Browsing by Subject "HIGHER-EDUCATION"

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  • Ripatti-Torniainen, Leena (2018)
    This article extends the ongoing argumentation of 'public', publics and universities by providing a conceptual discussion of issues at the core of the public sphere: how does public form and exist amid private and individual life and pursuits, and how does a collective public body identify itself. The discussion is placed in dialogue with two earlier contributions to 'becoming (a) public' by Simons and Masschelein (European Educational Research Journal, 8(2), 204-217, 2009) and Biesta (Social & Cultural Geography, 13(7), 683-697, 2012). Brought together, these contributions constitute a definition of a programmatic public pedagogy at the university. This article develops the definition of a programmatic public pedagogy by drawing on the conceptual core meanings of public in continental antiquity, Enlightenment and American pragmatism. The author discusses public as (1) indefinitely circulating discourses, (2) sociability between strangers, (3) macro structures and (4) the political public sphere. The article reveals that the 'becoming (a) public' extends and occurs across a broad spectrum, and that the discursive and sociable manifestations of public are not secondary to explicitly political action but have an inherent value in themselves. The article distinguishes the character of public as constant openness to the emergence of what is yet not known from interpretations that locate public in the existing structures, ideologies and forms of action. The dialogue with Simons and Masschelein and Biesta shows that this distinction has critical implications on how programmatic public pedagogy is understood at the university.
  • Clavert, Maria; Löfström, Erika; Niemi, Hannele; Nevgi, Anne (2018)
    In the face of organizational transformations, academics are given a role as informal ‘change agents’ in their discipline-specific communities of practice (DCoP). Simultaneous participation in pedagogically oriented communities of practice (PCoP) enables them to promote pedagogical development through brokering at community interfaces. This empirical study explores academics’ experiences of acting as informal change agents at the interfaces of DCoP and PCoP during an organizational transition phase of three years. The longitudinal data were collected with interviews of 13 academics from the fields of science and technology. The findings reveal a variety of pedagogical development activities related to shared meanings, practices, identities, and ways of belonging. The activities are aligned with the organizational transition process and enabled by collegial support. The findings indicate that lack of supportive formal leadership may terminate the informal development activities. The resulting model of change agency provides a novel approach to pedagogical development in higher education.
  • Tuononen, Tarja; Parpala, Anna; Lindblom-Ylänne, Sari (2020)
    Students are expected to develop academic competences during their studies. However, research regarding the relation between academic competences and student learning is scarce. The present mixed-methods study aims to investigate the complex interrelations between academic competences and approaches to learning using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The data included 1023 graduates' survey answers and 83 interviews. The results showed that academic competences correlated positively with a deep approach to learning as well as with organised studying, and negatively with a surface approach. The qualitative analysis, however, revealed that descriptions of a deep approach were also found among graduates who evaluated academic competences less highly. Further, the results showed that putting effort into studying and seeing various competences as transferable were also positively related to academic competences and greater satisfaction with the degree obtained. The present study also showed that approaches to learning are closely intertwined with academic competences. The study suggests that the development of academic competences and an ability to identify them can be supported by emphasising deep-level learning and organised studying.
  • Lehtamo, Sanna; Juuti, Kalle; Inkinen, Janna; Lavonen, Jari (2018)
    Background: There is a lack of students enrolling in upper secondary school physics courses. In addition, many students discontinue the physics track, causing a lack of applicants for university-level science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes. The aim of this research was to determine if it is possible to find a connection between academic emotions in situ and physics track retention at the end of the first year of upper secondary school using phone-delivered experience sampling method. We applied experience sampling delivered by phone to one group of students in one school. The sample comprised 36 first-year upper secondary school students (median age 16) who enrolled in the last physics course of the first year. Students' academic emotions during science learning situations were measured using phones three times during each of four physics lessons. Results: The logistic regression analysis showed that lack of stress predicted retention in the physics track. Conclusions: Via questionnaires delivered by phone, it is possible to capture students' academic emotions in situ, information on which may help teachers to support students emotionally during their physics studies. In addition, reflecting their situational academic emotions, students could perhaps make better-informed decisions concerning their studies in STEM subjects.
