ADULT EDUCATION PRACTICES IN THE ... GRAMME IN BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS Marja-Liisa Järvelä

ADULT  EDUCATION  PRACTICES  IN  THE ... GRAMME IN BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS  Marja-Liisa Järvelä
Marja-Liisa Järvelä
ADULT EDUCATION PRACTICES IN THE BACHELOR’S DEGREE PROGRAMME IN BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS
ADULT EDUCATION PRACTICES IN THE BACHELOR’S DEGREE PROGRAMME IN BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Marja-Liisa Järvelä
Bachelor‟s thesis
Autumn 2010
Business Information Technology
Oulu University of Applied Sciences
ABSTRACT
Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Business Information Technology
Author: Marja-Liisa Järvelä
Title of Bachelor‟s thesis: Adult Education Practices in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in
Business Information Systems
Supervisor: Aila Säkkinen
Term and year of completion: Autumn 2010
Number of pages: 65 + 8 appendix pages
ABSTRACT
School of Business and Information Management of Oulu University of Applied Sciences provides the Degree Programme in Business Information Systems as adult education at irregular
two- to three-year intervals. At present, there are no degree programme-wide adult education
practices to frame the pedagogical and technological design of courses. Without a common
frame, the applied practices are teacher specific and thus, incoherent.
The main objective of the thesis was to produce the required information for the development of
the present adult education practices in order to assist the continuation and regularization of
adult education in the future. In practice, the educational practices were studied and documented, the problem areas were identified, and recommendations for improving actions were
given. In addition, a preliminary study was conducted to investigate the diverse adult education
practices applied by the other Finnish universities of applied sciences in the Degree Programme
in Business Information Systems. This was done with the objective of producing information that
assists in defining the factors that dictate what makes adult education practices successful.
The theoretical part of the thesis consists of a small-scale literature review on the present situation of adult education in Finland and in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems, and on the fundamentals of adult education. In the empirical part, the adult education practices were studied by theme interviewing the Head of the Degree Programme in Business Information Systems and by means of a teacher questionnaire. The adult education practices of the other Finnish universities of applied sciences were studied by conducting a multiplecase case study with theme interviews as the main method of research material collection.
In the School of Business and Information Management of Oulu University of Applied Sciences,
the form of adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems may be defined as web-aided contact education. As a whole, the average ratio of contact
education to online education with the present teacher-specific educational practices is 70:30,
which sets restrictions on the size of the school‟s region of operation. As the school merges into
one with the Department of Business Studies of Raahe School of Engineering and Business in
the beginning of 2011, a logical approach to the development of adult education would be to
first agree upon a common adult education strategy (what, where, when, how) and then to prepare degree programme-wide adult education practices in accordance with the strategy.
Keywords: adult education, lifelong learning, online education, education capital
3
TIIVISTELMÄ
Oulun seudun ammattikorkeakoulu
Business Information Technology
Tekijä: Marja-Liisa Järvelä
Opinnäytetyön nimi: Ammattikorkeakoulun aikuiskoulutuskäytännöt tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa
Työn ohjaaja: Aila Säkkinen
Työn valmistumislukukausi ja -vuosi: Syksy 2010
Sivumäärä: 65 + 8 liitesivua
TIIVISTELMÄ
Oulun seudun ammattikorkeakoulun Liiketalouden yksikkö tarjoaa aikuiskoulutusta tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa satunnaisesti kahden tai kolmen vuoden väliajoin. Yksikössä ei sovelleta koko koulutusohjelman kattavaa aikuiskoulutuksen toimintamallia, joka määrittelisi opintojaksojen pedagogista ja teknologista suunnittelua. Tämä on johtanut sovellettavien aikuiskoulutuskäytäntöjen kirjavuuteen.
Opinnäytetyön päätavoitteena oli tuottaa tarvittava informaatio nykyisten aikuiskoulutuskäytäntöjen yhtenäistämiseksi ja toimintamallin kehittämiseksi edelleen. Kehitystyötä tarvitaan aikuiskoulutuksen jatkuvuuden turvaamiseksi ja vakiinnuttamiseksi tulevaisuudessa. Käytännössä
tutkimuksen tarkoituksena oli kartoittaa ja kuvata nykyinen toimintamalli, tunnistaa sen ongelmakohdat sekä antaa kehitysehdotuksia. Esiselvityksenä tutkittiin lisäksi muiden suomalaisten
ammattikorkeakoulujen aikuiskoulutuskäytäntöjä tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa yleispätevien menestystekijöiden kartoittamiseksi.
Opinnäytetyön teoriaosio koostuu pienimuotoisesta kirjallisuuskatsauksesta, joka kattaa aikuiskoulutuksen nykytilanteen Suomessa ja tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa sekä aikuisten
ominaisuudet oppijina, olennaisimmat oppimiskäsitykset ja verkko-opetuksen perusteet. Empiirisessä osiossa aikuiskoulutuksen toimintamalli kartoitettiin koulutusohjelmavastaavan teemahaastattelun ja opettajakyselyn avulla. Muiden suomalaisten ammattikorkeakoulujen aikuiskoulutuskäytäntöjä selvitettiin toteuttamalla usean tapauksen tapaustutkimus, jossa tutkimusmateriaali kerättiin pääasiallisesti teemahaastattelujen avulla.
Oulun seudun ammattikorkeakoulun Liiketalouden yksikön tarjoamassa tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa aikuiskoulutuksen lähi- ja verkko-opetuksen keskimääräinen suhde on tällä hetkellä 70/30. Näin ollen toteutusmuodoksi voidaan määritellä verkkoavusteinen lähiopetus. Voimakkaasti lähiopetuspainotteinen toimintamalli rajoittaa yksikön toiminta-alueen laajuutta, mikä
on tärkeää huomioida aikuiskoulutuksen tulevaan kehitystyöhön liittyvässä päätöksenteossa.
Liiketalouden yksikön ja samaan ammattikorkeakouluun kuuluvan Raahen tekniikan ja talouden
kampuksen Talouden osaston yhdistyessä vuoden 2011 alussa, tehtäväksi tulee sekä yhteisen
aikuiskoulutusstrategian laatiminen (mitä, missä, milloin, miten) että koko koulutusohjelman kattavan aikuiskoulutuksen toimintamallin valmistelu.
Asiasanat: aikuiskoulutus, elinikäinen oppiminen, verkko-opetus, koulutuspääoma
4
CONTENTS
ABSTRACT.................................................................................................................................... 3
TIIVISTELMÄ ................................................................................................................................. 4
1 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................ 6
2 ADULT EDUCATION IN FINLAND ............................................................................................. 8
3 ADULT EDUCATION IN THE BACHELOR‟S DEGREE PROGRAMME IN BUSINESS
INFORMATION SYSTEMS....................................................................................................... 13
4 FUNDAMENTALS OF ADULT EDUCATION ............................................................................ 16
4.1 Characteristics of adult learners ....................................................................................... 16
4.2 Learning theories .............................................................................................................. 18
4.2.1 Behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism ............................................................ 18
4.2.2 Andragogy ................................................................................................................ 20
4.3 Online education ............................................................................................................... 21
4.3.1 Technology in online education ................................................................................ 22
4.3.2 Teaching and learning online .................................................................................... 24
5 ADULT EDUCATION PRACTICES IN FINNISH UNIVERSITIES OF APPLIED SCIENCES .... 28
5.1 Material and methods ....................................................................................................... 28
5.2 Results .............................................................................................................................. 29
5.2.1 History and present state .......................................................................................... 30
5.2.2 Education planning and implementation ................................................................... 33
5.2.3 Future and visions .................................................................................................... 39
6 ADULT EDUCATION PRACTICES IN OULU UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES,
THE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT .................................... 41
6.1 Material and methods ....................................................................................................... 42
6.2 Results .............................................................................................................................. 43
6.2.1 Context ..................................................................................................................... 43
6.2.2 Education planning process ...................................................................................... 45
6.2.3 Academic year 2009-2010 ........................................................................................ 48
7 CONCLUSIONS........................................................................................................................ 55
8 DISCUSSION............................................................................................................................ 59
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................ 61
APPENDICES .............................................................................................................................. 66
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1 INTRODUCTION
Adult education is mainly intended for employed adults, who wish to complete either supplementary studies or a degree of some level on the side of their part-time or full-time jobs. The
goal might be to maintain, update or upgrade existing professional competence or to study a
new profession. Adult education is often implemented as blended education, which includes
online teaching and learning in addition to traditional contact education. Due to the relatively
high share of distance teaching and learning, the utilization of information and communication
technologies (ICTs) is essential in adult education.
School of Business and Information Management of Oulu University of Applied Sciences specializes in practical business administration skills, entrepreneurship, international business, information technology, and library and information services (Oulu University of Applied Sciences
2010a, date of retrieval 19.8.2010). As one of the school‟s five degree programmes, the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems is directed for people looking for employment in practically oriented jobs of the ICT field. It is provided as traditional daytime education on a yearly basis, whereas adult student groups are admitted at irregular two- to three-year
intervals. The latest adult student group began the studies in the August of 2009 and during the
first academic year, they were offered 57 Finnish/ECTS credits worth of studies, or 27 percent
of the degree‟s total credits. Individual teachers were responsible for the course arrangements
without a frame provided by degree programme-wide adult education practices. Thus, the applied practices varied according to both the subject of the course and the teacher‟s preferences
in the form of education, pedagogical approaches, and the utilization of teaching technologies.
In order to develop adult education, the present adult education practices must be studied.
The theoretical part of the report covers the present situation of adult education in Finland and
in the Degree Programme in Business Information Systems, and the fundamentals of adult education including the characteristics of adult learners, the most essential learning theories and
the basics of online education. The empirical part divides into two separate studies; the preliminary study concentrates on adult education practices in the Degree Programme in Business
Information Systems around the country, and the main study focuses on adult education prac-
6
tices in the same degree programme, but in Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the School of
Business and Information Management.
The purpose of the preliminary study was to survey and document the diverse adult education
practices with the objective of producing information that assists in defining the factors that dictate what makes adult education practices successful. The research material was obtained by
conducting a multiple-case case study with theme interviews as the main method of research
material collection. The purpose of the main study was, besides surveying and documenting the
school‟s adult education practices, to identify the possible problem areas and to give recommendations for improving actions. The objective was to produce the required information for the
development of the present adult education practices in order to assist the continuation and
regularization of adult education in the future. The research material was obtained through a
theme interview of the Head of the Degree Programme in Business Information Systems, and
by means of a teacher questionnaire.
7
2 ADULT EDUCATION IN FINLAND
Defining adult education and the boundaries of the field that help to distinguish it from other
educational and social endeavours is not straightforward. In the broadest sense, it refers to any
educational activity intended for adults and taking place in an organized context. This definition
leads to a next question: What is meant with the term „adult‟? In this context, adulthood may be
considered as a sociocultural construction. This means that the definition of adult is constructed
by a particular society and culture at a particular time. (Merriam & Brockett 2007, 3-4.) In the
adult education surveys conducted by Statistics Finland, adult education is defined to refer to
instructed learning events provided for adults who participate or have participated in working life
after terminated or interrupted education within the regular education system (Statistics Finland
2010, date of retrieval 20.8.2010). The age range of the participants of their surveys is from 18
to 64. In many other adult education surveys nationally and internationally the age range is from
25 to 64.
The education system is composed of one-year voluntary pre-primary education, nine-year basic education, upper secondary education including general and vocational education, and
higher education provided by universities and universities of applied sciences. Adult education
is available at all education levels and altogether, there are around a thousand different institutions providing education especially for adult students. In addition, adults may study in the youth
education programmes. (Suomen aikuiskoulutuspolitiikan teematutkinta 2002, 7-8, 21.)
Adult education may be divided in formal, non-formal and informal education. Formal education
leads to a degree and is provided by educational institutions. Also non-formal education can be
provided by educational institutions, but it is non-degree-seeking. Non-formal education can
also take place at workplaces or be provided by civic organizations. It may supplement formal
education. Informal education means self-directed learning in which a person is not registered in
any of the educational institutions while perhaps exploiting their services. Informal education
may be intentional or unintentional. It is intentional when the learner has an ambition to increase
his or her knowledge and skills in a certain study field. Unintentional learning happens without
the learner being aware of the learning process. (Suomen aikuiskoulutuspolitiikan teematutkinta
2002, 22-23.)
8
Based on the financial foundations, the domain of adult education may be divided into three
categories; self-motivated education, labour market training and staff training. Self-motivated
education is mainly funded by the Ministry of Education, which allocates an average of 12 percent of its main title of expenditure to adult education. The Ministry of Employment and the
Economy is responsible for labour market training, and employers for staff training. (Ministry of
Education and Culture 2010, date of retrieval 21.8.2010.)
According to the adult education survey conducted by Statistics Finland, every second 18-64year-old, or more than 1,7 million persons in this age range, participated in adult education and
training in 2006. As figure 1 shows, the participation rate has increased from 32 percent in 1980
to over 50 percent in 2006. (Statistics Finland 2006, date of retrieval 20.8.2010.)
FIGURE 1. Participation of Finnish population aged 18-64 in adult education and
training in 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2006 (Statistics Finland 2006, date of retrieval 20.8.2010)
The adult education survey also indicated that women are generally more active in participating
in adult education and training than men. In addition, employed persons proved to be more active than unemployed, as well as persons with a high level of educational attainment and high
occupational status compared to persons with a low level of educational attainment and lower
occupational status. Another significant factor in the participation activity seems to be the area
9
of residence (see figure 2). People resident in the Province of Southern Finland participated in
adult education and training more actively than people resident in other parts of the country.
The lowest activity was in the Provinces of Oulu and Lapland. Overall, the majority of the received adult education and training was vocational, and most of this work- or occupation-related
education and training was subsidised by the employers. (Statistics Finland 2006, date of retrieval 20.8.2010.)
FIGURE 2. Participation of Finnish population aged 18-64 (excluding students
and conscripts) in adult education and training by province of residence in 2006
(Statistics Finland 2006, date of retrieval 20.8.2010)
Regional differences can also be seen in the distribution of education capital in Finland. Education capital may be measured in terms of the number of study years of the population, or it may
be calculated based on the yearly degree-specific expenses. During the past 35 years, education capital has centred mainly around the university towns, and today, a growingly large number of municipalities lag behind the country‟s average. When the current age structure of the
population is taken into consideration, the future development seems increasingly dim. Even
with the higher level of education among the young population aged 25-34 compared to the
education level of the older population aged 55-64, the lost education capital will be replaced
only in rare areas of the country. This development is illustrated in figure 3. In this particular research, the education capital was calculated to each municipality on a time scale from 1970 to
10
2005, and the calculations were based on the degree-specific expenses in 2005. In that year,
the total value of education capital was 73 000 euros. (Karhunen 2008, date of retrieval
20.8.2010.)
FIGURE 3. Education capital of Finnish population aged 2534 compared to the education capital of Finnish population
aged 55-64 in 2005; an index under 1 indicates that education capital of younger population does not compensate for
the loss taking place through retirement of older population
(Karhunen 2008, date of retrieval 20.8.2010)
11
Because younger age groups represent a smaller share of the population, it is important to take
notice of the older population still of working age. Educating older, working-age adults with the
purpose of maintaining or upgrading their know-how, has a positive effect on the national economy. (Karhunen 2008, date of retrieval 20.8.2010.) Thus, offering lifelong learning opportunities
is relevant. Besides work- or occupation-related education and training mainly arranged by the
employers, adult education provided by the education system can contribute to maintaining and
upgrading the know-how of the older, working-age adults.
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3 ADULT EDUCATION IN THE BACHELOR’S DEGREE PROGRAMME IN
BUSINESS INFORMATION SYSTEMS
The Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems is directed for people
looking for employment in practically oriented jobs of the ICT field. The scope of the degree
programme is 210 Finnish/ECTS credits (cr) and the duration of studies is 3,5 years. The
graduates are acquainted with the development and administration of information systems, data
network solutions and network services. They may work for companies or other organizations
that either utilize or provide information technology (IT) solutions. Depending on the interests of
the graduates, they may be employed as information systems specialists, technological designers, programmers, or as designers or administrators of data network solutions or network services. (Ministry of Education/Opintoluotsi.fi portal 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010.)
The structure of the degree programme consists of five components; basic studies, professional
studies, free-choice studies, practical training and Bachelor‟s thesis. The details of the degree
structure are presented in table 1. (Oulu University of Applied Sciences 2010b, date of retrieval
19.8.2010.)
TABLE 1. Structure of the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in
Business Information Systems (Oulu University of Applied
Sciences 2010b, date of retrieval 19.8.2010)
Basic Studies
60 cr
Professional Studies
90 cr
Free-Choice Studies
15 cr
Practical Training
30 cr
Bachelor‟s Thesis
15 cr
Total
210 cr
The Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems is provided or has been
provided in recent years as adult education by 13 of the 25 Finnish universities of applied sci13
ences (Ministry of Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010; Finnish National Board of Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010). In six of them, a new adult student group began the studies in 2009. In the same year, the total number of adults studying in the degree programme nationwide was 926. They completed altogether 98 Bachelor‟s degrees during the year. For Oulu
University of Applied Sciences, the corresponding numbers were 82 adult students and eight
completed Bachelor‟s degrees. The development of these numbers during the years 2000-2009
is presented in figures 4 (all Finnish universities of applied sciences) and 5 (Oulu University of
Applied Sciences). As the figures show, the number of adults studying in the degree programme
has decreased as a whole, while the trend in Oulu University of Applied Sciences has been on
the increase. (Ministry of Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010.)
FIGURE 4. The number of adults studying in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme
in Business Information Systems in Finnish universities of applied sciences and
the number of Bachelor’s degrees completed by the adult students in 2000-2009
(Ministry of Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010)
14
FIGURE 5. The number of adults studying in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme
in Business Information Systems in Oulu University of Applied Sciences and the
number of Bachelor’s degrees completed by the adult students in 2000-2009
(Ministry of Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010)
Within Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems is presently being provided as adult education by two different schools; the
School of Business and Information Management and Raahe School of Engineering and Business. The School of Business and Information Management is located in Oulu and it operates
as an independent unit. Raahe School of Engineering and Business is divided into two departments; the Department of Technology and the Department of Business Studies. The latter one
is the provider of the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems. Presently, both of the departments are a part of the School of Engineering, which has another campus in Oulu. In the beginning of 2011, the Department of Business Studies will become a part of
the School of Business and Information Management, while the Department of Engineering remains a part of the School of Engineering. (Säkkinen 11.5.2010 and 20.5.2010, discussion;
Kempas 16.6.2010, interview.)
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4 FUNDAMENTALS OF ADULT EDUCATION
The majority of today‟s adults conceptualize learning as an instructor-designed and instructorled process that takes place in classrooms. This passive model is something they grew up with.
However, the traditional way of learning is no longer possible for many adults primarily due to
their busy schedules involving various responsibilities. Instead, other solutions are needed to
enable adult education, and these solutions most often involve online teaching and learning.
(Cercone 2008, 138-139.)
4.1 Characteristics of adult learners
Today, most of the adult students study on the side of their part-time or full-time jobs. Besides
work and studies, they need to manage their home and social lives, and have enough time for
leisure activities. This may cause challenges in staying on study schedule and in some cases,
the difficulties in time management lead to interrupted studies. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview.)
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Education, the nationwide drop-out rate in the adult
education Bachelor‟s degree programmes covering all study fields was from 7,3 percent to 13,6
percent during the years 2000-2008. In addition, 0,6-0,8 percent of the adult students transferred to another school. In the youth education Bachelor‟s degree programmes, the corresponding figures were 4,1-7,6 percent of the students dropping out and 1,9-2,8 percent transferring to another school. In the same time period, the average degree completion time of adult
students was from 2,8 years to 3,4 years, which is shorter than the average study time in the
youth education Bachelor‟s degree programmes (3,9-4,2 years). (Ministry of Education 2010,
date of retrieval 23.8.2010.) The majority of the adult students are able to have some of their
previous studies recognized or a part of the courses of their curriculum compensated with their
previous studies, which potentially speeds up the study time. In addition, they are typically able
to complete the practical training periods at their present workplaces within their regular working
hours.
As most adults enter educational programmes voluntarily, they are highly motivated and taskoriented in their studies. In addition, they typically have high expectations of the education they
will receive. Depending on their age, which is most commonly between 25 and 50 years, there
16
may also be some physical characteristics that can affect their learning. Biological aging has
been shown to affect memory, which is essential to learning. Aging can also deteriorate the ability to see and hear. (Cercone 2008, 139-140.)
Learning styles are another important factor to consider, as they determine how individuals, regardless of age and personal background, approach learning tasks (Cercone 2008, 140). The
majority of people are predominantly one type of learner, while usually being able to adapt to
another style, if required. In terms of learning results, online education that provides learning
experiences for a variety of learning styles has an increased likelihood to be successful. (Rochester Institute of Technology 2010, date of retrieval 24.8.2010.) There are several models that
describe the different learning styles; some of the main styles found from many of the models
are described in table 2.
TABLE 2. Some of the main learning styles, their characteristics and suitable teaching strategies (Rochester Institute of Technology 2010, date of retrieval 24.8.2010)
Learning style
Characteristics
Teaching strategies
Visual learners
They process new information best
-
Graphics
when it is visually illustrated or demon-
-
Images
strated.
-
Demonstrations
Auditory learn-
They process new information best
-
Lectures
ers
when it is spoken.
-
Discussions
Kinaesthetic
They process new information best
-
Taking notes
learners
when it can be touched or manipulated
-
Written assignments
(learning by doing).
-
Examination of objects
-
Participation in activities
-
For online learners, control-
Environmental
They process new information best
learner
when it is presented in surroundings
ling own learning environ-
that match learner preferences (e.g.
ment is easier than for on-
room temperature, lighting and seat-
campus students.
ing).
17
4.2 Learning theories
Learning theories observe and define learning with different ways and give theoretical models of
a human‟s learning process (Kanninen 2008, 4). They provide educators with verified instructional strategies, techniques for facilitating learning, and a foundation for strategy selection. The
traditional classification of the theories encompasses behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism (Myllymäki 2008, 4). Each of these theories has its unique features, but they still describe
the same phenomena, learning. In selecting the theory, the goal is to select the one whose associated instructional strategies offer the optimal means for achieving the desired outcomes.
(Ertmer & Newby 1993, 50, 52.)
4.2.1 Behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism
Behaviorism was the leading learning theory from the 1920‟s to the 1960‟s (Myllymäki 2008, 5).
In the behaviorist orientation, learning is equated with changes in either the form or the frequency of an observable performance. Learning is accomplished when a proper response follows the presentation of a specific stimulus. Thus, the key elements comprise the stimulus, the
response and the association between these two, while the focus in teaching is on creating,
strengthening and maintaining this association. Furthermore, the theory emphasizes the importance of the consequences of the performances. It also states that responses that are followed
by reinforcement are more likely to recur later on. The learners themselves are considered as
passive receivers; they are characterized as being reactive to conditions in the environment as
opposed to taking an active role in discovering the environment. No effort is made to determine
the structure of a student‟s knowledge or to assess, which mental processes are necessary for
a student to use in the learning process. (Ertmer & Newby 1993, 55.)
In the 1950‟s, an approach to learning that relied on learning theories and models from the cognitive sciences began to gain ground from behaviorism. Instead of focusing on observable behavior, educators began to focus on more complex cognitive processes, such as thinking, problem solving, concept formation and information processing. A new learning theory, cognitivism,
was developed. In the cognitive orientation, the emphasis is on promoting mental processing;
the goal is to make knowledge meaningful and to help learners to organize and relate new information to existing knowledge in memory. Learning itself is concerned with what learners
know and how they come to acquire the knowledge. It is equated with discrete changes be18
tween states of knowledge instead of changes in the probability of response. In the learning
process, learners are active participants. (Ertmer & Newby 1993, 57-58.)
Despite all the differences between the two approaches, behaviorism and cognitivism also
share some similarities. For instance, they agree that environmental conditions play a role in
facilitating learning. Both theories also state that instructional explanations, demonstrations and
illustrative examples are important in guiding student learning, and furthermore, the role of practice with corrective feedback is seen equally important in both approaches. (Ertmer & Newby
1993, 58.)
The philosophical assumptions behind both the behavioral and the cognitive learning theory are
objectivistic in their nature. Objectivists state that the world is real and external to the learner,
and because knowledge and truth exist outside an individual‟s mind, they are objective. Thus,
the goal of education is to map the structure of the world onto learners; they are told about the
world and expected to replicate its contents and structure in their thinking. These objectivistic
assumptions are where the presently leading learning theory, constructivism, distinguishes itself
from the earlier learning theories. (Ertmer & Newby 1993, 62; Tam 2000, 51.)
