressed individuals of the general population. This cross-sectional study utilized data from the FINRISK 2007 general population survey. A subsample (n = 4020) was invited to participate in an interview concerning alcohol use. Of them, 2215 (1028 men, 1187 women; response rate 55.1%) were included in the analyses. Bivariate associations between mean weekly alcohol consumption, frequency of binge drinking, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)-score and QoL were analysed according to categorization into depressed and non-depressed using the Beck Depression Inventory, Short Form. Linear regression models were calculated in order to determine the associations of the alcohol variables and QoL after adjusting for socio-demographic variables as well as somatic and mental illness. Depressed individuals had lower mean QoL and higher AUDIT-scores than non-depressed respondents. Bivariate correlations showed that mean weekly alcohol consumption, frequency of binge drinking and AUDIT-scores were statistically significantly associated with impaired QoL in depressed individuals. Abstinence was not associated with QoL. After adjustment for covariates, frequency of binge drinking and AUDIT-score were statistically significantly associated with QoL in depressed individuals and AUDIT-score in the non-depressed group. When analysing all respondents regardless of depression, both AUDIT-score and binge drinking were associated with QoL. Of the alcohol-related variables, binge drinking and alcohol problems indicated by AUDIT-score contributed to impaired QoL in depressed individuals and both should be assessed as part of the clinical management of depression.
  • Postareff, Liisa; Mattsson, Markus; Lindblom-Ylanne, Sari; Hailikari, Telle (2017)
    The demands and pressures during the first study year at university are likely to arouse a variety of emotions among students. Nevertheless, there are very few studies on the role of emotions in successful studying during the transition phase. The present study adopts a person-oriented and mixed-method approach to explore, first, the emotions individual students experience during the first year at university. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to group students (n = 43) on the basis of the emotions they described in an interview. Second, the study investigates how the students in the different clusters scored on approaches to learning (as measured on the Learn questionnaire) and how they succeeded (GPA) and progressed (earned credits per year) in their studies. Three emotion clusters were identified, which differed in terms of the deep and surface approaches to learning, study success and study progress: (1) quickly progressing successful students experiencing positive emotions, (2) quickly progressing successful students experiencing negative emotions and (3) slowly progressing students experiencing negative emotions. The results indicate that it is not enough to focus on supporting successful learning, but that attention should also be paid to promoting students' positive emotions and well-being at this time.
  • Hyytinen, Heidi; Ursin, Jani; Silvennoinen, Kaisa; Kleemola, Katri; Toom, Auli (2021)
    Our aim was to explore higher education students’ response and self-regulatory processes plus the relationship between these, as evidenced in two types of performance-based critical thinking tasks included in the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) International instrument. The data collection consisted of 20 cognitive laboratories. The data were analyzed using a qualitative approach. The tasks were found to trigger different response and self-regulatory processes. Overall, the performance task evoked more holistic processes than the selected-response questions, in which students’ processes were more question-oriented. The results also indicated the entanglement of students’ response and self-regulation processes. Three self-regulation groups were identified. Students with versatile self-regulation skills were able to complete the task thoroughly, whereas students with moderate self-regulation skills faced challenges in monitoring and evaluating their performance. Students who were lacking in self-regulation struggled both with the task as a whole and their own progress. Implications for higher education are discussed.