Cooking with TikTok

This blog entry is about a teaching experiment conducted as part of a university course for home economics teachers in the University of Helsinki in collaboration with a local elementary school. The central theme of the course was to plan an interactional home economics lesson for elementary school students, and to execute it remotely, with teacher trainees operating from outside of the classroom. Our group of three teacher trainees ended up teaching students how to cook with the help of cooking videos found on social media, while their own teachers supervised. 

The starting point of our experiment was the notion outlined in the Finnish National Core Curriculum for Basic Education that students are active agents, who set goals and solve problems independently and together with other students (POPS, 2014, s. 17). Initially, when we found out we were supposed to teach ninth-graders how to make fresh homemade pasta — and to teach it remotely — we weren’t sure how we would do it. Luckily one member in our group had prior experience of watching and utilizing cooking videos found on social media, and that became the central idea of our remote teaching experiment. 

According to the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (2014, s. 39), methods of teaching should not only be influenced by the objectives of teaching but also by the needs and interests of the students themselves. Therefore, social media was an obvious resource to be utilized in an experiment based on remote learning, information management, and communication, since ninth-graders are most likely active on social media. We wanted to show students how easy it is to cook using instructional cooking videos in order to encourage them to try cooking the dishes they will inevitably see in their own social media feeds. Eventually we chose to make such instructional cooking videos ourselves, using a popular social media platform we weren’t familiar with at all — TikTok.

Making the videos 

In many home kitchens smart phones, tablets, and social media platforms are already challenging traditional cookbooks. Most of the instructional cooking videos are, however, directed at an audience who already have the resources, experience, and confidence to try them. Not only was the experience of cooking with such videos new to most of the students, making such videos was also new to us. So, we wanted to make them very simple and easy to follow. The videos were shot in a training kitchen provided by the University of Helsinki, using a regular smart phone and user interface of TikTok. The videos were also edited and published on TikTok, and after that transferred to YouTube and Google Classroom in case of any technical difficulties that might arise later. We wanted to be sure the videos would be accessible on multiple platforms at all times. 

Because the videos were very simple and straightforward, we did not write a script for them. Before shooting each “scene”, we quickly negotiated who would do what during the scene. The user interface of TikTok made it very easy to cut from one scene to another, which is in fact the main attribute of the platform in question. This made shooting very easy, because we had time to think about the next scene between every shot. 

Liitetiedosto Kuva1.jpg

Mixing the pesto with the pasta. Photograph by: Tiina Munck

While shooting the footage was not that challenging, it was time consuming. Originally we reserved three hours for the production, but ended up using almost six. This was mostly because we did not have much prior experience of using TikTok, aside from shooting a few practice videos at home. Having little knowledge of the editing features and limitations of the user interface ended up costing us time. We were not entirely sure how much we would be able to edit the videos afterwards, so we decided to finish the editing of all videos individually before saving them. This turned out to be a good decision, since TikTok does indeed limit how much you can edit already saved videos. 

We ended up with six videos, all about one minute long. They were mostly filmed over a wooden countertop, with only the hands of the cook and food itself visible on screen. All stages of the cooking were subtitled with the quantities and the names of the ingredients. 

Screenshot from a video. From: opetatoisin — TikTok

Planning and executing the experiment 

The whole teaching experiment took about four weeks to complete, with two different teachers and their three classes of ninth-graders. All the meetings with the teachers and their students before, during, and after the experiment were conducted remotely. In the first week we focused on researching and learning the production of cooking videos and then introduced our ideas to the teachers, while discussing the practical arrangements of the experiment. In the second week we introduced ourselves to the students and let them know about what we were going to do with them in the following week. We asked them what kind of sauce they wanted to eat with their pasta. Including students in the planning is pedagogically motivating, and also committing (Jyrhämä et al., 2016, s. 111). The videos were shot during this week and we also wrote some written instructions for the students on where to find the cooking videos and what ingredients to buy for the lesson. In this school students did the grocery shopping for home economics classes. 

