Steep learning curve at the AGERE online course – for the teachers

’Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity’

’Videon kuvaaminen oli tosi hieno ja opettavainen kokemus!’

These were typical comments from teachers who had made their first teaching videos as a part of the AGERE-013 Qualitative research methods for agricultural, environmental and resource economics. Most of us did not have earlier experience for making the teaching videos, hence learning how to do them was really inspiring. In addition, planning and implementing the course has been good possibility to develop our pedagogical competences. The videos were made and edited in studio in co-operation with Unigrafia. This was a good solution, as none of us did have technical skills needed and we wanted to have good quality videos.

Course is full online course, so there is no contact teaching or physical meetings with the students. The Moodle area is used as platform for the course.  A many of us did not have experience of online courses, the pedagogical practices required special attention. We agreed about the practical guidelines of writing the manuscripts together. When videos were made, we used teleprompter device in the lectures, which helped a lot. Lecture videos are a little similar to TV news: the main points are told on the short videos (3 – 13 min). In addition other materials such as literature, power point slides, video clips (e.g. roleplay of different semi-structural interview situations), are provided for the students. Löfström et al. (2010) stress that that the chosen teaching methods should support the achievement of the teaching objectives, not vice versa. We have tried to use this principle on implementation of the course.

This course consists weekly tasks. We have tried to create interaction between the participants and the teachers, despite the fact that everything is in online. This has been done via the tasks that activate students to co-operate with each other, for instance some tasks are done as group work. On the other hand, some tasks are made individually, we don’t want to burden our students with too much group work.  Everyone had to introduce themselves, students did that on the discussion forum and the teachers on Moodle page. We found that the latter is good idea also for courses that are not online.

After the course ends in December, we will collect anonymous feedback from students. In addition, we will arrange a couple of group interviews to get feedback especially from the pedagogical practices. These interviews will be recorded and transcribed for the purposes of future development of this course. In the spring we will improve the course based on feedback and make some more videos and make needed changes. For instance, this year students made short expert interviews during the course. The idea was good and works with small group, but in the future with larger group, it will be difficult to carry out. In the new programme period 2020 -2023 the course will be offered each year as online course as a part of our curriculum.


Löfström, E., Kanerva, K., Tuuttila, L., Lehtinen, A.  & Nevgi A. (2010). Laadukkaasti verkossa: Raportit ja selvitykset verkko-opetuksen käsikirja yliopisto-opettajalle. Helsingin yliopiston hallinnon julkaisuja 71, Raportit ja selvitykset. 112 s. Verkossa:




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