Constructivism is greatly based on cognitive psychology and some scientists even consider it as
a branch of cognitivism (Myllymäki 2008, 8). Both approaches conceive of learning as a mental
activity, but constructivism takes another step in the shift from teaching to learning and from the
passive transfer of facts and routines to the active application of ideas to problems. In the approach, learning is equated with creating meanings from experience. A central idea is that learning is an active process, during which the mind filters input from the world to produce its own
unique reality. In practice, the learner constructs information through his or her own experiences
by choosing, interpreting and analyzing it with his or her prior knowledge. Thus, learning is selfdirective and learner-centred in its nature. From the viewpoint of educators, instructing refers to
providing learners with collaborative learning situations in which the learners have the means
and the opportunity to construct new understandings by assembling previous knowledge from
different sources. The constructivist principles are particularly applicable in distance learning
inclusive of self-studying. (Ertmer & Newby 1993, 62; Tam 2000, 51-52; Kanninen 2008, 4.)
19
4.2.2 Andragogy
In the field of adult education, there are also several approaches to understanding learning. No
single theory explains all that is known about adult learners, the various contexts where learning
takes place and the learning process itself. (Merriam 2001, 3.)
One of the most well known theories attempting to explain adult learning is Malcolm S. Knowles‟
learning theory of andragogy. Andragogy is designed to address the particular needs of adults,
as the basic idea behind the theory is that the differences in learning characteristics between
children and adults are significant. Knowles defined andragogy as “the art and science of helping adults learn” as opposed to pedagogy, “the art and science of helping children learn”. (Merriam 2001, 5; Cercone 2008, 137, 143.)
Andragogy has five underlying assumptions about adult learners to be considered in a formal
learning environment. According to Merriam (2001, 5) and Cercone (2008, 143-146), the assumptions are as follows:
1) An adult learner has an independent self-concept and he or she is able to direct his or
her own learning.
2) An adult learner has an accumulated reservoir of life experiences that forms a rich resource for learning.
3) An adult learner‟s readiness to learn is not a product of biological development and
academic pressure. Instead, his or her learning needs are closely related to changing
social roles.
4) An adult learner is problem-centred in learning and interested in immediate application
of knowledge.
5) An adult learner is motivated to learn by internal factors, such as a promise of increased job satisfaction, self-esteem and quality of life, rather than external ones.
The andragogigal and pedagogical approaches to the design and implementation of educational
programmes differ in many aspects. The pedagogical model is concerned with transmitting information and skills. In a typical process, the teacher decides in advance what knowledge and
skills need to be transmitted, arranges the contents into logical units, selects the most efficient
means for transmitting the contents, and then draws up a teaching plan. By contrast, the andragogical model is concerned with providing procedures and resources with the purpose of
20
helping learners to acquire the needed knowledge and skills. An educator typically prepares a
set of procedures for involving the learners in a process that includes the following steps; establishing an atmosphere that encourages learning, creating a mechanism for mutual planning,
diagnosing the learning needs, formulating objectives and contents that satisfies the learning
needs, designing a pattern of learning experiences, conducting the learning experiences with
suitable techniques and materials, and finally evaluating the learning results. (Holmes & Abington-Cooper 2000, 51-52.)
4.3 Online education
As stated earlier, not many adults are able to study full-time. The majority of them have busy
schedules with various responsibilities and activities related to their careers, home lives, social
lives and hobbies. As opposed to traditional contact education, alternative forms of education,
such as online education, may help in providing adults with lifelong learning opportunities.
Online education takes place in a computer network, which could be either the Internet or a
school‟s intranet. The learner is usually at a distance from the instructor and they use some
form of technology to deliver and access study materials. Other terms used in this context are
online teaching (teachers‟ viewpoint) and online learning (students‟ viewpoint). The synonyms
used for online learning include e-learning, Internet learning, distributed learning, networked
learning, tele-learning, virtual learning, computer-assisted learning, web-based learning, and
distance learning. (Kanninen 2008, 5-6.)
Online education may be divided into three different types; web-aided contact education, multiform online education, and online education (see figure 6). Web-aided contact education refers
to arrangements in which a defined part of a course takes place online, while the main part of
the course is implemented as traditional contact education. The activities taking place online
may involve the planning and administration, the implementation, and/or the evaluation of the
course. The second type, multiform online education includes varying amounts of contact and
online education. The role of online teaching and learning is more significant than in web-aided
contact education. The third type, online education, refers to education that mainly or fully takes
place online. (Kalliala 2002, 20, 23, 27; Rintamäki 2006, 57; Kanninen 2008, 6-7.) Later in the
report, a term „education form‟ or „form of education‟ is used to refer to the distribution of education into contact education, blended education including both contact and online education, and
21
online education, or education mainly or fully taking place online. Inside each education form,
different pedagogical and technological approaches may be taken.
FIGURE 6. The types of online education (Rintamäki 2006, 57)
4.3.1 Technology in online education
A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) can be used as the common operational environment for
the instructor and the learners of an online course. VLEs are network applications that are accessible either via the Internet or a school‟s intranet. The access rights to the system are different for the instructor and the learners. Other terms used in this context with minor differences in
the meaning include Learning Management System (LMS), Course Management System
(CMS), Learning Content Management System (LCMS), Managed Learning Environment
(MLE), Learning Support System (LSS), and Learning Platform (LP). (Kanninen 2008, 25;
Myllymäki 2008, 31.)
The essential areas of any VLE involve interaction and communication, production and publication of study materials, information control, and guidance, follow-up and evaluation. The area of
interaction and communication includes for example discussion forums, online chats, email,
news, notice boards, links, and often asked questions. In addition, there might be tools for audio- or videoconferences. The area of production and publication of study materials is needed to
provide both the instructor and the learners with an opportunity to deliver and access their unfinished and finished materials, such as instructions, learning materials, learning tasks and tests or
exams (instructor), or personal study plans, solutions to learning tasks, learning diaries, portfo22
lios and home pages (learners). The system should support the use of text, still graphics and
illustrations, sound and music, video and moving graphics, and multimedia (Kanninen 2008,
25). The area of information control includes the administration of the application, i.e. its contents (files and folders) and its users. This should be enabled via the same user interface. The
last area, guidance, follow-up and evaluation, is needed to provide the instructor with tools for
guiding and supporting the learners, for monitoring the progression of their studies, and for
evaluating and giving feedback on their learning results. The system should also support the
activities of self-evaluation and peer evaluation. (Myllymäki 2008, 31, 34-35.)
Today, there is a wide range of VLEs available, including both commercial (e.g. Blackboard)
and open source (e.g. Moodle) software. Oulu University of Applied Sciences has adopted
Blackboard in 2000, and presently, also Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro (ACP) web conferencing
system is used in online education (Säkkinen 11.5.2010 and 20.5.2010, discussion).
Besides the technologies discussed above, the possibilities of social media are something to be
recognized. Social media may be defined as a group of network applications that build on the
technological foundations of Web 2.0 and that allow production, publication and usage of useror community-generated contents. In this context, the contents may also refer to peer production or the mix of production and usage of contents (so called produsage). People are no longer
just consumers, but they become “prosumers” (producer+consumer). They also act as “proams”
(professional+amateur), or people who produce pro-level contents as a hobby. From the viewpoint of online education, social media may be utilized in many ways. It offers for example
means for establishing social networks, tools for communication, ways for collaborative contents
production, and different kinds of virtual worlds and simulations. (Kalliala & Toikkanen 2009,
18.)
The services and tools of social media develop and proliferate all the time. A continuously updated list with descriptions can be found from the web site of Kalliala & Toikkanen‟s book
“Sosiaalinen media opetuksessa” (Social Media in Education) from the Internet address
www.sosiaalinenmediaopetuksessa.fi/valineet (2009, 8). The tools have been divided under
nine different topics; Staying up-to-date, Filtering information, Producing and publishing, Producing and publishing together with others, Multimedia, Communication, Communities, Virtual
worlds, and Repositories of educational contents. Each tool has been given an importance rating in a scale from 0 (= lowest rating) to 3 (= highest rating). The importance rating indicates the
23
importance of the tools globally, nationally and in the field of education. (Sosiaalinen media
opetuksessa 2010, date of retrieval 31.8.2010.)
4.3.2 Teaching and learning online
With the shift from the teacher-centred pedagogy towards the constructivist student-centred
pedagogy, the focus has transferred from teachers transmitting knowledge to students at the
teachers‟ prescribed rate, to students constructing knowledge for themselves at their own pace.
This goes especially well with online education, provided that the effort is taken to design the
courses properly. (Balanko 2002, 1-3.) In online education, learning happens via active studying
and thus, the focus should be on the learning process. When the quality of learning is considered, the key issues seem to be the activation of the learning process and the assessment of
learning. It is also important to find appropriate and effective teaching methods that are backed
up with pedagogically relevant teaching technologies, to use high-quality (i.e. clear, structured
and instructive) study materials, and to establish effective support and guidance practices.
(Pietikäinen & Vilonen 2008, 1-2)
Modifying a traditional contact-taught course into an online course involves the design of both
the pedagogical and the technological aspects. In restructuring a course, the Seven Principles
for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education may be used as a pedagogical guide for effectively uniting pedagogy and technology in online education. According to Balanko (2002, 2), the
principles are as follows:
1) Good practice encourages contacts between students and faculty.
2) Good practice develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.
3) Good practice uses active learning techniques.
4) Good practice gives prompt feedback.
5) Good practice emphasizes time on task.
6) Good practice communicates high expectations.
7) Good practice respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
As for the first two principles, online education cannot be provided effectively without any instructor and peer involvement. Social interaction seems to further learning and thus, the effort
should be taken to maximize student interaction with both the instructor and the fellow students
by means of technological tools. By maximizing interaction, students do not learn only from the
24
instructor and the study materials, but also from each other. In addition, the drop-out rate is potentially lower, as the students are able to support each other. (Balanko 2002, 2.)
Online discussion may take place real-time with synchronous tools (e.g. online chat) or not realtime with asynchronous tools (e.g. email). In online discussion, the goal is to reach the level of
dialogue to bring out the participants‟ different viewpoints and conceptions. However, the implementation can be challenging; online discussion may become unnatural and forced, if participation is required as a part of the course objectives. (Viitala & Lehtelä 2009, 51-52.)
Besides online discussion, learning materials and learning tasks are in a central role in online
education. Online materials may be produced and published by both the teachers and the students. The materials prepared by the teachers should be pedagogically designed and thus, instructive and guiding. They may include bibliographies, link lists and different kinds of tasks requiring reflection. The learning tasks are typically essay-type writings assigned for individual
work. (Viitala & Lehtelä 2009, 52.)
In online education, both the teachers and the students need to be oriented to their new roles.
As the online learning process is learner-centred, the students must be able to take more responsibility for their learning. They may be encouraged to become seekers of knowledge instead of receivers of information, and to ask more questions and for more feedback. They
should also be encouraged to adapt online courses to fit their own learning styles; for example,
primarily auditory learners may seek out audio information available in the Internet to supplement text-heavy study materials, or vice versa. In addition to being capable of self-directive
learning, which is usually natural for adult learners, the students must have an access to necessary hardware and possess essential computing skills. (Balanko 2002, 3.)
The teachers‟ role changes from acting as a transformer of knowledge to that of a facilitator of
the learning process. Thus, they are often called instructors or tutors. The tutors‟ tasks may vary
from acting as professionals regarding the contents of the course (or acting as teachers) to giving technical support to the students. They instruct the students, encourage them in concluding
the required learning tasks, discuss the possible problems with them, and organize the cooperation among them. The teachers‟ role in online education may be divided into three different subroles involving the following types of presence; cognitive presence, social presence and educative presence. Cognitive presence refers to the intellectual activation of the learners, such as
25
enhancing the construction of knowledge by way of critical and reflective online discussion. Social and educative presences refer to grouping and committing the learners to the learning
process. (Viitala & Lehtelä 2009, 52-53.)
Based on the afore-mentioned model describing the sub-roles of the teachers in online teaching, four different areas of guidance may be separated; pedagogical guidance, social guidance,
operational guidance and technical guidance. Pedagogical guidance involves helping the learners to achieve the prescribed learning objectives, such as getting an understanding of the central concepts and constructing a general view of the course contents. Tutors typically take responsibility for the following; preparing and presenting questions or themes to encourage online
discussion, providing information as students will expect to receive reliable and current learning
resources, creating connections to reach the goal of helping the learners to construct knowledge through social interaction, giving feedback, and summarizing the key concepts. In addition, the tutors are often encouraged to take a role of a sympathizer and a social supporter. The
second area, social guidance, includes creating and maintaining a friendly and interactive environment for the learners. Encouraging interaction, asking questions and contributing to online
discussion are important responsibilities of the tutors. Another factor affecting both the quality
and the quantity of online discussion, is the group size. In general, a group size of about ten
students is considered ideal, but it varies depending on the topic and the objectives of the discussion. The third area, operational guidance, refers to setting due dates, and making norms
and rules. The tutors must act as supervisors, who monitor online discussion, keep the discussion on topic and ask the absent students to get involved. Norms and rules should provide the
students with all the needed information on for example the minimum number of postings, the
required participation activity, or the appropriate language. The fourth and last area, technical
guidance, involves the technical support the students may need along the way. The tutors
should be able to help the learners to familiarize themselves with the online environment in
which the learning takes place. This could happen during a contact meeting or a videoconference session. In some cases, the instructional resources provided by the utilized virtual learning
environment are sufficient for the purpose. (Viitala & Lehtelä 2009, 53-55.)
In conclusion, it may be stated that while online education has a growingly significant role in
adult education, there are both opportunities and challenges to it. On the side of opportunities,
online education enables studying anywhere with an Internet connection; this potentially saves
time, money and environment, as there is no need to travel to be physically present at lectures.
26
For the same reason, online education makes study opportunities available to anyone regardless of the geographic distance between the potential student and the education providers. Furthermore, the learners are able to study, to a certain extent, when it best fits into their schedules, instead of following a strict lecture routine. This potentially assists in overcoming the possible difficulties in time management. From the schools‟ viewpoint, costs may be saved, as
there is not as great need for physical facilities, like teaching spaces. (Kalliala 2002, 32.) The
same does not apply to teachers‟ salaries, as their role in online education is equally important
to traditional contact teaching. On the side of challenges, the limitations of technology, mainly
related to reliability, and the lack of face-to-face communication potentially present problems,
the most drastic ones being poor learning results and a high drop-out rate. (Kanninen 2008, 78.) To manage the challenges, it is essential to design and implement the online courses properly.
27
5 ADULT EDUCATION PRACTICES IN FINNISH UNIVERSITIES OF APPLIED
SCIENCES
A preliminary study was conducted with a purpose of surveying and documenting the diverse
adult education practices applied by the Finnish universities of applied sciences in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems. The objective was to produce information that assists in defining the factors that dictate what makes adult education practices
successful. The main research question was:
How is adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information
Systems planned and implemented by the Finnish universities of applied sciences?
In addition to the main research question, it was necessary to survey the contexts in which the
universities of applied sciences operate. This includes both the inter-school and external factors.
5.1 Material and methods
The preliminary study was conducted as a case study with multiple cases. The target group
consisted of the Finnish universities of applied sciences that provide the Bachelor‟s Degree
Programme in Business Information Systems as adult education. Purposive selection was used
to select the following four cases:
-
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (later referred to as Haaga-Helia UAS)
-
HAMK University of Applied Sciences (later referred to as HAMK UAS)
-
Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences (later referred to as Kemi-Tornio UAS)
-
Oulu University of Applied Sciences/Raahe School of Engineering and Business (later
referred to as OUAS/Raahe)
The research material was obtained mainly through individual theme interviews. The interviewee selection was conducted purposively based on occupational positions with regard to
adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems. One
person was interviewed from each case university of applied sciences (see table 3).
28
TABLE 3. Interviewees of the preliminary study
Case university of applied sciences
Name
Occupational title
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sci-
Paavo Lehessalo
Head of Degree Programme
HAMK University of Applied Sciences
Lasse Seppänen
Principal Lecturer
Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sci-
Sari Hohtari
Head of Degree Programme
Eija Kempas
Planning Officer
ences
ences
Oulu University of Applied Sciences/
Raahe School of Engineering and
Business
In the half-structured theme interview schedule (see appendices 1 and 2), the research subject
is divided into three theme areas; history and present state, education planning and implementation, and future and visions. Each theme area is sub-divided into two to three narrower
themes, which include one to seven defining questions each.
The theme interview schedule was sent to the interviewees beforehand via email. The interviews were conducted in Finnish and either face-to-face or via either a web conferencing system (WebEx or ACP) or a phone. The conversations were recorded with the authorizations of
the interviewees.
In addition to the theme interviews, information was obtained from the statistical AMKOTA database of the Ministry of Education. Other sources of information included ARENA‟s final report of
the project „The Bologna Process and Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences: Participation of
Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences in the European Higher Education Area‟, and a web
page of the eLearning Centre of Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences.
5.2 Results
The following sub-chapters present the results by theme areas previously selected to accommodate the themes and their defining questions of the theme interview schedule. The findings
are compared, whenever possible.
29
5.2.1 History and present state
The Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems has been provided as
adult education by all of the case universities of applied sciences for several years. The significance of adult education, measured as the annual intake quota of adult students relative to the
degree programme‟s total quota, varies between 30-50 percent; in Haaga-Helia UAS and KemiTornio UAS, the share of adult students is nearly a third of the total students, and in HAMK
UAS, the share is close to 50 percent. In OUAS/Raahe, the last student intake for all of the
youth education degree programmes was in 2010, after which the focus will be merely on adult
education. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo
18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
In the case universities of applied sciences, the average number of starting study places for
adult students in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems in 20072009, varied from 8,3 in Kemi-Tornio UAS to 123,7 in Haaga-Helia UAS (see table 4). As for
Kemi-Tornio UAS, the figures presented in table 4 are affected by a zero intake of adult students in 2007 and in 2009. The same applies to HAMK UAS, as there was no intake of adult
students in 2008. As for OUAS, the figures include the numbers of both Raahe School of Engineering and Business, and the School of Business and Information Management. This is because the different schools or campuses within the universities of applied sciences are not
separated in the statistics of the Ministry of Education. (Ministry of Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010.)
30
TABLE 4. The average numbers of study places, applicants, enrolled students, total students
and completed degrees in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems
provided as adult education in 2007-2009 (Ministry of Education 2010, date of retrieval
23.8.2010)
Case university of
applied sciences
Study
places for
adult students
Adult student applicants
Enrolled
adult students
Adult students in
total
Bachelor’s
degrees
completed
by adult
students
Haaga-Helia UAS
123,7
208,0
124,7
497,0
59,0
HAMK UAS
16,7
43,3
15,7
47,3
6,7
Kemi-Tornio UAS
8,3
11,0
9,3
35,3
3,3
OUAS
27,3
32,7
25,7
66,3
4,7
Measured as the average number of adult student applicants per study place in 2007-2009,
adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems provided
by HAMK UAS has received the most interest with the figure of 2,6 applicants per study place
(see figure 7). Haaga-Helia UAS comes second with 1,7 applicants, Kemi-Tornio UAS third with
1,3 applicants, and OUAS fourth with 1,2 applicants per study place. Correspondingly, the average number of dropped out adult students relative to the average number of total adult students
in 2007-2008, was the lowest in HAMK UAS with 15 percent (7 drop-outs), the second lowest in
Haaga-Helia UAS with 18 percent (90,5 drop-outs), the third lowest in Kemi-Tornio UAS with 20
percent (7 drop-outs), and the highest in OUAS with 22 percent (13 drop-outs). Furthermore,
the graduation rate, measured as the average number of Bachelor‟s degrees completed by
adult students relative to the average number of total adult students in 2007-2009, takes the
same order; HAMK UAS comes first with 14 percent, Haaga-Helia second with 12 percent,
Kemi-Tornio UAS third with nine percent, and OUAS fourth with seven percent. (Ministry of
Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010.)
31
FIGURE 7. The average numbers of applicants per study place in the Bachelor’s
Degree Programme in Business Information Systems provided as adult education
in 2007-2009 (Ministry of Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010)
In all of the case universities of applied sciences, the adult students form a heterogeneous
group in terms of age, personal background, working experience, background knowledge on the
field of study, and others. The students also approach the studies with different goals. In HaagaHelia UAS, the majority of the adult students already work in the field and wish to update or upgrade their know-how. Many of them have no intention of completing the whole degree, which
entails challenges relating to the financing of adult education. The share of adult students who
wish to transfer to another field is as yet low, but the trend is on the increase. In HAMK UAS,
the strong demand for adult education is perceived to arise mainly from the adult students‟ need
to complete a degree in order for them to be able to ascend in their careers. The secondary
reason is thought to be the adult students‟ need to update or upgrade their know-how. Also in
HAMK UAS, the share of adult students wishing to transfer to another field is relatively low. In
Kemi-Tornio UAS, the majority of the adult students also study with a specific goal of completing
the degree. Some of them have begun the studies earlier, but have been employed before finishing their studies. Others have settled in the field through personal interests and hobbies, but
are missing a degree. There are also students, who need to upgrade their know-how due to
changes in their work tasks, and those, who wish to transfer to another field. In OUAS/Raahe,
there are adult students with all of the afore-mentioned goals set for their studies. (Kempas
32
16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari
3.11.2010, interview.)
5.2.2 Education planning and implementation
As the Finnish universities of applied sciences have integrated into the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), they have started to review and renew their curricula as a part of the establishment of the European credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS). Besides the mechanical replacement of the national credit system with the new ECTS credit system, the establishment of the new system entails a much more profound change; the true application of the
system requires a change in both the curriculum development and the implementation practices
pertaining to teaching arrangements, counselling and assessment. A transfer to a studentcentric approach is expected to take place and thus, the focus of curriculum design should be
on learning rather than teaching. In teaching and learning, the guiding principle should be the
development of competences as opposed to supplying or taking the required number of
courses. (The Bologna Process and Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences 2007, 22.)
The new ECTS system frames the curriculum planning and implementation of all of the Bachelor‟s degree programmes, but on the practical level, different approaches may be taken. The
case universities of applied sciences apply concepts like explorative learning (Haaga-Helia
UAS), learning by doing (HAMK UAS and Kemi-Tornio UAS) and learning by developing (KemiTornio UAS) in defining educational contents and pedagogical solutions. Working life connections are also seen highly important. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
In all of the case universities of applied sciences, the curriculum is the same for the adult and
the youth students studying in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems. Apart from HAMK UAS, also the duration of studies is the same, 3,5 years. In HAMK
UAS, the duration of studies is 3,5 years in the youth education degree programme and 4,5
years in the adult education degree programme. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen
7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
Apart from Haaga-Helia UAS, each case university of applied sciences offers only one specialization option for the students studying in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Infor33
mation Systems. In HAMK UAS, the emphasis of the educational contents is placed on eWorking and multimedia, in Kemi-Tornio UAS on software development and particularly on programming of web applications and services, and in OUAS/Raahe on information systems in
digital media and electronic business. In Haaga-Helia UAS, the students may select one of the
following five specialization options; ICT-innovator, information systems specialist, software or
web/multimedia developer, IT specialist for small- and medium-sized enterprises, or information
management/software specialist. All of the options are available to both the adult and the youth
students, but the study path of an IT specialist for small- and medium-sized enterprises, and the
study path of an information management/software specialist have been developed especially
to meet the needs of adult students. By contrast, the study path of an ICT-innovator has been
planned primarily for youth students. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
The adult education practices in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information
Systems have been strongly developed in all of the case universities of applied sciences. The
focus has been on diversification of adult education. At present, the practices of HAMK UAS,
Kemi-Tornio UAS and OUAS/Raahe are based on online education, while Haaga-Helia UAS
stresses on students‟ freedom of choice with regard to both the educational contents (see the
different specialization options) and the form of education. This is partly enabled by the size of
the organization. Figure 8 presents how the adult education practices of the case universities of
applied sciences settle on the scale representing the different forms of education. The forms of
education are defined based on the average ratios of contact education to online education, or
the extent of the utilization of web-based technologies in teaching and learning. (Kempas
16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari
3.11.2010, interview.)
34
FIGURE 8. The forms of education in adult education in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen
7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview)
In Haaga-Helia UAS, the adult education practices have been planned to meet the needs of
different kinds of learners with different kinds of life situations. Each compulsory course is provided by two distinct ways of implementation, the first being based on traditional contact education, and the alternative way being grounded on one of the following; blended education, online
education, some other form of distance education (e.g. independent project work), or intensive
education. For approximately half of the compulsory courses, the alternative way involves online
education. As for contact education, it takes place in the evenings from Monday to Thursday
and to a certain extent, on weekends and summer times. The ground rule is that for a threecredit course, there is one contact evening a week for eight weeks, i.e. for a period or a half a
term or a quarter of an academic year. The interest shown by the adult students towards the
two ways of implementation divides roughly in half. Overall, the form of education may be between web-aided contact education and education mainly taking place online depending on a
student‟s personal choices. As for the teaching technologies, the main tools in use are Moodle
virtual learning environment and ACP web conferencing system. ACP is purely a tool for online
education, whereas Moodle is used in both contact and online education. At the moment,
Blackboard virtual learning environment is also in use, but will be phased out during the year
2011. (Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview.)