During the third week we conducted the first two lessons with two different student groups. The students’ own teachers had initially estimated that making fresh homemade pasta would be very challenging timewise, so we crafted a very detailed lesson plan for the first attempt. The teacher in the classroom was instructed to help students find different utensils and tools for practical purposes and to supervise the students for obvious safety reasons. All questions regarding the actual contents of the lesson were to be directed at us, the teacher trainees, who were monitoring the class through a webcam connection on a laptop located in the classroom. During the first two lessons we did not encounter any problems regarding time and scheduling. Based on our own observations and the feedback we got from the students and their teacher, some small changes were made before the second and the third lesson. 

Liitetiedosto kuva2.png

Illustration of remote teaching environment

In the fourth and final week, we worked with a new teacher and a new student group. In this third and last lesson, we had updated our lesson with regards to gathering feedback. This time we instructed the teacher to carry the laptop around the classroom while the students were eating their food, so we could ask them directly what they thought about the lesson. We also encouraged the students to comment on the TikTok videos using the comment section of TikTok. Both the teacher and the students gave us positive feedback about the experiment. They thought cooking with our videos was practical and that rewinding the videos was an easy way to go back to the critical parts of preparing the meal without having to ask for help. 

Jalkanen, Iiro 

Munck, Tiina 

Pihkala, Ulla 


Jyrhämä, R., Hellström, M., Uusikylä, K. & Kansanen, P. (2016) Opettajan didaktiikka. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus 

POPS (2014). Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet 2014. Helsinki: Opetushallitus. 

Choosing laundry detergent – a teaching experiment on using video in home economics teaching and learning

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed forward not only distance learning but also e-learning, where teaching happens on digital platforms. Nevertheless, building learning environments online is still somewhat new and unfamiliar ground, especially in home economics. This was the starting point on the course teacher as a researcher. In the course we worked on a development project that we will summarize here. The theme of the development project was “teach differently” and the goal was to bring alternative teaching methods to home economics classrooms in the form of active and interactive distance education.

We designed a lesson around the subject of choosing the right laundry detergent. The lesson was designed and taught for seventh graders in a school in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The pedagogical objective was for students to learn how to choose the right laundry detergent based on the qualities of the textiles and detergents. According to the “teach differently” theme, our goals were to try something creative and new to us that would take us out of our comfort zones. Our idea was to implement videos into home economics teaching and learning.

Our development project was based on social constructivism according to which learning is based on collaboration between the learners, the teacher, the tools, and the environment (Malin & Palojoki, 2015, p. 61). Building on social constructivism we took an approach close to exploratory learning, where learners take part in a collaborative knowledge creation process that starts from learners’ questions based on their own preconceptions and prior knowledge related to the subject. In this approach the students work together, share ideas, and learn to build on the shared knowledge and support each other’s thinking. (Lakkala, 2012, pp. 93–94.)

When we were designing the lesson, we explored the pedagogy of camera pen that was created by Ismo Kiesiläinen. The name refers to the potential to use a camera and video as means of expression in the same way as one would use a pen and text. In the process students are guided to think, act, and work together in photography assignments. It emphasizes students’ activity, creativity, curiosity, and collaborative learning. The teacher’s role is to guide and encourage learners and focus on positive interaction. In this method video is a tool for learning and we as well used it as such. (Kiesiläinen, 2017, pp. 7–8, 19, 28.)

The teaching project in practice

In our project we taught the same lesson three times. Each time we taught two classes simultaneously. The classes were on their separate classrooms, and each had one teacher present in person. We were physically in the facilities of the university and taught the lessons on Zoom-videocall. The videocall allowed the students and teachers in the classrooms to see and hear us in real time, but we were only connected to the teachers’ computers. In this remote setting the students were hesitant to approach us. Because of these aspects the communication relied heavily on the teachers that were present in the classroom.

Picture 1. The physical-virtual learning environment of the lessons

During the lessons we presented our materials in the form of a PowerPoint-presentation including text, pictures, and videos. Other tools and platforms we used were Google forms and Padlet. In our approach students had very active roles and we the “teacher-researchers” and the present teachers acted as facilitators. On the lesson the students worked on an assignment that was to plan and shoot a video about choosing the right laundry detergent. The students formed groups of 2-4 people and each group was given instructions, short story-like description that presented a problem, and a piece of clothing related to the problem. To solve the problem the students used their previous knowledge and searched for information in the home economics textbooks. Each group wrote a script based on their idea and presented it to us. After the scripts were ready and accepted, the student groups shot their videos on their mobile phones. The videos were then sent to Padlet and watched together. At the end of the lesson the students gave us feedback and evaluated their own learning on Google forms.

