University of Oulu

Peltola, M., Suorsa, T. & Silvonen, J. ‘I Try to Remember That This Is Temporary’: Continuous Balancing in Remote Students’ Everyday Life. Hu Arenas (2021).

‘I try to remember that this is temporary’ : continuous balancing in remote students’ everyday life

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Author: Peltola, Maria1; Suorsa, Teemu1; Silvonen, Jussi2
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 2000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-02


This paper focuses on the process of development in remote and hybrid learning contexts in university students’ everyday life. Development is seen as a change in the person-environment relationship and indicates the development of the whole system. To understand development, we need to look at everyday life and participants’ grounds for action in everyday practices. The process of development is explored from the systemic person-environment perspective using cultural-historical concepts. Our understanding of students’ everyday life and empirical research processes has been strongly inspired by the subject-scientific approach. The research material consists of descriptions from 39 university students’ descriptions about their everyday lives while studying at home. The students observed and wrote about the conduct of everyday life as part of their studies. In a student’s everyday life, development occurs in relation to multiple conditions and meaning structures, which—from the standpoint of the subject—are seen as possibilities for action and experience. The results reveal four general ways of relating to the surrounding conditions and possibilities. Further, the results highlight the role of open spaces and structures in development. Remote students’ four ways of relating to possibilities for action are (1) balancing, (2) floating, (3) paralysing and (4) redefining. The study brings critical insights into continuous balancing and regulating of the demands between different life scenes and highlights the crucial elements of technology-mediated remote life in general: participations, transitions and the paradox of flexibility.

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Series: Human arenas
ISSN: 2522-5790
ISSN-E: 2522-5804
ISSN-L: 2522-5790
Issue: Epub ahead of print
DOI: 10.1007/s42087-021-00247-6
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit