University of Oulu

Männistö, M., Mikkonen, K., Kuivila, H.-M., Koskinen, C., Koivula, M., Sjögren, T., Salminen, L., Saaranen, T., Kyngäs, H., & Kääriäinen, M. (2020). Health and Social Care Educators’ Competence in Digital Collaborative Learning: A Cross-Sectional Survey. SAGE Open.

Health and social care educators’ competence in digital collaborative learning : a cross-sectional survey

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Author: Männistö, Merja1,2; Mikkonen, Kristina1; Kuivila, Heli-Maria1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
2Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland
3Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
4University of Tampere, Finland
5University of Jyväskylä, Finland
6University of Turku, Finland
7University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
8Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Finland
9The Finnish Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: SAGE Publications, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-02-08


The ongoing change from traditional pedagogy to digital collaborative learning requires a new mode of teaching, learning, and educators’ responsibilities. For competence in digitally mediated teaching, educators need understanding of how to provide appropriate digital environment to learn collectively and individually. The aim of this study was to describe and explore health and social care educators’ perceptions of their current level of competence in digital collaborative learning and identify distinct educators’ profiles. Data were collected via cross-sectional survey from educators in 21 universities of applied science and eight vocational colleges in Finland using an instrument covering two subdimensions: educators’ competence in fostering construction of knowledge in digital collaborative learning, and supporting students in individualized collaborative learning. The data were analyzed by statistical methods. Three significantly differing clusters of educators’ profiles were identified, and a significant association between type of current work organization and their self-reported competence in digital collaborative learning was found. The vocational college educators rated their competence in fostering construction of knowledge in digital collaborative learning as significantly lower than higher education educators. There were also remarkable differences in competence in supporting students’ individual collaborative learning. To provide such support, sufficient competence in teaching in digital learning environment is essential, and our study highlights clear needs to enhance this competence.

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Series: Sage open
ISSN: 2158-2440
ISSN-E: 2158-2440
ISSN-L: 2158-2440
Volume: 10
Issue: 4
Pages: 1 - 11
DOI: 10.1177/2158244020962780
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
516 Educational sciences
Funding: This research was part of the TerOpe project funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2020. Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (