Interaction and eEducation: What kind of support is needed to develop university teaching?
Jääskelä, P., Vesisenaho, M., Rasku-Puttonen, H., & Häkkinen, P. (2014). Interaction and eEducation: What kind of support is needed to develop university teaching?. In L. Chova, A. Martínez, & I. Torres (Eds.), ICERI2014 Proceedings (pp. 5150-5159). IATED Academy.
© the Authors. This is a Final Draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the ICERI2014 Proceedings by IATED. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Higher education institutions are facing an on-going pressure to develop pedagogy which promotes high-quality learning, supports studying in various learning circumstances, and integrates technology. Flexible and meaningful learning possibilities which develop skills for the world of work, like active agency, collaboration and construction of knowledge through interaction with others, are needed in university education. To address these needs, a multidisciplinary network for developing university teaching was introduced at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland in 2011. Even though the main focus of the developmental work is based on the strategy of the university jointly shared among teachers, a bottom-up policy with respect to teachers’ expertise and autonomy directs the whole activity. Interactivity in teaching and learning, as well as flexible and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)-supported opportunities to study, have been defined as the main developmental themes so far. In addition, developing pedagogy together with other teachers in a multidisciplinary network and sharing teaching experiences in the university community have been the central courses of action in the project. Developing university teaching is challenging and we supposed that teachers experience several phenomena that could be either very helpful or very hindering. In this article, we analysed the teachers’ experiences of teaching development and their support needs while working on the network project. The following research questions were addressed: 1) What factors did the university teachers consider to be supportive or constraining in the development of teaching in general? 2) What kinds of supportive or constraining factors are emphasised when the development of teaching is focused particularly on eEducation? The data were collected by interviewing 51 teachers who participated in the multidisciplinary network during 2011–2014 and enhanced interactive and ICT-based initiatives in their teaching. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the teacher interviews. The results of the study revealed that the supportive factors in the development of teaching arose from the nature of the development itself, i.e., from the teachers’ opportunities to act as active agents in an authentic process of development. Furthermore, the circumstances of the developmental work also have an essential supportive or constraining role in the development of teaching. The support, at its best, would be when the development of teaching in a university context is recognised as valuable and rewarding, and is also encouraged by the management. However, on the constraining side, utilising ICT challenges both the teachers’ competences in the pedagogical-technological field and the operational environment, including tools and equipment for ICT-based teaching and ICT services of the university. ...
Is part of publicationICERI2014 Proceedings, ISBN 978-84-617-2484-0