35
In HAMK UAS, the form of education is unambiguously online education. Physical attendance is
required only at the entrance examination and at a briefing session in the beginning of the studies. In addition, the students give their final thesis seminar and take the maturity test at the
school. In other respects, all teaching and learning takes place online. Course-specific instructions, learning materials, learning tasks, recordings of real-time online lectures given mainly on
Tuesday and Thursday nights via WebEx web conferencing system, and exams are delivered
and accessed using Moodle virtual learning environment. Through software, the students submit all required materials (e.g. assignments and exam answers) and the teachers guide and
support the students, monitor the progression of their studies, give feedback, and evaluate the
learning results. WebEx is used, besides as a platform for online lectures, as a means for arranging different kinds of guiding conversations. In addition, student presentations and seminars
are given through the system. In addition to the afore-mentioned teaching technologies, virtual
computers and servers are created as needed with the help of WMware software. This opens
various possibilities to enhance the students‟ practical skills related to, for example, the utilization of different software applications or the various tasks of a system administrator. As for the
communication between the teachers and the students and among the students, Moodle, WebEx and regular email are used. In addition, FUNity Thesis –system is in use to manage all information and communication related to Bachelor‟s theses. (Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview.)
In Kemi-Tornio UAS, the adult education practices are mainly based on online education. Besides attending the entrance examination and participating in a briefing in the beginning of the
studies, the students are arranged an average of two days of contact education twice an academic year. Most of the courses are, however, implemented fully online. Each online course
includes real-time online lectures, which are given through LearnLinc virtual classroom environment and recorded for later viewing. Online lectures mainly take place twice a week (or three
times a week, when required), and are often practically oriented. Also presentations and seminars take place in the virtual classroom environment. Besides online lectures, the students are
assigned different kinds of learning tasks typically related to their own workplaces or work tasks.
For not real-time online education, the main tool in use is Moodle virtual learning environment.
In addition, individual teachers may use the tools and services of social media. (Hohtari
3.11.2010, interview.)
Also in OUAS/Raahe, the adult education practices are mainly based on online education. The
share of online education is smaller than in HAMK UAS and Kemi-Tornio UAS, as contact edu36
cation is arranged regularly on every second Friday from 12:15 to 17:10 h. Besides contact lectures, regular online lectures are given through ACP web conferencing system on Tuesday and
Thursday nights. Course-specific study materials (instructions, learning materials, learning tasks
and recordings of the real-time online lectures) are delivered and accessed through Blackboard
virtual learning environment. It is also aimed that all course-specific communication would take
place via Blackboard. Most of the exams are arranged within the contact teaching hours, but
there are also a few distance exams arranged using Blackboard. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview.)
With all of the case universities of applied sciences, the region of operation has influenced the
decisions made about the form of education, or the other way around. Haaga-Helia UAS is located in the metropolitan area where there are a relatively high number of inhabitants and enterprises or other organizations either providing or utilizing information technology products and
services. For this reason, it is not relevant to expand the region of operation by increasing the
share of online education. At the same time, HAMK UAS‟s region of operation covers the whole
of Finland; with the online-based education form, around half of the students come from
Hämeenlinna and the other half from all over the country. Also in Kemi-Tornio UAS, the adult
education practices are based on online education, but the primary region of operation is seen
to be the Province of Lapland. However, a minor part of the students come from around the
country. In OUAS/Raahe, the adult education practices include regular contact education sessions and this inevitably makes the region of operation smaller. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview;
Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
As for education and training provided for teachers on pedagogical and technological design of
blended or online courses, and support services provided for them during the implementation of
the courses, the practices vary in the case universities of applied sciences. In Haaga-Helia
UAS, there are teachers specialized in online education, who provide their colleagues with the
needed pedagogical support. The technological support for both the teachers and the students
is provided by the IT support services department. In HAMK UAS, only a minor difference is
experienced between education based on real-time teaching in a classroom setting and education based on real-time teaching online, and thus, no need for special pedagogical education,
training or support services has arisen. As for the technological support, a network assistant
provides both the teachers and the students with the needed services. The students are familiarized with the online learning environments in a briefing in the beginning of the studies. In
37
Kemi-Tornio UAS, all pedagogical and technological services required by the teachers and the
students are centred under the eLearning Centre of Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences.
The Centre‟s main tasks concern the administration of the online learning environments Moodle
and LearnLinc, and both the pedagogical and the technological guidance and support required
by the teachers and the students (Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences 2010, date of
retrieval 8.11.2010). The personnel of the support unit work in two shifts so that the services are
available also during the evening studies. Besides supporting the teachers and the students of
Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, the eLearning Centre also serves all organizations
associated with Kemi-Tornionlaakso Municipal Education and Training Consortium Lappia
(Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences 2010, date of retrieval 8.11.2010). Yet another approach is taken by OUAS/Raahe, where the teachers are allowed to use 40 hours of their working hours for restructuring each course before the first blended or online implementation. The
extra resource is provided to make sure that both the pedagogical and the technological solutions are carefully considered and functional. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen
7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
Student counselling is also approached in different ways. In Haaga-Helia UAS, each student
group is appointed a student counsellor with a significant role throughout the studies. The personal study plans and the applications for recognizing previous studies and/or compensating
courses with previous studies are prepared with the help of the student counsellor. He or she
also contributes to the students‟ plans in selecting the most suitable education form for each
course. This requires the consideration of the students‟ personal life situations and learning
characteristics. In HAMK UAS, the Head of the Degree Programme in Business Information
Systems is responsible for instructing the adult students in the preparation of the personal study
plans and the applications for recognizing and/or compensating studies. This happens through
in-person discussions with each student via WebEx. In Kemi-Tornio UAS, a tutor teacher of
each student group takes care of student counselling mainly via Moodle and email, but also by
arranging group meetings through LearnLinc, when needed. In addition, in-person conversations between the tutor teacher and each student are arranged once an academic year. Feedback conversations also take place once or twice an academic year; the participants include all
of the students of a student group, their tutor teacher, the Head of the Degree Programme in
Business Information Systems and individual teachers, when needed. As for the personal study
plans, the tutor teacher instructs the students and helps them to prepare the applications for
recognizing and/or compensating studies. The course-specific applications are delivered to indi38
vidual teachers for approval, and then to the Head of the degree programme, who makes the
final decisions. Also in OUAS/Raahe, a tutor teacher is appointed to each student group. Tutor
teachers provide the students with all the needed study counselling services. (Kempas
16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari
3.11.2010, interview.)
5.2.3 Future and visions
The experiences on the present adult education practices are positive in all of the case universities of applied sciences. Kemi-Tornio UAS is the pioneer in the field of online education; they
have educated adults online successfully since 2003. In HAMK UAS, the first adult students
graduated from the so called online degree programme during the year 2010, and in Raahe
UAS, the online-based adult education practices were introduced in 2008. Also both of their experiences are encouraging. In Haaga-Helia UAS, the approach to adult education differs from
the approaches adapted by the other case universities of applied sciences, but is evaluated as
highly functional in their particular region of operation. Thus, in all of the case universities of
applied sciences, the product marketed to customers, or potential students, is perceived as a
strength as well as an opportunity. In Kemi-Tornio UAS, also the long traditions in the field of
online education are considered a strength. In its own category, the same goes for Haaga-Helia
UAS, as it is well-known around the country. It also has an advantageous region of operation in
the metropolitan area. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
As for the weaknesses and the threats, the generally high drop-out rate of adult students was
mentioned. Also the question concerning the future of the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in
Business Information Systems is in the air; will the degree programme exist in the future as it is
today, or will it be merged with the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Information Technology in
one way or another? Another question concerns the need of adult education in the future; the
education level of younger population is generally higher than that of the older population, which
may have an impact on the demand for adult education in the future. The competition also increases at the same pace with enlarging regions of operation, as adult education is more and
more often provided with alternative ways of implementation. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview;
Seppänen 7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
39
Apart from OUAS/Raahe, the visions of the future include the continuation of adult education in
the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems with educational practices
essentially similar to the present ones. The numbers of study places for adult students are assumed to remain close to today‟s figures. As for OUAS/Raahe, the Department of Business
Studies will merge with the School of Business and Information Management in the beginning of
2011, and this organizational change involves uncertainty. It is as yet an open question, which
degree programmes or other educational programmes, and with what kinds of educational practices will be provided by OUAS/Raahe in the future. The wish is to be able to continue and further concentrate on online-based adult education. (Kempas 16.6.2010, interview; Seppänen
7.10.2010, interview; Lehessalo 18.10.2010, interview; Hohtari 3.11.2010, interview.)
40
6 ADULT EDUCATION PRACTICES IN OULU UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES, THE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
The main study of the thesis was defined to cover adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree
Programme in Business Information Systems in Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the School
of Business and Information Management. The starting point for the study was the adult student
group that began the studies in the August of 2009. During the first academic year, they were
offered 48 credits, or 80 %, of the degree‟s basic studies. This included a total of 11 courses
instructed by 13 different teachers. In addition, the adult students were offered two courses
worth three credits each that could be recognized to either the optional professional studies or
the free-choice studies, and one course worth three credits that could be recognized only to the
free-choice studies. Three different teachers instructed these courses. Altogether, 15 teachers
participated in adult education, as one of the teachers instructed both a basic study course and
an optional course. (Oulu University of Applied Sciences/School of Business and Information
Management 2009-2010, dates of retrieval 7.9.2009, 9.11.2009, 10.2.2010, and 30.3.2010;
Oulu University of Applied Sciences/School of Business and Information Management 2010,
date of retrieval 11.5.2010; Oulu University of Applied Sciences 2010b, date of retrieval
19.8.2010.)
Individual teachers were responsible for the planning and implementation of the courses, and
the applied practices varied according to both the subject of the course and the teacher‟s preferences in the form of education, pedagogical approaches and the utilization of teaching technologies. The main principle was to attain a 50-percent average of distance learning as a whole,
the other 50 percent being contact teaching. (Säkkinen 11.5.2010 and 20.5.2010, discussion.)
The purpose of the main study was to survey and document the adult education practices, to
identify the possible problem areas, and to give recommendations for improving actions as conclusions. The objective was to produce the required information for the development of the present adult education practices and thus, to assist the continuation and regularization of adult
education in the future. The research questions were as follows:
1. How are individual courses planned and implemented (includes both the pedagogical
and the technological aspect)?
41
2. What are the experiences of the teachers on the ongoing adult education and what is
the feedback from the adult students like?
3. What are the possible problem areas? How to improve in these areas?
6.1 Material and methods
A general view of the adult education practices and the context in which the school operates
was obtained through a theme interview of Ritva Virkkala, the Head of the Bachelor‟s Degree
Programme in Business Information Systems (see „Virkkala 3.11.2010, interview‟ in the references). The interview was conducted according to the same half-structured theme interview
schedule used to guide through the interviews of the preliminary study (see appendices 1 and
2). The theme interview schedule was sent beforehand via email, and the conversation was
recorded with an authorization. The interview language was Finnish. In addition to the interview
material, the interviewee provided the original plan of the curriculum table, i.e. how the compulsory courses are distributed into the study years and terms, which also displays the planned
distribution of the course credits into contact and online education. The other provided document, the original plan for the work schedules of the first study year, displays the planned distribution of the real-time teaching hours of the courses offered during the academic year 20092010 into contact and online teaching.
More detailed, course-specific research material was obtained by means of a questionnaire sent
via email to all of the 15 teachers who participated in instructing the adult student group during
the academic year 2009-2010. The questionnaire (see appendices 3 and 4) included altogether
20 questions divided under seven different topics; numbers of students, form of education,
course planning and implementation, teaching technologies, technical problems, student feedback, and experiences. Additional or defining information was requested via email, when necessary.
The general schedule planning practices were studied for calculation purposes (see „Hedemäki
11.11.2010, discussion‟ in the references). In all of the calculations concerning teachers‟ and
students‟ working hours, the following basic principle was followed: One credit (1 cr) includes
altogether 26,7 working hours. Eight hours of the total quantity are planned to schedules as
real-time teaching (either contact or online teaching), which equals to 10,7 lesson hours (á 45
42
minutes). This leaves 16 hours for independent work, which includes self-studying both online
and not taking place online.
6.2 Results
Throughout the results, the source of information is one of the afore-mentioned (see 6.1 Material and methods), if not otherwise mentioned. All of the reported findings concern adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems in Oulu University of
Applied Sciences, the School of Business and Information Management. The first sub-chapter
(6.2.1) elaborates on the school‟s educational context related to adult education, the second
sub-chapter (6.2.2) discusses the education planning process for the adult student group that
began the studies in 2009, and the third sub-chapter (6.2.3) covers in detail the realized adult
education practices in the academic year 2009-2010.
