University of Oulu

Academic staff’s motivation and knowledge building in online pedagogical studies

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Author: Tingzon, Katherine1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Pages: 61
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : K. Tingzon, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-03-23
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Vuopala, Essi
Lutovac, Sonja
Reviewer: Kaasila, Raimo
Lutovac, Sonja


Pedagogical training has been found to increase the quality of teaching and learning in higher education. Pedagogical training, however, is often not mandatory for academic staff (university teachers, lecturers, and doctoral students), leaving academic staff to start teaching without any pedagogical training and without purposefully developing their teaching skills. Adopting the methods by which they were taught is not always effective for students’ learning. Thus, it is important to identify the reasons why academic staff pursue pedagogical training and continue to be motivated to seek professional development in the domain of teaching. With an increase of online learning possibilities, limited research has been done on online pedagogical training. It can be beneficial, however, to understand academic staff’s motivational experiences and learning quality in these online learning environments.

This study investigated academic staff’s motivation, experience, and quality of learning interactions in an online pedagogical training course. Fifteen academic staff from five different universities in Finland successfully completed an online pedagogical training module called Creating and Utilizing Working Life Contacts. To obtain a holistic view of the participants’ experience, the data was collected from registration forms at the beginning of the course, video data was recorded during the web meetings, and open-ended feedback questionnaires were collected at the end of the online training. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Numerical questionnaire answers were presented to reveal that the participants were overall satisfied with the course and their goals were achieved, contributing to their teaching practices and benefiting their students. The results of qualitative content analysis showed that professional development, building connections, interest in the topic, and learning from others were key factors in initial motivation. Factors in sustaining motivation were also analyzed and external support and learning from others were identified as some of the motivating factors. The analysis of the video data revealed high quality learning wherein the majority of the interactions were associated with knowledge building. Suggestions on how to develop online pedagogical training are discussed.

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