Picture 2. The students’ videos on Padlet

Part of the experiment was to develop and improve the teaching. Originally, we had planned to use document cameras for watching the students’ videos, but the document cameras in the classrooms didn’t work. That is why we choose to use Padlet in the next lessons. After the first lesson, we also made the feedback questionnaire clearer and emphasized the intended content of the videos. We also made it clear that the students could and should ask us for help if needed. These changes were done based on our observations and the feedback we were given.

Reflection and conclusions

This project gave us a chance to reflect and analyze teaching and learning in a way that was new to us. We have developed our skills, acquired knowledge, and above all gained courage to try new and different things in the classroom. The goals we set for our project and lessons were mainly met. Video making in the classroom was something creative and different we had not tried before, and it was new for the students too. Teaching two classes simultaneously and remotely was also new to us and took us out of our comfort zones in a good way. The lesson activities were in accordance with social constructivism as the students were active learners and worked together creatively. Based on our observations video works well as a tool for teaching and learning because it presents information in a diverse way and making videos activates the students to search, process, and present information collaboratively. The weaker area of our lessons was the interaction between us and the students.  In the remote setting we could not observe and control what was happening in the classroom in the regular way. Another challenge we faced was the individuality of the students and the groups. We think that these problems could have been fixed with better communication between us and the students.

Sonja Haapala, Mari Kolmonen & Lotta Tapanainen


Malin, A. & Palojoki, P. (2015). Flexible learning environments in home economics education. Teoksessa H. Janhonen-Abruquah & P. Palojoki (toim.), Luova ja vastuullinen kotitalousopetus – Creative and responsible home economics education (pp. 61–72). Kotitalous- ja käsityötieteiden julkaisuja, nr. 38. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press.

Lakkala, M. (2012). Tutkiva oppiminen. Teoksessa L. Ilomäki (toim.), Laatua E-Oppimateriaaleihin. E-oppimateriaalit opetuksessa ja oppimisessa, pp. 93–99. Opetushallitus.

Kiesiläinen, I. (2017). Kamerakynän pedagogiikka.

Functional & interactive distance teaching on responsible consumption of clothing

Elli Pölhö, Katja Sula, Ida Volotin  ja Anne Yli-Karhu

Our teaching experiment is part of the course Opettaja työnsä tutkijana (teacher as a Researcher) which is one of the master’s degree studies. The starting point of the course was to develop and thereby develop our own research approach and increase our digital pedagogical competence (OTT, 2022). In this course, we had to plan, implement and further develop a lesson which was implemented for three different home economics study groups. The second and third teaching groups received a more developed version of the lesson. 

Starting points and backgrounds of the teaching experiment

The main theme in our teaching experiment was to teach in another way – we also had to consider hands-on approach and interactivity home economics distance teaching. As we were focusing on hands-on approach, we wanted to look for variation and diversity in work methods and to bring out different ways of learning. Through hands-on approach, we also wanted to increase the interaction between students, because in distance education the interaction between teacher and student is often incomplete (Rantanen & Palojoki, 2015, p. 85.) As distance teachers we strive to be encouraging and activate students despite the distance. In addition to our own goals, the goal of the teaching experiment was to guide pupils to evaluate their own consumption behavior and the development of responsibility for clothing-related choices. Responsibility, both as a value and a goal, is considered important in home economics and is also considered a basic goal of education (POPS, 2014; Wennonen & Palojoki, 2015, p. 18).

Description of the teaching experiment

Our pupils were on the 7th grade. The teaching experiment consisted of three lessons which were each 1 x 60 minutes long. The actual distance learning took place as follows: We teachers taught everyone from home and the students were at school with their own teacher. The learning environments consisted of the classroom and e-learning environments. We held the same lesson for three different classes and developed our teaching even better after each lesson. 

Picture 1. Awesome distance teachers at work. Picture by: Fiia Lujasmaa

Our teaching experiment was built on learning approaches such as behaviorism and constructivism. In the lessons, we aimed for an interactive and hands-on distance learning environment through a variety of tasks. In our teaching, we utilized the technological applications Mentimeter and Flinga

Picture 2. View of Mentimeter. Picture is a screenshot.
Picture 3. View of Flinga. Picture is a screenshot.