6.2.1 Context
Adult students are admitted on a yearly basis, but are mainly absorbed into the student groups
of the corresponding youth education degree programme. Depending on the amount of recognized and/or compensated studies, they may begin their studies with the first- or the secondyear students. Actual adult student groups are admitted at irregular two- to three-year intervals.
The interest shown towards adult education is mainly higher than there are study places available for adult students. For example in 2010, there were 10 study places for adult students and
a considerably higher number of adult student applicants. However, many of the applicants did
not want to enrol after they found out that they would have to participate the traditional daytime
education. The majority of the adult student applicants are looking for education based on
blended or online teaching and learning.
As stated before, there are presently two schools providing the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme
in Business Information Systems in the Province of Oulu; the School of Business and Information Management and Raahe School of Engineering and Business, both a part of Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Concluding from the numbers of applicants per study place for adult
students in 2007-2009, the region of operation with the present adult education practices is essentially the same for the two schools. In 2007, there were 2,3 applicants per study place, in
43
2008, 3,0 applicants per study place, and in 2009, only 0,7 applicants per study place (Ministry
of Education 2010, date of retrieval 23.8.2010). The drop in 2009 apparently has to do with the
increased number of study places available for adult students, as both of the schools admitted
an adult student group that year. The distribution of adult student applicants between the two
schools proves that the potential adult students prefer the location of the School of Business
and Information Management over the location of Raahe School of Engineering and Business;
for example in the spring 2009 joint application, 68 percent of the primary adult student applicants and 67 percent of the total adult student applicants applied for a study place in Oulu
(Räisänen 10.12.2010, e-mail message).
As with many universities of applied sciences, the adult students form a heterogeneous group
with different backgrounds and goals. They often study with a goal of completing a degree, as it
is needed in order for them to be able to ascend in their careers. They also benefit from updating or upgrading their know-how. In addition, there are older, working-age adults without a permanent employment, who wish to pursue a permanent job with the help of formal education and
a degree. As usual, the share of those adult students hoping to transfer to another field is relatively low.
Adult education is based on the same curriculum used in the corresponding youth education
degree programme. In recent years and at present, the curriculum has been and is being
strongly developed. Besides the frames set by the new ECTS system on the curriculum planning and implementation of all of the Bachelor‟s degree programmes, the school‟s so called
SLK-project (The Development of Strategy-based Business Competence) has been launched to
develop the school-wide practices on the cooperation between the school and the surrounding
working life. The developed practices are to be utilized in planning and implementation of the
curricula and the R&D work (Research and Development). As the name of the project implies,
the second goal is to develop the strategy-based competence of the small- and medium-sized
enterprises participating in the project. The duration of the project is from 1.9.2008 to 31.8.2011.
(Oulu University of Applied Sciences 2009, date of retrieval 23.11.2010.)
The new goals set for curriculum planning and implementation promote working life-related
education, which is highly natural for adult students, as most of them already have a job. Besides working life-related education, the students studying in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme
in Business Information Systems are offered three distinct study paths to choose from based on
44
their own interests and/or orientation in their working lives. The study paths include web software development, Internet services and digital media, and information systems expertise.
From the academic year 2011-2012 onwards, the afore-mentioned study paths will be formalized as official specialization options.
Today, it appears that the present adult education practices will be applied also in the future.
Ritva Virkkala, Head of Degree Programme, believes that also the possible future adult student
groups are educated as today. However, after the fusion of the Department of Business Studies
of Raahe School of Engineering and Business, and the School of Business and Information
Management, there will be two kinds of educational practices applied to adult education. The
details of the fusion and its impacts are yet to be discovered.
6.2.2 Education planning process
Before the latest adult student group began their studies in the August of 2009, the school‟s
adult education practices were reviewed and partly renewed. The starting points for the education planning process were as follows:
-
The duration of studies is 3,5 years.
-
The average ratio of contact education to online education is approximately 50:50.
-
Contact education takes place from Monday to Thursday between 16:10 and 20:30 h.
No teaching is arranged on weekends or during summer times, and no intensive education takes place.
-
The main teaching technologies used in distance education include Blackboard virtual
learning environment and ACP web conferencing system. Blackboard will be replaced
by another virtual learning environment at some point, but no decision has been made
on the replacing software as yet.
The planning process began by enquiring from the teachers of the compulsory courses included
in the curriculum as to which part of each course, in their opinion, is possible to arrange as
online-based education and which part requires contact education. The teachers defined the
amounts of contact and online education in terms of credits. The original plan for the curriculum
table displaying the distribution of the compulsory courses into the study years and terms, and
the distribution of the course credits into contact and online education, was designed based on
the information obtained from the teachers.
45
According to the original plan for the curriculum table, the average ratio of contact educationbased credits to online education-based credits is 73 percent to 27 percent (see figure 9). The
share of contact education varies between 50-80 percent between the study years, leaving a
share of 20-50 percent to online education. The number of compulsory courses is 10,7 worth 48
credits in the first study year (one of the courses continues in the second year), 11,3 worth 45
credits in the second year, seven worth 30 credits in the third year, and one worth three credits
during the last term. In total, there are 30 compulsory courses worth 126 credits.
FIGURE 9. The ratios of contact education-based credits to online educationbased credits according to the original plan for the curriculum table (n=126)
The original plan for the work schedules of the first study year, the academic year 2009-2010,
was created according to the afore-mentioned plan for the curriculum table. The work schedule
plan displays the distribution of the real-time teaching hours into contact and online teaching.
According to the plan, the average ratio of contact education-based credits to online educationbased credits is 75 percent to 25 percent (see figure 10). Thus, the average share of online
education is two percentage units smaller than was planned earlier. The differences in the ratios
between the language- and communication-related courses, the business-related courses, the
IT-related courses and the other courses are fairly minor.
46
FIGURE 10. The ratios of contact education-based credits to online educationbased credits according to the original plan for the work schedules of the academic
year 2009-2010 (n=48)
The education planning process did not include a preparation of degree programme-wide adult
education practices. Thus, the individual teachers planned and implemented the courses independently without a common frame. Education and training related to pedagogical and technological solutions in blended or online education have been rarely arranged. The required IT
support services are provided by the IT support services department.
As for the application process, there were several phases to it. The applicants were given a
compulsory assignment of filling in an application for recognizing previous studies and/or compensating courses with previous studies, which was to be sent to the Head of the Degree Programme in Business Information Systems. After the closing date for receipt of applications, the
eligible applicants were invited to a voluntary briefing, in which they were given all information
needed to fill in the application. Not sending a filled application resulted in the applicant being
dropped from the application process. The actual admission decisions were based on the standard selection criteria. After the selections were made, each admitted adult student was arranged an in-person meeting with the Head of the degree programme, in which study recognitions and course compensations were confirmed, and copies of original certificates were taken.
This was a highly laborious phase for the Head of the degree programme. Later on, all student
47
counselling has been a duty of the student group‟s tutor teacher, and the needed IT support has
been provided by the IT support services department.
6.2.3 Academic year 2009-2010
The adult education practices in the academic year 2009-2010 were studied by means of a
teacher questionnaire, to which 12, or 80 percent, of the 15 teachers responded. In total, a response was received of 80 percent of the courses, or 77 percent of the credits (see table 5).
TABLE 5. The response rates of the teacher questionnaire
Category
Total
Response
Total
Response
number
received
number
received
of courses Courses
%
of credits
Credits
%
Languages and Communication
3,0
2,0
67
13
10
77
Business
2,0
1,5
75
9
6
67
Information Technology
7,0
5,8
82
30
23
77
Other
1,7
1,7
100
5
5
100
Total
13,7
10,9
80
57
44
77
The realized ratio of contact education-based credits to online education-based credits was on
average 70 percent to 30 percent (see figure 11). Thus, the realized share of online education
was 3-5 percentage units higher than was planned (see figures 9, 10 and 11). In the different
categories of the studies, the realized shares of online education differed from the planned as
follows; in the language- and communication-related and in the information technology-related
courses, the share of online education went up by 10 percentage units, and in the businessrelated courses, there was a drop of 16 percentage units (see figures 10 and 11). In other studies, the share of online education remained the same. As a whole, the realized share of online
education was the highest in the information technology-related courses with 35 percent, and
the lowest in the business-related courses with 17 percent (see figure 11).
48
FIGURE 11. The realized ratios of contact education-based credits to online education-based credits in the academic year 2009-2010 (n=44)
Real-time teaching took mainly place in a classroom setting. On average of only six percent of
the real-time teaching hours were implemented online (see figure 12). This was in a single language- and communication-related course. In all of the other categories of the studies, in-class
teaching hours made up 100 percent of the total real-time teaching hours.
FIGURE 12. The distribution of the real-time teaching hours into in-class (contact)
teaching and online teaching in the academic year 2009-2010 (n=278)
49
The majority of the courses were implemented according to the plan created for the corresponding course in the youth education degree programme. A total of 72 percent of the courses had
essentially the same contents and were implemented using the same form of education. The
rest, 28 percent, of the courses had similarly the same contents, but were implemented using a
different education form. No courses were renewed in both ways.
The single most-used learning theory utilized by the teachers to guide the planning of the
courses was constructivism (see figure 13). In total of four out of 12 teachers said to be applying
this theory. In addition, one of the teachers used both a behaviorist and a constructivist approach combined, and another teacher applied cognitivism. Only one of the teachers mentioned
a learning theory outside of the traditional classification of the theories encompassing behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Altogether five out of 12 teachers reported to not have
knowingly applied any learning theory in course design.
FIGURE 13. The teachers’ preferences in the application of learning theories in
course design (n=12)
In the course design and especially in the implementation of courses, the particular
characteristics and needs of adult students were taken into account in various ways. Two issues
were most frequently brought up by the teachers, the first being the utilization of the adult
50
students‟ working life contacts and life experiences, and the other being the consideration of the
adult students‟ possible difficulties in time management. The learning tasks were often
constructed to involve the students‟ own workplaces or work tasks, and real-time teaching was
often discussion-based. Discussions were a means of learning from each others‟ working lifebased know-how. The fact that the adult students were not always able to attend the real-time
lectures, was taken into consideration by the majority of the teachers by delivering the course
contents online to make sure that no one falls behind in case of absence, and/or by giving the
students a possibility to work independently through the lecture materials with the needed
support available through Blackboard and email. One of the teachers also gave the students an
option to complete extra tasks to compensate for any absences from real-time teaching. In the
teachers‟ comments, it was clearly stated that online-based education seemed to suit better
most of the adult students. For the smaller part of the students, the increasing amount of
individual work, usually in the form of an increased number of learning tasks, seemed to be a
problem. In total of 2,3 courses worth eight credits were implemented fully online.
The study materials were most often self-produced .ppt-, .pdf-, .doc- or .xls-files. They typically
included links to various electronic materials. Only in four of the total of 10,9 courses, printed
study materials were used, and in one course, video materials were utilized. The learning tasks
assigned to the adult students were most often similar to the ones used in the corresponding
courses in the youth education degree programme, but with the extra dimension of real-life
cases involving the adult students‟ own workplaces or work tasks. The greater part of the
learning tasks were assigned for individual work, the smaller part involving group work. The
course requirements and the grading guidelines were typically the same as in the corresponding
youth education degree programme. In 32 percent of the courses worth 42 percent of the
credits, all learning tasks and an exam had predefined weightings in the final grade. In another
32 percent of the courses worth 30 percent of the credits, it was similarly required that a student
completes and submits all learning tasks and takes the exam, but the final grades were defined
differently; the grades were initially defined based on the exam grades and then possibly
adjusted upwards depending on the students‟ activity in participating in the real-time lectures
and/or their performance with the assigned learning tasks. In the rest of the courses, the
students may have been required to submit the assigned learning tasks, but the final grade was
defined based on the exam alone, or a course grade may have been graded as approved or
not-approved.
51
As for the utilized teaching technologies, Blackboard virtual learning environment was by far the
most used technology. It was mainly used to deliver and access study materials, such as
instructions, learning materials, links to learning materials, learning tasks, and others by the
teachers, and for example solutions to learning tasks by the students. In some of the courses, it
was also the main means of communication outside the real-time lectures. In total, Blackboard
was used in 81 percent of the courses worth 84 percent of the credits (see figure 14). As stated
before, real-time online lectures were given in only one of the courses, and this was done
through ACP web conferencing system. Another tool, in this case Google Sites, was also used
in only one of the courses.
FIGURE 14. The utilization of the different teaching technologies in the courses
(n=10,6)
The teachers estimated that the amount of technical problems the students faced in the usage
of the teaching technologies was fairly small. In a scale from 1=None to 5=Many, the coursebased weighted average was 1,7 (n=9,6 courses) and the credit-based weighted average 1,8
(n=40 credits). However, it is worth to notice that as the IT support services are primarily
provided by a distinct department and only secondarily by the course teachers, the teachers
were not the best possible source of information in this case. One criticism suggested by the
teachers pertained to the opening hours of the IT support services; as most of the real-time
52
teaching took place in the evenings, there was no one to help with the acute IT-related
problems.
The responses on the question enquiring about the positive and negative feedback given by the
students, were rather course specific and thus, no general statements can be made. However,
two interesting comments came up, the first being that adult students seem to appreciate if a
teacher has working life experience outside of the educational field, and the other suggesting
that there are major differences in the field-specific know-how and practical skills of adult
students in the beginning of the studies. The latter issue brings challenges to course planning
and implementation. As for the completion rate of the courses, an average of approximately 82
percent of the students have completed each course up until today (n=7,8 courses worth 30
credits). Comparing to the nationwide drop-out rate in the adult education Bachelor‟s degree
programmes covering all study fields, which was 7,3-13,6 in 2000-2008, the figure is rather low.
The teachers‟ experiences and personal opinions on adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree
Programme in Business Information Systems were mainly positive. Many of them thought that
working with adult students is refreshing, as a teacher‟s role is different with self-directive,
typically motivated and mainly active students. The students‟ difficulties in time management
was seen as one of the drawbacks, as adult students are not always able to attend real-time
lectures, they fairly often submit learning tasks late, and quite many of them are not able to
complete a course according to the schedule. This puts an extra strain on teachers as well. It is
also a problem that adult student groups are admitted irregularly; when a student falls behind
with the studies, he or she may have to wait for two to three years before the missing courses
are arranged the next time.
As for the online-based adult education, a total of 59 percent of the teachers had a positive
position on a transition to online-based education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in
Business Information Systems (see figure 15). However, the majority of them, altogether 42
percent of the teachers, would require pedagogical and/or technological education. A total of 17
percent of the teachers had a negative position on a transition to online-based education, and
every fourth teacher did not bring out his or her opinion. The doubts mainly had to do with the
limitations of technology; the concern was that education without face-to-face contact sessions
would set too many restrictions leaving students with poorer learning results. Also the
53
evaluation of learning results, especially with regard to oral language proficiency, was thought to
be difficult.
FIGURE 15. The teachers’ positions on a transition to online-based adult
education in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems
(n=12)
54
7 CONCLUSIONS
The demand for adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information
Systems exists and appears to remain constant in the near future. The interest shown by the
potential adult students towards the programme seems to increase in proportion with the share
of online education-based teaching and learning. It is worth to notice that among the case universities of applied sciences, HAMK UAS, with the most online-based programme, has the most
adult student applicants per starting study place, the least amount of dropped out adult students, and the highest graduation rate. Providing adult students with a freedom of choice with
regard to both the educational contents and the form of education seems to be another workable approach, at least when there is a high number of inhabitants and enterprises or other organizations in the school‟s region of operation.
Adult students mainly favour online-based education, as it is often the only realistic option for
them to fit studying in their busy schedules. Nonetheless, they are often faced with difficulties in
time management and if no “second chances” are provided, the difficulties may lead to interrupted studies. Thus, it is beneficial to have a regular intake of adult student groups in order that
a student who has fallen behind with the studies may take the missing courses later on. The
weaknesses of online-based education related to the limitations of technology and the lack of
face-to-face teacher and peer involvement are endured, as it is, nevertheless, often the best
possible option.
It may be stated that it is possible to educate adults online successfully. The same educational
contents, both the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills, may be passed to both “traditional” and online students. A workable basic combination of online tools seems to be a virtual
learning environment together with a web conferencing system or a virtual classroom environment. This combination enables both real-time and not real-time teaching and learning.
Another factor possibly affecting the success of blended or online education is teacher education and training on pedagogical and technological solutions. Also support services may be
needed during course implementations. As for students, consistent student counselling and
highly available IT support services seem to be of high importance.
55
It may also be concluded, that the less face-to-face contacts there are between teachers and
students, the more consistent the adult education practices should be. A briefing in the beginning of the studies is required to let the students know about the common practices, the progression of the studies, the utilized teaching technologies et cetera. For the possible contact
sessions or days, carefully considered plans should be agreed upon. Thus, it is beneficial to
create and apply school- or degree programme-wide adult education practices.
As for Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the School of Business and Information Management, adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems is
provided irregularly without common school- or degree programme-wide adult education practices. The form of education with a 30-percent online share may be defined as web-aided contact education, which does not meet the goal of a 50:50 average ratio of contact education to
online education.
The ratio of contact education to online education has an impact on the size of a school‟s region
of operation; the more online-based adult education practices a school has, the larger its region
of operation is. With the present practices, the region of operation is essentially the same for
OUAS/School of Business and Information Management, and OUAS/Raahe. At the same time,
the statistics imply that there are not enough potential adult students for regular implementations in both schools. After the organizational changes take place and the two schools merge
into one in the beginning of 2011, a logical approach to tackling the issue seems to be to prepare a common adult education strategy (what, where, when, how) and degree programmewide adult education practices.
The region of operation of the two schools, or in the future, the two campuses, may be enlarged
by increasing the share of online education. This should have a direct impact on the number of
potential adult students, provided that no contact sessions are included, or are arranged rarely,
around 1-4 times an academic year. In case even a more online-based approach is taken than
is in use in OUAS/Raahe today, the next natural questions to be asked concern course planning
and implementation: Is it sensible to plan and implement the same online courses separately in
two different campuses of the same school? As OUAS/Raahe will not provide any youth education Bachelor‟s degree programmes in the future, would it make sense to concentrate adult
education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems there? With
an enlarged region of operation, there should be enough potential adult students for an annual
56
student intake in both campuses, but nonetheless, the optimization of resources is something to
be considered. In case adult student groups are admitted to both campuses on a yearly basis,
some form of cooperation with regard to course planning and implementation would seem logical to exist, besides having the common degree programme-wide adult education practices as a
frame. An opposing approach would be to continue in both campuses with the present adult
education practices and take turns in the intake of adult students. The present practices may
also be developed without a goal of extending the region of operation.
It may also be asked if it is sensible to have many schools around the country providing the
same Bachelor‟s degree programme online, as this way, the regions of operation necessarily
cross. From potential students‟ perspective, it only increases the freedom of choice, as there are
different emphases placed on education provided by different universities of applied sciences.
Thus, a student may select a school based on educational contents and not location.
As for the education planning process in OUAS/School of Business and Information Management, the results of the research imply that the approach taken to plan the education programme for the adult student group that began the studies in 2009 was not the best possible. In
the process, it was first asked from the individual teachers as to which part of each course they
thought would be possible to implement online, and which part they thought required contact
education. The curriculum table was planned according to this information, and again, the work
schedules of the first study year were created based on the curriculum table. However, it appears that many of the teachers had an insufficient knowledge base on online education and
thus, the curriculum table and the work schedules of the first study year were prepared according to misleading information. This statement is based on the conclusion drawn earlier, that the
same educational contents, both the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills, may be
passed to adult students regardless of the form of education. Thus, it is possible to have up to a
100-percent share of online education and still achieve good learning results.
An opposing approach to education planning would be to first agree upon a common adult education strategy and then to create degree programme-wide adult education practices in accordance with the strategy. Teacher involvement in all phases would be beneficial, as it would
commit them to the plans. The results imply that among the teachers, there is readiness to
adapt a more online-based approach to adult education, as a total of 59 percent of them had a
positive position on a transition to online-based education. However, the majority of the teach57
ers would require education on pedagogical and technological solutions. Also the need for support services during the implementations should be considered. Another encouraging result has
to do with the teachers‟ preferences in the application of learning theories; the most often mentioned learning theory was constructivism, which is highly applicable in distance education inclusive of self-studying. In addition, the constructivist principles support well the particular characteristics of adult learners.
As for online education in general, there is also a social aspect to it. As education capital will be
replaced only in very rare areas of Finland in the future, measures should be taken to tackle the
issue. Education capital has centred mainly around the university towns leaving a growingly
large number of municipalities lagging behind the country‟s average. Thus, it does not seem
logical to have more people move to areas where education is provided, but rather provide education to areas where it is not available at present. This may be done by means of online education. This is especially relevant with regard to adult education, as the young population aged 2534 already has a higher average level of education. Maintaining or upgrading the know-how of
the older, working-age adults has been shown to have a positive effect on the national economy.
58
8 DISCUSSION
The undertaken research was rather extensive compared to the number of credits and thus, the
amount of working hours assigned to the Bachelor‟s thesis. Consequently, it was essential to
define the research scope carefully and as a result, the empirical part does not include a proper
consideration of the students‟ perspective. Either a student questionnaire or (a) student interview(s) would have brought additional value to the research. The theoretical part supported well
the planning of the empirical studies conducted within the thesis.
As for the preliminary study, the research problem definition, the research method selection and
the case selection proved to be successful. The purpose of the study was to survey and document the diverse adult education practices applied by the Finnish universities of applied sciences in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems with the objective
of producing information that assists in defining the factors that dictate what makes adult education practices successful. This was well achieved by conducting a multiple-case case study, in
which research material was mainly obtained through individual theme interviews.
As for the main study, more efficient research methods could have been used, if there were
more working hours assigned to the thesis process. The study covers adult education in the
Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems in Oulu University of Applied
Sciences, the School of Business and Information Management. The purpose was to survey
and document the adult education practices, to identify the possible problem areas, and to give
recommendations for improving actions, all with the objective of producing the required information for the development of the present adult education practices in order to assist the continuation and regularization of adult education in the future. The defined research questions guided
well the planning of the collection of research material, but the selected research methods were
somewhat restrictive. A general view of the adult education practices and the context in which
the school operates was obtained through a theme interview, which gave enough information
for the purpose. More detailed, course-specific research material was obtained by means of a
teacher questionnaire, which proved to be too labour-consuming for the teachers to answer
thoroughly to. Thus, more profound information might have been received by conducting
teacher interviews. However, this was not possible due to the lack of working hours. As for the
59
contents of the teacher questionnaire, it was relevant and comprehensive. A response was received from 80 percent of the teachers, and the responses covered 80 percent of the courses
worth 77 percent of the credits provided during the academic year 2009-2010. Thus, the response rate was sufficient.
With the organizational changes taking place in Oulu University of Applied Sciences in the beginning of 2011, there are several open questions that require further research. A common approach to adult education in the Degree Programme in Business Information Systems between
the School of Business and Information Management, and the Department of Business Studies
of Raahe School of Engineering and Business is needed, as they merge into one. Some of the
open questions are as follows:
-
What is the adult education strategy (what, where, when, how) going to be like in the future?
-
What are the adult education practices going to be like in the future?
-
How successful are the selected adult education strategy and the created adult education practices?
60
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65
THEME INTERVIEW SCHEDULE IN FINNISH
APPENDIX 1
(ORIGINAL)
Teemaalueet:
Teemat:
Perinteet ja
Aikuiskoulutus
nykytila
lukuina
Tarkentavat kysymykset:
-
Milloin tietojenkäsittelyn aikuiskoulutuksena toteutettava koulutusohjelma
on lisätty koulutustarjontaanne? Onko kyseinen koulutus ollut sen jälkeen vakiintunut osa koulutustarjontaanne?
-
Kertoisitteko ryhmä- ja opiskelijamääristä kyseisessä koulutuksessa toteutusvuosien aikana ja tällä hetkellä?
Aikuiskoulu-
-
Miten merkittävä osa koulutustarjontaanne kyseinen koulutus on?
-
Kertoisitteko aikuiskoulutuksen tarpeesta ja tärkeydestä toiminta-
tuksen taustat
alueellanne yleisesti?
-
Miksi tietojenkäsittelyn aikuiskoulutuksena toteutettavaa koulutusohjelmaa tarvitaan toiminta-alueellanne? Mistä vahva/heikko kysyntä johtuu?
Miksi kyseinen koulutus on otettu osaksi ja pidetty osana koulutustarjontaanne? Miksi kyseisen koulutuksen kehittämistä ja aseman vahvistamista pidetään/ei pidetä tärkeänä?
-
Ketkä ovat kyseisen koulutusohjelman potentiaalisia opiskelijoita?
-
Mikä tai mitkä oppimiskäsitykset ohjaavat tietojenkäsittelyn aikuiskoulu-
Koulutuksen
Opintosuunni-
suunnittelu ja
telma ja toi-
tuksena toteutettavan koulutusohjelman opintosuunnitelman laatimista ja
toteutus
mintamalli
millä tavalla?
-
Mitä eri suuntautumisvaihtoehtoja kyseinen koulutusohjelma sisältää?
Mikäli tarjolla ei ole erillisiä suuntautumisvaihtoehtoja, mihin koulutuksen
sisältö painottuu?
-
Millä tavalla opintosuunnitelman käytännön toteutus räätälöidään aikuiskoulutusta varten? Kertoisitteko käyttämästänne toimintamallista?
Toteutusmuo-
-
Toteutusmuodot voidaan jakaa lähiopetuksena toteutettavaan koulutuk-
to ja opetus-
seen, monimuoto-opetukseen (sisältää sekä lähi- että verkko-opetusta)
teknologiat
ja verkko-opetukseen (etäopiskelua verkon kautta). Mitä näistä toteutusmuodoista ja missä määrin käytätte tietojenkäsittelyn aikuiskoulutuksena toteutettavaan koulutusohjelmaan kuuluvilla opintojaksoilla? Verratkaa vastaavaan nuorisoasteen koulutusohjelmaan.
-
Millä perusteilla teette päätökset opintojaksojen toteutusmuodoista?
-
Mikä on lähiopetuksen ja etäopetuksen suhde keskimäärin?
66
-
Kertoisitteko tieto- ja viestintätekniikan hyödyntämisestä kyseisen koulutuksen opinnoissa (mm. verkko-oppimisympäristöt)? Mitä opetusteknologioita ja missä määrin käytätte?
-
Siirtyminen lähiopetuksesta monimuoto- tai verkko-opetukseen vaatii sekä pedagogisten että teknologisten ratkaisujen muokkaamista. Minkälaista koulutusta ja tukipalveluja opettajille mahdollisesti tarjotaan opetuksen suunnitteluun ja opetuksen aikana?
-
Miten opiskelijat orientoidaan etäopiskelijan rooliinsa monimuoto- tai
verkko-opetuksessa?
-
Miten opiskelijat perehdytetään hyödyntämienne opetusteknologioiden
käyttöön? Minkälaisia IT-tukipalveluja opiskelijoille tarjotaan opintojen aikana?
Henkilökoh-
-
Kertoisitteko tietojenkäsittelyn aikuiskoulutuksena toteutettavan koulu-
taiset opinto-
tusohjelman opiskelijoiden henkilökohtaisten opintosuunnitelmien laa-
suunnitelmat
dinnasta (mm. korvaavuudet ja hyväksiluvut aikaisemmista opinnoista)?
Vastuuhenkilö oppilaitoksen puolelta, missä vaiheessa opintoja, miten?
Tulevaisuus
SWOT
-
ja visiot
Mitä vahvuuksia, heikkouksia, mahdollisuuksia ja uhkia näette oppilaitoksessanne ja toimintaympäristössänne tietojenkäsittelyn aikuiskoulutuksena toteutettavan koulutusohjelman suhteen tällä hetkellä ja tulevaisuudessa?
Tulevaisuu-
-
denkuvat ja
visiot
Millaiset ovat tietojenkäsittelyn aikuiskoulutuksena toteutettavan koulutusohjelman tulevaisuudennäkymät oppilaitoksessanne?
-
Millaisia visioita teillä on kyseisen koulutuksen suhteen?
Muut esille tulevat asiat tilanteen mukaan
67
THEME INTERVIEW SCHEDULE IN ENGLISH
APPENDIX 2
(TRANSLATION)
Theme
areas:
Themes:
History and
Adult educa-
present state
tion in figures
Defining questions:
-
When did you begin to provide the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in
Business Information Systems as adult education? Has it been an established part of your education supply since then?
-
How many adult student groups and adult students have you had during
the years and have at the moment in this education programme?
-
How significant is the role of this education programme with relation to
your education supply as a whole?
Background
-
for adult education
What are the needs for and the importance of adult education in your region of operation in general?
-
Why is the provision of adult education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems seen important in your region
of operation? What are the reasons for the strong/weak demand? Why
was this education programme added in your education supply? Why
have you continued to provide this education programme? Why is it/is it
not important to develop this education programme and to confirm its
position in your region of operation?
-
Who are the potential students for this education programme?
-
What learning theory or which learning theories guide the planning of the
Education
Curriculum
planning and
and the ap-
curriculum of the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information
implementa-
plied practices
Systems provided as adult education? How?
tion
-
What are the different specialization options of this education programme? If there are no distinct specialization options, what is the emphasis of the contents of this education programme?
-
How is the curriculum put into practice to serve the particular characteristics and needs of adult students? Please, elaborate on your adult education practices regarding this education programme.
Form(s) of
-
The forms of education may be divided into contact education, blended
education and
education (includes both contact and online education), and online edu-
teaching
cation (distance teaching/learning online). What or which of these educa-
technologies
tion forms are used in the studies of the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme
68
in Business Information Systems provided as adult education? Please,
compare with the corresponding youth education degree programme.
-
On what grounds are the decisions made on the education form of the
courses?
-
What is the average ratio of contact teaching and distance learning in
this education programme?
-
What information and communication technologies, how and to what extent are utilized in the studies of this education programme (e.g. virtual
learning environments)?
-
In transitioning from contact teaching to blended or online education,
both the pedagogical and the technological approaches must be reconsidered. What kinds of education/training and support services are provided for teachers in the instructional design of the courses and during
the implementation of the courses?
-
How are students oriented for their distance learner‟s role in blended and
online education?
-
How are students familiarized with the utilized teaching technologies?
What kinds of IT support services are provided for them during the studies?
Personal
-
study plans
How are the personal study plans prepared for the adult students studying in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems (e.g. recognition of previous studies and compensation of courses
with previous studies)? Person responsible for the process? At what
stage of the studies?
Future and
SWOT
-
visions
What are the strengths and the weaknesses of your school, and the opportunities and the threats of your operating environment with relation to
the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems
provided as adult education (today/in the future)?
Visions of the
future
-
What kinds of visions of the future do you have for the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems provided as adult
education?
Other issues
69
QUESTIONNAIRE IN FINNISH (ORIGINAL)
APPENDIX 3
Aikuiskoulutus tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa
Kysely aikuiskoulutuksena toteutettavan tietojenkäsittelyn koulutuksen (ryhmä TIK9SA) opetukseen lukuvuonna 2009-2010 osallistuneille opettajille.
Vastausohjeet:
-
Opintojaksokohtaisesti esitetyt kysymykset koskevat ryhmän TIK9SA opetusta lukuvuonna 2009-2010.
-
Jokaisen kysymyksen alla on vastausta varten kehystetty vapaakenttä, joka ei sisällä
rajoitusta tekstin määrästä.
-
Tallentakaa vastauksenne kyselylomakkeelle ja lähettäkää täytetty lomake xx.xx.2010
mennessä sähköpostiosoitteeseen [email protected]
-
Lämmin kiitos osallistumisesta!
Opiskelijamäärät:
1. Montako opiskelijaa aloitti suorittamaan opintojaksoa (opintojakson koodi ja nimi)?
2. Moniko opiskelija on suorittanut kyseisen opintojakson loppuun saakka?
Toteutusmuoto:
3. Montako tuntia lähiopetusta kyseinen opintojakso sisälsi?
4. Montako tuntia etäopetusta kyseinen opintojakso sisälsi?
Opintojakson suunnittelu ja toteutus:
5. Mikä tai mitkä oppimiskäsitykset ohjasivat kyseisen opintojakson suunnittelua ja millä
tavalla?
6. Miten suunnittelemanne ja toteuttamanne pedagogiset ratkaisut huomioivat aikuisopiskelijoiden erityisominaisuudet ja –tarpeet?
7. Kertokaa kyseiseen opintojaksoon liittyvistä oppimateriaaleista. Minkälaista ja missä
muodossa oppimateriaali oli? Missä oppimateriaali sijaitsi?
8. Kertokaa kyseiseen opintojaksoon kuuluvista oppimistehtävistä?
9. Kertokaa kyseisen opintojakson suoritusvaatimuksista ja suoritusten arviointiperusteista.
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Opetusteknologia:
10. Käytittekö Blackboard –virtuaalista oppimisympäristöä kyseisen opintojakson toteutuksessa? Jos kyllä, miten?
11. Käytittekö ACP –videoneuvottelujärjestelmää kyseisen opintojakson toteutuksessa?
Jos kyllä, miten?
12. Käytittekö muita kuin edellä mainittuja opetusteknologioita kyseisen opintojakson toteutuksessa? Jos kyllä, mitä opetusteknologioita ja miten?
Tekniset ongelmat:
13. Minkä verran teknisiä ongelmia opiskelijoilla oli hyödyntämienne opetusteknologioiden
käytössä? Arvioikaa teknisten ongelmien määrää seuraavalla asteikolla:
1 Ei lainkaan 2 Vähän 3 Melko vähän 4 Melko paljon 5 Paljon
14. Mikäli teknisiä ongelmia ilmeni, minkä teknologian tai teknologioiden käytössä ne esiintyivät ja minkälaisia ne olivat?
Opiskelijapalaute:
15. Mitä asioita opiskelijat pitivät hyvänä ja missä asioissa he näkivät kehittämisen tarvetta
kyseisen opintojakson toteutuksessa?
Kokemukset:
16. Arvioikaa kyseisen opintojakson suunnittelun ja toteutuksen onnistumista. Verratkaa toteutusta vastaavan opintojakson toteutukseen nuorisoasteen koulutuksessa, mikäli toteutukset erosivat toisistaan.
17. Kertokaa positiivista ja negatiivisista kokemuksistanne aikuiskoulutuksesta tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa.
18. Kertokaa näkemyksenne aikuiskoulutuksen kehittämistarpeista tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa. Antakaa myös mahdolliset kehitysehdotuksenne.
19. Miten kokisit verkkopohjaiseen etäopetukseen siirtymisen aikuiskoulutuksessa (tietojenkäsittelyn ko)? Minkälaista koulutusta ja tukea kokisit tarvitsevasi opetuksen suunnittelussa ja opetuksen aikana sekä pedagogisten että teknisten ratkaisujen osalta?
20. Onko jotain muuta, mitä haluaisit sanoa aikuiskoulutuksesta tietojenkäsittelyn koulutusohjelmassa?
Kiitos vastauksistanne!
71
QUESTIONNAIRE IN ENGLISH (TRANSLATION)
APPENDIX 4
Adult education in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems
Questionnaire for the teachers who participated in instructing the adult student group TIK9SA
during the academic year 2009-2010.
Instructions:
-
The questions are course specific and they refer to education of the student group
TIK9SA during the academic year 2009-2010.
-
There is a bordered text field under each question to place the answers in. The amount
of text is not limited.
-
Please, save your answers on the questionnaire form and send the filled form to the
email address [email protected] at the latest xx.xx.2010.
-
Many thanks for participating in the study!
Numbers of students:
1. How many students enrolled in the course (course code and name)?
2. How many of the students completed the course?
Form of education:
3. How many hours of contact teaching did the course include?
4. How many hours of distance teaching did the course include?
Course planning and implementation:
5. What learning theory or which learning theories guided the planning of the course and
how?
6. How did the planned and implemented pedagogical approaches consider the particular
characteristics and needs of adult students?
7. Please, elaborate on the study materials of the course. In which form were they? Where
were they located?
8. Please, elaborate on the learning tasks of the course.
9. What were the course requirements and the grading guidelines?
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Teaching technologies:
10. Did you use Blackboard virtual learning environment for this course? If yes, how?
11. Did you use ACP web conferencing system for this course? If yes, how?
12. Did you use other teaching technologies than the mentioned ones for this course? If
yes, which teaching technologies and how?
Technical problems:
13. What was the amount of technical problems the students faced in the usage of the utilized teaching technologies? Please, estimate the amount of technical problems in the
following scale:
1 None
2 Few
3 Quite few
4 Quite many
5 Many
14. If any technical problems appeared, which technology or technologies were they related
to and what were they like?
Student feedback:
15. Please, elaborate on the positive and negative feedback given by the students on the
course in question?
Experiences:
16. How successful do you feel the plan and the implementation of the course were?
Please, compare to the corresponding course in the youth education degree programme in case there were differences in the approaches.
17. Please, elaborate on your personal experiences (both positive and negative) on adult
education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems.
18. What is your opinion on the problem areas and thus, the development needs in adult
education in the Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems?
Please, give your suggestions for improving actions as well.
19. How would you feel about a transition to online-based education in adult education
(Bachelor‟s DP in Business Information Systems)? What kinds of education/training and
support services do you feel you would need in planning and implementation of the
pedagogical and technological aspects of courses?
20. Is there anything else you would like to address with regard to adult education in the
Bachelor‟s Degree Programme in Business Information Systems?
Thank you for your answers!
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