Browsing by Subject "digital design and making environments"

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  • Olkinuora, Helmi-Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Learning environments in schools are changing into a more learner-centered direction, which changes the roles of both students and teachers. Currently there is not much knowledge about how teachers support students in novel, student-driven learning environments. The aim of this study is to analyze teacher interventions in students’ joint work in a novel digital design and making environment. This study examined which kind of situations caused teachers to intervene in students’ joint work and which intervention strategies teachers use when intervening. Previous research suggests that teacher interventions can support joint problem solving and improve students’ thinking skills (Hofmann & Mercer, 2016; Ding, Li, Piccolo & Kulm, 2007). Maker education in turn promotes students’ creative problem-solving (Bevan et al., 2016) and enables the growth of relative expertise that refers to students developing expertise relative to each other through social participation (Stevens et al., 2016). The data were collected by videoing lessons in a primary school, which had introduced a new design and making environment (called the FUSE Studio) in the fall of 2016. The lessons were held for 9 to 12-year-old students. The data consisted of 85 hours of video material. The video data were analyzed by using the techniques of Jordan and Henderson’s (1995) interaction analysis. The intervention strategies of the analyzed teacher interventions were modelled after Hofmann and Mercer’s research (2016). The results indicated that teacher interventions in students’ joint work occurred in response to many different situations. A total of 55 intervention episodes were classified into five categories: (1) STEAM-challenge related, (2) disciplinary, (3) material related, (4) technology related, and (5) motivation related interventions. Interventions were initiated by both teachers and students. While STEAM-challenge, material, and technology related interventions were mostly student initiated, disciplinary related interventions were mostly teacher initiated. Motivation related interventions were entirely initiated by teachers. Eight of the intervention episodes were analyzed further to examine the intervention strategies that the teachers were using. The strategies were modelled after Hofmann and Mercer’s study (2016) and included: (1) authoritative, (2) initiating, and (3) continuing interactive strategies. Examples of all strategies were found however none of the teachers used purely features of continuing interactive strategies when intervening. Authoritative strategies were found in disciplinary interventions and when guiding students through a new task. Initiating strategies supported by continuing interactive strategies appeared to promote peer collaboration and joint problem solving between students. Teacher interventions seem to be an effective way of supporting relative expertise within novel, student-driven learning environments as long as the teacher is able to use the appropriate intervention strategies according to the objectives of the learning environments.
  • Cornér, Tuija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    New digital learning environments challenge traditional learning concepts by emphasizing student agency and collaboration (Ito, 2013; Kumpulainen, Kajamaa & Rajala, 2018). This study addresses the expressions of students’ transformative agency, and the role of tools in its emergence, in a novel design and making environment called the FUSE Studio. Research on trans-formative agency has traditionally focused on intervention research related to adults, and in particular on working life, and there has been little research on students’ transformative agency (Kajamaa & Kumpulainen, 2019). The types of transformative agency identified by Haapasaari and colleagues (2016) were used as the theoretical frame of reference for the study (Haapasaari, Engeström & Kerosuo, 2016). In addition, the concepts of the social object of Kumpulainen and Kajamaa (2019) and the double stimulation of Vygotsky (1978) were utilized when analyzing the role of tools (Kumpulainen & Kajamaa 2019; Vygotsky 1978). The data consisted of 75 hours of video material collected by filming the work of 9–12-year-old students (N=94) in the novel design and making environment in the fall of 2016. The data were analyzed using the types of transformative agency (resisting, criticizing, explicating new possibilities or potentials in the activity, envisioning new patterns or models of the activity, committing to new actions, and taking consequential actions to change the activity) of Haapasaari and colleagues (2016) as reference. The role of tools in mediating students’ transformative agency was analyzed in connection to the features of the types of transformative agency identified in the first research question. Expressions of students' transformative agency were found in the data for all six types. Students’ agentive actions were expressed both verbally and physically, often using the tools in the challenges. Students’ transformative agency manifested itself both in opposing activities, which manifested as playing or disruptive behavior, and in creating new activities that pursued students' own interests, which manifested as extending the challenges. The tools inspired and facilitated the emergence of students' transformative agency.Students use both verbal and bodily expressions to break away from the given frame of action set by the learning environment. Working with tools both inspires and facilitates students’ efforts of breaking away, which some-times leads to unexpected design and making activities.