The purpose was to awaken pupils to our actual subject. In the mentimeter, pupils had to think about what they think of the word “responsible clothing”. They were allowed to share their thoughts on responsible clothing anonymously. Flinga was utilized as a stimulus for discussion about the clothing industry. In this way, we were able to get information about the pupils’ current information as well as look at the countries where their own clothes were made. Both tasks sparked a lot of discussion in the groups, and we got some great insights.

Picture 4. Awesome pupils on a hunting trip in functional task.

In the pair task, pupils memorized sentences they dictated to each other. The sentences dealt with responsible clothing and were in the kitchens. Students searched the sentences in pairs from the kitchens. The purpose of this section was to add interactivity among the students and functionality in the lesson. As students try to memorize relatively challenging and new topics, they must focus on the movement to tune the brain in a different way than when it done statically. This also increases focus, as the thing to remember is the whole sentence. In addition, this section supports the objectives recorded in the curriculum (POPS, 2014).

The other hands-on task was interactive group task. In the task, pupils consider together the final disposal of different textiles (torn and dirty). Before that we showed video made by us which dealt with extending the life cycle of clothing. Overall, the lessons were a great success, except for a few remarks we made during the reflection. We believe lessons were succeeded since we had prepared for the lessons by carefully planning and practicing. The lessons were very interesting to implement, and they concretized the whole development tasks well. 


OTT. (2022). Opettaja työnsä tutkijana. Helsingin yliopisto.

POPS. (2014). Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet 2014. Opetushallituksen verkkosivut. Saatavilla:,0,0

Rantanen, M. & Palojoki, P. (2015). Kotitalous verkko-opetuksena. Teoksessa H, Janhonen-Abruquah & P, Palojoki (toim.), Luova ja vastuullinen kotitalousopetus. Creative and responsible home economics education (s. 73–94). Kotitalous- ja käsityötieteiden julkaisuja 38. Helsingin yliopisto. Helsinki: Unigrafia.

Wennonen, S. & Palojoki, P. (2015).  Vastuullisuus ja vastuullisuuskasvatus kotitalousopetuksessa.  Teoksessa H, Janhonen-Abruquah & P, Palojoki (toim.), Luova ja vastuullinen kotitalousopetus. Creative and responsible home economics education (s. 6–28). Kotitalous- ja käsityötieteiden julkaisuja 38. Helsingin yliopisto. Helsinki: Unigrafia.

On the verge of something new: consumer’s skills through a virtual game 

Sini Jylhälehto, Jan-Kristian Kurkola & Mikaela Uuksulainen 

Planning and tackling new challenges 

We participated to the course “Opettaja työnsä tutkijana” (Teacher as a researcher), where we, as home economics teacher students started experimenting with new ways of teaching. In addition to teaching new skills to students, we were able to develop our own teacher identity. Leaving our comfort zone paid off: we learned a tremendous amount of new things of ourselves. Remote teaching brought new perspectives, challenges and experiences of success to the planning, implementation and evaluation. We had a chance to apply hybrid teaching in our experiment: one member of our group was present in the classroom with a group of pupils and the other two were involved remotely via Zoom and Microsoft Teams applications (picture below).  

   Positioning in class. (Photo: A. Väliahde) 

The topic of our teaching experiment was budgeting and practice of grocery shopping. As the importance of consumerism skills is on the grow, wise and responsible use of money is now being considered as an essential part of life management. These themes are also reflected in the curricula of basic education (POPS, 2014). The importance of financial management increases considerably when a young person moves away from home on the threshold of adulthood. Last years of basic education is an important phase between childhood and adulthood because in that period of time, pupils start to take more responsibility gradually about their lives, including financial responsibility.  In order to ensure the success of the teaching of consumer education and financial literacy in schools, it is worthwhile to develop teaching methods that are linked to the lives of young people. Examples and stories that reflect real life, make young people identify and think about decisions and their consequences. (Lonka, 2020, s. 24; Oph, n.d.; Peura-Kapanen, 2012, s. 2-3, 6, 9.) 

