Research results on distance learning in Finland
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
The University of Turku published their first results of research on the status of distance learning in Finnish basic education. Distance learning is organised in very different ways in Finland and using a variety of different tools and mechanisms. Very traditional ICT tools (email, eLearning platforms and video conferences) and traditional learning materials (books, internet) are being used within distance learning courses.
The most common activities are distributing information, interaction between teachers and students, and distributing learning materials via different eLearning tools.
The research also studied possible problems that teachers were facing in their work. Technical issues are surprisingly common, due to poor wireless connections, old hardware, inadequate equipments, and so on. One key issue is also that pedagogical skills to use ICT in education are lower than technical skills. Good points of distance learning are for example more versatile supply of courses, personal development, more flexibility, collaboration and networking, cost savings and variation and creativeness of classes. The results will be used as a base for further research and distributing of good practices.
More information (in Finnish) from http://etaopetus.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/eko-tutkimustuloksia-raportti.pdf and http://www.etaopetus.fi.