University of Oulu

Lakkala, M., Ilomäki, L., Mikkonen, P., Muukkonen, H., Toom, A. (2017) Evaluating the pedagogical quality of international summer courses in a university program. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 7 (2), 89-104. doi:10.5861/ijrse.2017.1781

Evaluating the pedagogical quality of international summer courses in a university program

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Author: Lakkala, Minna1; Ilomäki, Liisa1; Mikkonen, Pauliina1;
Organizations: 1University of Helsinki, Finland
2University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Consortia Academia Publishing, 2018
Publish Date: 2017-05-23


The study evaluated the pedagogical quality of 16 university courses in a three-week international summer program. Short-term study-abroad programs have gained increasing popularity, but their pedagogical approaches have not been investigated widely before. Lesson observations, teacher interviews, and course materials were used to investigate the pedagogical approach of the courses. Answers to an online feedback form were used to examine students’ study experiences. The courses were categorized into the following three pedagogical types: Self-directed academic studying, Practices of active learning, and Practices of shared expertise. Based on the survey data, the students valued the second and third types of courses more than the first type. Factors that students mentioned as positive in their open-ended responses were related to high-quality teaching arrangements, expert knowledge and practices, intercultural social interaction, and interesting and useful course content. Innovative pedagogy in international courses would include taking the multicultural assembly of participants into account to support multifaceted knowledge sharing and the development of cultural expertise in the target domain. The results can be used to create criteria and guidelines for subsequent courses, to develop feedback instruments, and in teacher training.

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Series: International journal of research studies in education
ISSN: 2243-7703
ISSN-E: 2243-7711
ISSN-L: 2243-7703
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Pages: 89 - 104
DOI: 10.5861/ijrse.2017.1781
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
516 Educational sciences
Funding: The study was ordered and funded by the Helsinki Summer School, University of Helsinki. We are especially grateful to the Head of Service Development, Susanna Wolkoff, for her support and keen interest to develop a more systematic approach to summer school teaching. The writing of the article was partially supported by the Argumentative Online Inquiry in Building Students' Knowledge Work Competences (ARONI) research project funded by the Academy of Finland, under Grant 285806.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) / Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA