Browsing by Subject "HIGHER-EDUCATION"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-20 of 28
  • Pesonen, Henri; Tuononen, Tarja; Fabri, Marc; Lahdelma, Minja (2022)
    An unprecedented number of autistic people are completing university and they frequently face unemployment after graduation. However, research focusing on the forms of graduate capital and their employability is scarce. The focus of existing research has been on non-autistic, or neurotypical, graduates. The human, social, cultural, identity and psychological capital might be different for autistic graduates due to the characteristics of autism. Using a participatory approach, our aim was to examine the five areas of graduate capital in the context of autistic graduates. The study involved semi-structured interviews with 15 autistic university graduates from England, Finland, France and the Netherlands. Data were analysed using theory guided content analysis and 'datadriven' approaches. Findings indicate that the five areas of graduate capital are particularly relevant to autistic graduates, who typically expose gaps in several capital, jeopardising their employability.
  • 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.
  • Jaakkola, Noora M; Meeri, Karvinen; Hakio, Kirsi; Wolff, Lili-Ann; Mattelmäki, Tuuli; Friman, Mervi (2022)
    An ever-growing number of scholars are developing and applying competency frameworks in the context of sustainability education. Despite the strong interest, most of the research has ignored the varying meanings of competency, which can be interpreted as a performed ability, but also as personality development. UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) recently suggested self-awareness to be a central sustainability competency. However, the sustainability competency discourse is lacking a thorough analysis of how and if personality development related dispositions can be considered as competencies, how can they be taught in higher education, and how can the potentially transformative experiences resulting from such teaching be considered. This article aims at a deep understanding of the concept of self-awareness and its interpretations. We have reviewed the roots and analyzed the current interpretations of self-awareness in sustainability competency research and explored how the competency frameworks connect to transformative learning. In addition, we give tangible examples from art based and creative practices of design education, in which we have examined how self-awareness is defined and how it connects to transformative learning. The interpretations of self-awareness addressed two perspectives: awareness of oneself and awareness of one’s relation to others and a wider society. Based on our research, becoming self-aware is a process that nourishes transformative learning. We additionally understand self-awareness as a process of internal growth instead of only a performable ability. This needs to be considered when developing the sustainability competency frameworks and their applications in education.
  • 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.
  • Nieminen, Juuso Henrik; Asikainen, Henna; Rämö, Johanna (2021)
    Self-assessment has been portrayed as a way to promote lifelong learning in higher education. While most of the previous literature builds on the idea of self-assessment as a formative tool for learning, some scholars have suggested using it in a summative way. In the present study, we have empirically compared formative and summative models for self-assessment, based on different educational purposes (N = 299). Latent profile analysis was used to observe student subgroups in terms of deep and surface approaches to learning. The results show that the student profiles varied between the self-assessment models. The students taking part in the summative self-assessment group were overrepresented amongst the profile with high level of deep approach to learning. Also, summative self-assessment was related to an increased level of self-efficacy. The study implies that summative self-assessment can be used to foster students' studying; however, this requires a context where aligning self-assessment with future-driven pedagogical purposes is possible.
  • Welsh, John W (2021)
    This historical materialist analysis places rankings into the imperatives both to govern and to accumulate, and positions academic ranking in particular as the telos of a more general audit culture. By identifying how rankings effect not merely a quantification of qualities, but a numeration of quantities, we can expose how state governments, managerial strata and political elites achieve socially stratifying political objectives that actually frustrate the kind of market-rule for which rankings have been hitherto legitimised among the public. The insight here is that rankings make of audit techniques neither simply a market proxy, nor merely the basis for bureaucratic managerialism, but a social technology or 'apparatus' (dispositif) that simultaneously substitutes and frustrates market operations in favour of a more acutely stratified social order. This quality to the operation of rankings can then be connected to the chronic accumulation crisis that is the neoliberal regime of political economy, and to the growing political appetite therein for power-knowledge techniques propitious for oligarchy formation and accumulation-by-dispossession in the kind of low-growth and zero-sum environment typical in real terms to societies dominated by financialisation. A dialectical approach to rankings is suggested, so that a more effective engagement with their internal and practical contradictions can be realised in a way that belies the market-myths of neoliberal theory.
  • 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.
  • Lahdenperä, Juulia; Rämö, Johanna; Postareff, Liisa (2022)
    The importance of students' regulation of learning in university mathematics is widely acknowledged, but research approaching regulation of learning from the perspective of learning environments is scarce. The aim of the present study is to deepen our understanding of how mathematics learning environments can promote regulated learning by investigating the same students in two parallel but pedagogically different student-centred learning environments. The quantitative measurement of students' course-level self-regulation of learning (N = 91) is accompanied with a qualitative analysis of student interviews (N = 16). The results indicate that the learning environments are distinguished by the factor measuring lack of regulation, and that unregulated learning is created by out-of-reach teaching and-tasks causing challenges in goal setting and motivation. In contrast, co-regulation of learning in the form of scaffolding and a positive social environment has a central role in supporting regulated learning. Practical implications for how to support students' regulated learning are discussed.
  • 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.
  • Fuller, Richard; Goddard, Viktoria C. T.; Nadarajah, Vishna D.; Treasure-Jones, Tamsin; Yeates, Peter; Scott, Karen; Webb, Alexandra; Valter, Krisztina; Pyörälä, Eeva (2022)
    INTRODUCTION In 2011, a consensus report was produced on technology-enhanced assessment (TEA), its good practices, and future perspectives. Since then, technological advances have enabled innovative practices and tools that have revolutionised how learners are assessed. In this updated consensus, we bring together the potential of technology and the ultimate goals of assessment on learner attainment, faculty development, and improved healthcare practices. METHODS As a material for the report, we used the scholarly publications on TEA in both HPE and general higher education, feedback from 2020 Ottawa Conference workshops, and scholarly publications on assessment technology practices during the Covid-19 pandemic. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION The group identified areas of consensus that remained to be resolved and issues that arose in the evolution of TEA. We adopted a three-stage approach (readiness to adopt technology, application of assessment technology, and evaluation/dissemination). The application stage adopted an assessment ‘lifecycle’ approach and targeted five key foci: (1) Advancing authenticity of assessment, (2) Engaging learners with assessment, (3) Enhancing design and scheduling, (4) Optimising assessment delivery and recording learner achievement, and (5) Tracking learner progress and faculty activity and thereby supporting longitudinal learning and continuous assessment.
  • 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.