We conducted our teaching experiments for seventh-grade students. We set our own objectives for the smooth implementation of the whole experimentation, in which all three of us would play a concrete role. The teaching experiment put us all in front of something new. From the point of view of teaching and learning, our goal was that through concrete experimenting, students would understand and perceive the value of money and how to spend it wisely. This was the idea we cherished, as creating a platform that would enable students to learn and experiment themselves. The aim was to work together building a learning space that encourages experimentation and to provide a safe environment for “money fails” as well.  

We designed our teaching experiments on the basis of a socioconstructive concept of learning. The socioconstructivist concept of learning is based on involving learners in the learning process as active agents in the task at hand and as knowledge editors (POPS, 2014). 

The Game 

We created a virtual budgeting game on platform. The main character of the game was a fictional young student, Nuppu-Petteri, who had just moved into their own apartment.  We wanted to bring the game closer to the students’ own lives and potential future perspectives, which is why we chose a young student as the character. 

          Game world in gaming platform (Photo: M. Uuksulainen) 

In the actual game, Nuppu-Petteri needed help from students to do their monthly budgeting and grocery shopping. The purpose of the budgeting tasks was to guide students to understand where the costs of everyday life come from and how much it might be smart to budget money for food, hygiene supplies and hobbies, for example, just to mention few. The students were also able to consider, whether it would be possible to save money. Once the groups had drawn up the budget that they thought was appropriate, the budget was reflectively discussed, the successful choices made were justified and, if necessary, corrections were made together. 

In one of the tasks, the groups were able to distribute the sums of money from their food budget over four weeks of the month and also form a daily food budget. The task allowed us to wonder together, whether the amount felt large, appropriate or small. 

One of the tasks combined themes of spending money and grocery shopping. Nuppu-Petteri asked for the students’ help in purchasing the ingredients for their favorite food, chicken soup. The food in question, had been selected for the game based on what the students would prepare later in the lesson. In the assignment, the students had to search the home economics textbook for an instruction on chicken soup and based on it, shop for groceries in the online food store ( The purchases were made fictitiously by taking the products to the shopping cart of the online store. Different student groups made their grocery shopping based on different instructions that we as teachers gave them. Their shopping was supposed to be based either on price (choose the most expensive or the cheapest), favoring domestic products or favoring organic products. This exercise brought more insight to the students about what the price of groceries consist of and what are some of the reasons and behind one’s choices when choosing groceries.  

At the end of the game students were asked to respond to self-evaluation questions and give us some feedback on the game. After the game we held a joint discussion of the topics and tasks of the game. 

A Pedagogical perspective: a high-quality digital learning platform 

Pedagogically high-quality digital learning platform and environment supports community and personalized learning. Learning should enable the experiences of creativity and success. Problem-solving skills can be developed with a functional and exploratory approach that guarantees the role of an active agent for students. (Opetushallitus, 2021.) These were the principles we strived to uphold when we created a learning platform and entity. We wanted to give students space to explore, apply, experiment, misstep and succeed. 


Lonka, K. 2020. Oivaltava oppiminen. 1. verkkoaineisto.  

Helsinki: Otava.  

Opetushallitus. N.d. S3: Kuluttaja- ja talousosaaminen kodissa.  


Opetushallitus. 2014. Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet. Helsinki: Opetushallitus 


Opetushallitus. 2021. Pedagogisesti laadukas digitaalinen ympäristö – Laatumäärittely 2021.  


Peura-Kapanen, L. 2012. Nuorten talousosaamisen edistäminen – Opas toimijoille. Kuluttajatutkimuskeskus: Helsinki.  


Sanitation and hygiene – Seppo as a tool of distant teaching

Hoffren Noora, Huhtala Sinna, Laukkanen Silja & Myyryläinen Roope


This blogpost is part of our home economics master’s degree course “Teacher as a researcher of one’s job” in which we did a small teaching experiment by using modern digital tools. Our groups teaching experiment took part in Finnish junior high school on total of three classes of which two where 8th grades and one of 9th grade. Our experiments topic was sanitation and hygiene which is part of home economics Finnish national core curriculum (S2) (POPS, 2014). Teaching experiment was put into practice by using distance learning methods in a way where the classes were in their own classroom with their own teacher but we as teachers of this experiment communicated with them from a distance by using Google Meets. The main aspect of our teaching experiment was to teach by using digitality and gamification. We made our own game about sanitation and hygiene by using game designing platform called Seppo. Sadly we made our game with 30 days try out license, so we are not able to share a link to the actual game. Besides Seppo we also used two different digital tools, Classroomscreen and Google Forms, as part of our experiment. Classroomscreen worked out as an app which we used to show the students different QR-codes to the game, the source of information about hygiene and the Google Forms which we used for getting feedback from the students. Through Classroomscreen we also showed our faces to the students to improve interaction. 