  • Stamer, Insa; Pönicke, Hanno; Tirre, Frederike; Laherto, Antti; Höffler, Tim; Schwarzer, Stefan; Parchmann, Ilka (2020)
    Background: Many students have incomplete or incorrect perceptions of science and scientists. These simplified images, mediated by media or influential agents of socialisation, result in common stereotypes. Especially for occupational choices it is important to convey an authentic image about science and scientists. Purpose: One manner to convey an authentic image and thus the aim of this study is the development and validation of scientific videos including collected activities of scientists. Program description: Professors were interviewed regarding their typical scientific activities. This was followed by the development of a questionnaire which was answered by junior scientists. Authentic scientific videos were developed and finally validated in a science lab for school-students based on qualitative and quantitative results. Sample: 92 junior scientists answered the questionnaire and eight professors and 96 students (31 girls and 65 boys; grade 10 to 13) were interviewed. Design and methods: The scientists were surveyed before the development of the videos. The RIASEC+N model was used to categorise the collected activities of scientists. Finally, students were interviewed for the video validation. Results: A number of different scientific activities of each RIASEC+N dimension could be detected, which were then integrated into four videos. The interviewed students who watched those videos successfully identified all of the activities. Conclusion: The working day of scientists contains more than stereotypical aspects and well-considered/planned videos are one suitable option to promote an authentic overview about science and scientists.
  • Miihkinen, Antti; Virtanen, Tuija Helena (2018)
    This study describes the results of a project that focused on developing an assessment rubric to be used as the assessment criteria for the written thesis of accounting majors and the quality of the coursework during the seminar. We used descriptive analysis and the survey method to collect information for the development work and to examine the effect of the rubric on learning. We find that the rubric has a positive effect on students' understanding, self-assessment, confidence, and integration. We contribute to the extant literature by adding to prior work that has examined factors that can improve students' learning outcomes. By synthesizing theories on approaches to learning and self-regulation, and combining them with literature on self-efficacy and social/academic integration, we bring conceptual clarity to the elements of learning in a course, which consist of written assignments and the accompanying group work. The paper demonstrates a way to help university students to learn via explicit assessment rubrics, and thus offers novel ideas for accounting educators.
  • Lindblom-Ylänne, Sari; Haarala-Muhonen, Anne; Postareff, Liisa; Hailikari, Telle (2017)
    The aim of the present study was to explore the individual profiles of successful, rapidly progressing first-year university students. The participants numbered 38 humanities and law students, who volunteered to be interviewed. The interview data were analysed using abductive content analysis. Two student profiles were distinguished: strenuously progressing students, who were interested and motivated but had to work hard to meet their deadlines and maintain a rapid study pace (applying a defensive pessimism cognitive strategy), and effortlessly progressing students, who had very good self-regulation skills, strong self-efficacy for self-regulation and the most positive experiences of their learning environment. These students applied a deep approach to learning and an optimistic cognitive strategy. The results highlight the complex interplay between motivational and volitional factors, the approaches to learning and the cognitive attributional strategies affecting individual study paths.
  • Södervik, Ilona; Nousiainen, Maija; Koponen, Ismo (2021)
    The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding about undergraduate life science students’ conceptions concerning the role of photosynthesizing plants in the ecosystem, utilizing a network analysis method. Science learning requires the integration and linking of abstract and often counterintuitive concepts successfully into multifaceted networks. The quality of these networks, together with their abilities to communicate via the language of science, influences students’ success in academic, verbal problem-solving tasks. This study contributes to investigating students’ understanding, utilizing a modern network analysis method in exploring first-year university life science students’ written answers. In this study, a total of 150 first-year life science students answered two open-ended tasks related to the role of photosynthesizing plants in the ecosystem. A network analysis tool was used in exploring the occurrence of different-level science concepts and the interrelatedness between these concepts in students’ verbal outputs. The results showed that the richness of concept networks and students’ use of macro-concepts were remarkably varied between the tasks. Higher communicability measures were connected to the more abundant existence of macro-concepts in the task concerning the role of plants from the food-chain perspective. In the answers for the task concerning the role of plants regarding the atmosphere, the students operated mainly with single facts, and there were only minor interconnections made between the central concepts. On the basis of these results, the need for more all-encompassing biology teaching concerning complex environmental and socio-economic problems became evident. Thus, methodological and pedagogical contributions are discussed.
  • Asikainen, Henna; Blomster, Jaanika; Virtanen, Viivi (2018)
    Teacher support is an important factor affecting academic and social integration into the university. However, studies have been very scarce concerning both students' and teachers' experiences of their relationship in higher education. The purpose of this study is to examine students' and teachers' experiences of communality and interaction as well as the support given by teachers in the academic community. A total of 68 teachers and 104 students participated in this study by answering both Likert-scale and an open-ended question. The results show wide variation in both students' and teachers' experiences. The experiences varied from descriptions of a good and functional communality to a gap between teachers and students or even hostile behaviour towards students. Five main categories emerged from the data: (1) functioning interaction and communality, (2) good quality contacts between students and teachers, (3) variable experiences of interaction and communality, (4) low quality interaction and communality, and (5) dysfunctional contacts between students and teachers. The results indicate that teachers experience the support given to students more positively than the students. In addition, the results concerning the open-ended question also indicated that teachers experience the communality and interaction between teachers and students more positively than the students. More attention should be given to the teacher-student relationship at the higher education level. In addition, general skills such as ability to interact with others and social behaviour should be emphasised to a greater degree when recruiting staff.
