University of Oulu

Cooperative learning through narratives of the LAB studio learning program participants

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Author: Karam, Viera1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Pages: 69
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : V. Karam, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-08-20
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Lehtomäki, Elina
Reviewer: Jokikokko, Katri
Lehtomäki, Elina


In 2012, Oulu University of Applied Sciences established non-degree training programs called ‘Oamk LABs’, which practice a new form of studio-based model of learning, they called the LAB studio model. Such model includes basic elements of traditional studio-based learning model (practice and reflection-in-action, solving real-life problems, active collaboration with peers and experts of the industry, as well as the learning space) and adds two more features of the multidisciplinary and international environment. This is maintained by keeping the application process open for Finnish and international students from various disciplines, as well as professionals for retraining and unemployed specialists.

Since LAB studio learning model is new and evolving phenomena, there is a continuous need to conduct research and contribute to its development. This study has looked at the students’ perspective on the learning process by conducting narrative inquiry research in collaboration with two participants enrolled in one of the Oamk LABs programs. The primary research question for the study is: ‘How do different participants experience the LAB studio learning model?’ The answer to this is presented in the form of two stories placed in the Findings section. The stories were written using narrative analysis of the collected data (narrative interviews, sketched journeys and email conversations) and co-edited together with participants during the research process. The stories reveal two unique journeys reflecting various opinions on the learning model. Those opinions are shaped by the personal and professional background of the participants, as well as the unique circumstances under which each one has studied for the semester. Despite the differences both stories highlight various aspects of cooperative learning during the LAB studies. Thus, the second research question was formed: ‘How do participants experience cooperative learning as a part of the LAB studio learning model?’ The answer to this question is placed in the Discussion part of the research. Narratives revealed three main themes related to the challenges of cooperative learning in the LAB studies: communication issues, expectation gaps, as well as complications caused by the multidisciplinary and international environment.

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