New research assistant

Sara Ahola started as a research assistant in the Prep21 team at the beginning of September 2017.  She will be working in the project together with Sanna Järvelä, Piia Näykki and Jaana Isohätälä. Sara is studying her third year in Education Programme in the University of Oulu. Her major is educational psychology. Sara’s tasks as a research assistant include helping out with data analysis.

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How do teacher education students monitor their collaborative learning?

We’re happy to introduce a new article by the PREP21 team (Piia Näykki, Jaana Isohätälä, Sanna Järvelä, Johanna Pöysä-Tarhonen, and Päivi Häkkinen). The study, titled “Facilitating socio-cognitive and socio-emotional monitoring in collaborative learning with a regulation macro script – an exploratory study”, examines how student teacher activate their strategic learning skills in collaborative learning. Particularly, the study focuses on groups’ socio-cognitive monitoring (e.g. monitoring content understanding) and socio-emotional monitoring (e.g. monitoring socio-emotional challenges) in a setting where the students’ collaborative learning was supported with a macro script.

Read the abstract below and the full paper through this link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11412-017-9259-5

Abstract:

This study examines student teachers’ collaborative learning by focusing on socio-cognitive and socio-emotional monitoring processes during more and less active script discussions as well as the near transfer of monitoring activities in the subsequent task work. The participants of this study were teacher education students whose collaborative learning was supported with a designed regulation macro script during a six weeks environmental science course. The script divided the group work into three phases, namely: the orientation phase, intermediate phase, and reflection phase. The script was put in use by prompting questions that were delivered to the students on tablets. Question prompts instructed groups to plan their collaborative processes, and to stop and reflect on the efficiency of their strategies and outcomes of their learning process. The data were collected by videotaping the groups’ face-to-face work and analysed by focusing on verbalised monitoring interactions. More active and less active script discussions were differentiated in terms of the length and the quality of discussion. The results show that the macro script was used more thoroughly at the beginning of the group activities for orientation than for coordinating the progress or reflecting on the performance. Active script discussions involved more monitoring activities, especially providing socio-emotional support. Once socio-emotional support was stimulated in the more active script discussion, it tended to follow-up during the task work. It can be concluded, that the groups appropriated the script differently in different situations and with varied success. The implications of facilitating socio-cognitive and socio-emotional monitoring in collaborative learning are discussed.

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New publication: TPACK updated to measure pre-service teachers’ twenty-first century skills

A new publication by the PREP21 team in the University of Eastern Finland is available. The article, published in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, discusses an updated instrument to evaluate pre-service teachers’ skills related to technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). The article introduces a new TPACK questionnaire, the TPACK-21 questionnaire which is grounded on twenty-first century skills. The study also reveals that pre-service teachers generally felt a need for some support in all elements of the TPACK, but the technology-related areas were found to be the weakest.

Reference to the article: Valtonen, T., Sointu, W., Kukkonen, J., Kontkanen, S., Lambert, M., & Mäkitalo-Siegl, K. (2017). TPACK updated to measure pre-service teachers’ twenty-first century skills. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 33(3), 15-31.

Read the full paper here: https://ajet.org.au/index.php/AJET/article/view/3518

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A New Postdoc Researcher

Prep21 team got a new researcher when Tuomo Virtanen started working at the beginning of this year. Tuomo is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His main research interests are lower secondary school students’ engagement with school, classroom interactions, and structural equation modeling. Tuomo Virtanen defended his thesis Student Engagement in Finnish Lower Secondary School (https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/bitstream/handle/123456789/51563/978-951-39-6783-3_vaitos_21102016.pdf?sequence=3) in October 2016. Tuomo will carry out statistical analyses in the Prep21 project.

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A New Team member

Kaisa Manninen started as a research assistant at the beginning of year 2017. Kaisa will be working in Sanna Järvelä’s team in the University of Oulu together with Piia Näykki, Jaana Isohätälä and Heidi Filppa. Kaisa is studying her third year in Primary Teacher Education in the University of Oulu. She also has completed a bachelor’s degree from Agriculture and Forestry in the University of Helsinki. In the Prep21 project Kaisa will help with management and analysis of the Prep21 data.

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Open positions: Post-doctoral researcher and research assistant (12 months)

A one-year post-doctoral researcher position is available in the Learning and Educational Technology Research Unit (LET), University of Oulu, Finland. We are looking for a researcher who is qualified and interested in contributing  to the Prep21 project (Preparing Teacher Education Students for 21st Century Learning Practices. Ways of thinking, ways of working and tools for working). We are especially looking for someone who would like to join co-authoring our empirical articles and start working with 2-3 own empirical articles together with the PREP21 team members.

Keywords: Learning sciences, TEL, CSCL, collaborative learning, self-regulated learning, mixed methods, video observation data, self-report data, longitudinal data

The LET team is also looking for a research assistant (50 % of normal weekly hours) to help with management and analysis of the Prep21 data. The research assistant position is also 12 months.

Please contact: Sanna Järvelä (sanna.jarvela (a) oulu.fi)

 

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New article: Insights into Finnish first-year pre-service teachers’ twenty-first century skills

A new article,  “Insights into Finnish first-year pre-service teachers’ twenty-first century skills”, by the Prep21-researchers has been published in the Education and Information Technologies journal. The article presents results from the first round of questionnaires in the longitudinal study of Finnish pre-service teachers’ 21st century skills.

Abstract

This study focuses on Finnish pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their twenty-first century skills, especially their learning strategies, collaboration and teamwork, as well as knowledge and attitudes related to ICT in education. The target group consist of 263 first-year pre-service teachers from three universities. The results outline how pre-service teachers perceive their twenty-first century skills, the relationships between different areas of these skills, and the differences among pre-service teachers in terms of perceived skills. The results indicate that the pre-service teachers perceive themselves as skilled learners in terms of learning strategies used as well as collaboration and teamwork. When it comes to understanding how to use ICT in education, they perceived their level of knowledge lower. The strongest variation between respondents was seen in the areas of knowledge and attitudes related to the use of ICT in education.

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