  • Partanen, Lauri (2020)
    This paper represents the second contribution from an action research study on a bachelor-level quantum chemistry and spectroscopy course. In the proposed instructional model, active learning principles are extended outside lectures to form a student-centred course structure. The new model resulted in superior learning outcomes compared to a class where active learning elements were limited to course lectures, as demonstrated by previous research. In this article, I try to understand this improvement through an analysis of student motivation and experiences in the framework of self-determination theory. Based on my analysis of student feedback data and interviews, tasks that facilitated direct interaction with peers or course staff were seen as key factors in enhancing learning and motivation. In addition, the presence of various interconnected course components that supported students at different stages of the learning process was experienced as central to learning. Together, these two publications demonstrate that the incorporation of active learning principles outside lectures can substantially improve both learning and motivation.
  • Rekola, Mika; Nippala, Jaakko; Tynjälä, Päivi; Virtanen, Anne V. (2018)
    This explorative study examined practices of competence modelling in the forest sector organisations and how organisations anticipate changes in competence needs in the future. Semi-structured in-depth interviews (n=10) were conducted amongst forest sector experts in Finland and data was analysed by thematic analysis. The findings showed that the practices of modelling competences were diverse, most frequently used ones being superior-subordinate review discussions and quantitative competence surveys. In addition to these formal systems, informal modelling, especially on the team level and in smaller companies was also frequent. Organisations used competence modelling for several human resources functions, such as appraisal, motivation and promotion of employees. Surprisingly hiring and compensation functions were not mentioned. Perceptions related to competence modelling were generally speaking positive. The most important challenges were the lack of further actions and sometimes the extraordinary burden to the employees. When anticipating the future, the experts interviewed mentioned several commonly recognised trends, e.g., development of information technology, fragmentation of working life and structural changes in labour markets. All these require more generic competences related to information processing and personal self-management, especially respondents highlighted the importance of self-awareness skills. It is concluded that several useful practices for competence modelling already exist and that present study provides a basis for further quantitative further study.
  • Partanen, Lauri (2018)
    In this article, I propose a student-centred approach to teaching quantum chemistry and spectroscopy at the bachelor-level that extends active learning principles outside course lectures. The aim is to elucidate what type of methodology is most appropriate and efficient for this context and student population, and how this incorporation of active learning elements impacts learning. Three quantitative learning indicators are used to measure the effectiveness of the proposed approach, including exercise points obtained by the students, exam results, and the results of a conceptual inventory administered both at the beginning and the end of the course. The proposed model resulted in substantial improvement in learning outcomes compared to a previous class where active learning elements were confined mostly to the course lectures and a traditionally taught class. The model can be generalised to any subject where both quantitative and qualitative understanding is required. Thus, in addition to providing further support for the effectiveness of active learning approaches in science, this study shows the benefits of applying these approaches to exercises and other course tasks besides lectures.
  • Asikainen, Henna; Blomster, Jaanika; Cornér, Timo; Pietikäinen, Janna (2021)
    The benefits of peer teaching have been intensively explored. However, there is still a lack of research in relation to student integration in higher education. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between peer teacher interaction and students’ experiences of components of integration in the study programme. This comprises student and teacher interaction and support as well as identification with the programme. In addition, the aim is to explore how the students experience peer teachers as effecting their integration into the programme, and to explore how they visualise the relationship between students, teachers and peer teachers as part of the programme. Peer teaching was implemented in an introductory course in Environmental Sciences, in which the peer teachers were responsible for organising and teaching the course. The study was conducted with a mixed-method approach combining questionnaire data (N = 115), open-ended experiences (N = 80) and sketches (N = 80) done by the students participating in the course. The results show that peer teaching affected student integration in several ways. Practical implications and future research are also discussed.
  • 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.
  • Vilppu, Henna; Södervik, Ilona; Postareff, Liisa; Murtonen, Mari (2019)
    The aim of the study was to explore whether short online pedagogy courses can have an effect on university teachers’ interpretations of teaching–learning situations. Before and after participating in a short online pedagogical training programme, a total of 66 participants wrote their interpretations of two short video clips, which depicted a content-focused teacher and a learning-focused teacher, respectively. The training was successful in changing participants’ interpretations from a knowledge-transmission view to a learning-facilitation view of teaching. This result indicates that even short online training programmes have the potential to affect participants’ interpretations of teaching–learning situations, especially when participants are not very experienced in teaching. Therefore, pedagogical training should be offered already at the early stages of teaching careers.
  • Vesikivi, Petri; Lakkala, Minna; Holvikivi, Jaana; Muukkonen, Hanni (2020)
    Technological and social developments during the past years emphasise the importance of knowledge work competence. Additionally, funding of universities in Finland was changed to be based largely on yearly accumulated credits, therefore, improving retention is of critical importance for the institution. In order to improve first-year retention (measured by credit accumulation) and learning of knowledge work practices, Metropolia UAS changed the information technology curriculum by integrating single topic 3?5 credit courses into multidisciplinary 15 credit courses that included substantially more project work where students solve open-ended problems. This study focuses on investigating how the new curriculum influenced first-year retention, students? study experiences and self-evaluated development of knowledge work competence. Research data included study register data on course completion and student feedback collected through online questionnaires after each course. Retention rate was substantially improved compared to previous years. Furthermore, student collaboration and independence were found to increase overall satisfaction and to boost learning in project teams.
  • Lombardini, Chiara; Lakkala, Minna; Muukkonen, Hanni (2018)
    This study uses a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent group design to analyze the outcomes in terms of students' learning and satisfaction of the redesign of a first-year, principles of micro-economics course from a lecture-based course using active learning techniques in 2013 to a partial flipped classroom in 2014 and a full flipped classroom in 2015. Students perceived a higher degree of achievement of the learning goals in both flipped courses compared to the non-flipped active learning course. Moreover, participating in the partial or full flipped classroom decreased the odds of a D or F grade or of withdraw. However, only the partial flip was associated with overall better learning outcomes in the final exam, while there was no statistically significant difference between the non-flipped active learning course and the full flip. Age was negatively associated with learning outcomes and increased the odds of a D or F grade or of withdraw. Gender had no statistically significant impact on learning outcomes. Students were least satisfied with the full flip and equally satisfied with the non-flipped active learning course and the partial flip. Lower satisfaction appears to be due to increased workload, which students evaluated to be highest in the full flip, aswell as to elements of groupwork design. In the flipped classroom design, the pre-class multiple choice tests on Moodle emerged as a clear favorite in students' teaching evaluations.
  • Tuononen, Tarja; Parpala, Anna; Lindblom-Ylänne, Sari (Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group, 2017)
    New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction
  • Lonka, Kirsti; Ketonen, Elina; Vermunt, Jan D. (2021)
    University students' epistemic beliefs may have practical consequences for studying and success in higher education. Such beliefs constitute epistemic theories that may empirically manifest themselves as epistemic profiles. This study examined university students' epistemic profiles and their relations to conceptions of learning, age, gender, discipline, and academic achievement. The participants were 1515 students from five faculties who completed questionnaires about epistemic beliefs, including a subsample who also completed a questionnaire that included conceptions of learning. We measured epistemic beliefs: reflective learning, collaborative knowledge-building, valuing metacognition, certain knowledge, and practical value. First, we analyzed structural validity by using confirmatory factor analysis. Second, we conducted latent profile analysis that revealed three epistemic profiles:Pragmatic(49%),reflective-collaborative(26%) andfact-oriented(25%). Then, we compared the conceptions of learning across the profiles as well as demographic information, credits, and grades. The profiles' conceptions of learning varied: Thereflective-collaborativegroup scored high on conception of learning named "construction of knowledge." Its members were more likely to be females, teachers, and mature students, and they had the highest academic achievement. Thefact-orientedgroup (mostly engineering/science students) scored highest on "intake of knowledge." Thepragmaticgroup scored highest on "use of knowledge:" During the second year, their academic achievement improved. In sum, the epistemic profiles were closely related to conceptions of learning and also associated with academic achievement.
  • Henritius, Eija; Löfström, Erika; Hannula, Markku S. (2019)
    This paper presents a systematic review of university students’ emotions in connection with virtual learning based on 91 articles published between 2002 and 2017 in four international journals that focus on virtual learning and educational technology or on learning in higher education. These journals were considered potential channels for research on emotions in virtual learning and higher education. The objective was to analyse the articles for concepts and theoretical background related to virtual learning and emotions, contextual focus, methodological choice, and/or results. The review showed that the most common emotion‐related concept was “satisfaction.” The most common context for the articles was a complete non‐physical learning environment (e.g. Second Life). Approximately 60% of the articles used quantitative methods. The most common design for studying emotions was an explanatory design. Students’ emotions were mainly studied through concepts related to emotion (e.g. “satisfaction”). Yet only a few of the studies focused on the fluctuation of emotions in the course of events, relying instead on post hoc data that treat students’ emotions as traits rather than states.