General view of our sanitation and hygiene game inside Seppo platform
By Laukkanen Silja


Background for our teaching experiment and planning of it based on conception of learning called sociocultural constructivism which is considered to be developed by Lev Vygotski. In sociocultural constructivism learning is seen as social and cultural as well as communal processes and phenomena. Which means that knowledge can’t just be given to students, they must understand and build it themselves and it is their responsibility to learn. Sociocultural constructivism also emphasizes on students deeper understanding of things and phenomena rather than just memorizing facts. As the base of our ideas about sociocultural constructivism we used Siljanders (2014) book “Systematic leading to education theory”When teaching in sociocultural constructive way teachers’ responsibility is to provide learning environment, help with the right information acquisition and to assist with independent studying. In this teaching experiment we used method called flipped learning. In this case it was done by giving the students homework in advance to study our experiments topic. Studying topic in advance makes it possible for our experiment to rehearse already learned knowledge and build new on it. This way responsibility of learning is given to students themselves and studying is focusing on students to become more independent of their learning. 

In addition to sociocultural constructivism and flipped learning our teaching experiment also based strongly on digitality and gamification.  Teaching and learning took part mostly on digital learning environment. Which was combination of four different digital applications, Seppo, Classroomscreen, Google Forms and Google Meets. Besides digital learning environment students also took part in physical learning environment in their own classroom with their own home economics teacher who helped them from closer contact. Combination of physical and digital learning environments made it possible for the students to have better interaction with the teachers and between themselves. When teaching in digital environment from a distance it is important to make interaction possible, separate learning from totally independent learning and have different kinds of assignments that consist written data, pictures, and voice to allow different kind of learners to understand and create learning experiences. (Rantanen & Palojoki, 2015.)  Main reason for our teaching with gamification was to see how it motivates and inspires students to learn new things. Through gamification it is possible to provide learning in interesting and fun form and it works as good motivational base for learning. One motivational element of games is getting points and instant positive feedback which keeps students’ motivation high while playing. When using gamification in teaching it is important to pay attention to difficulty of the game. If the game is too easy or too hard it may extinguish students’ motivation towards the game on learning. 

Teaching experiment

Our goals in our teaching experiment were aimed towards both the students and for ourselves. During this course we wanted to improve our skills working and teaching in group. We also wanted to learn about new ways and platforms of distance teaching and try some of them in practice because this was first time of distance teaching for most of us. Our goal for our teaching experiment was to create motivational and inspirational learning task and lesson for highly theoretical topic. We also wanted to focus on achieving good interaction with the students’ even though we were not physically in the same place with them. What we wanted the students’ get from this experience were to improve their interaction skills, learn how to find and build new knowledge and to learn about the sanitation and hygiene which was the main topic of the lesson. (POPS, 2014.)

Teaching experiment started with 8th graders on Monday morning. First, we introduced ourselves to the students and then gave them instructions about the lesson. After instructions we gave students permission to start playing Seppo game. Our Seppo game consisted of eight different little tasks and missions about sanitation and hygiene. For example, we had tasks about dishwashing, cleaning tools and identifying pests. During gaming students got instant feedback and points from the games alongside feedback from us through chat and some of the tasks. After first lesson we were pretty happy about how it went although we noticed some little things that we should improve for our next lesson. For next lesson modified our Classroomscreen to be easier to understand and we decided to emphasize chat more for the next group so we can interact better with the students. We also decided to make ninth task to the game because their teacher told us that they are really capable group. We also changed the size of groups, where students play the game, to pairs from previous groups of four. This way we managed to get students to take part in the game better. During the second lesson we had better interaction with the students through chat and we also noticed that the pairs work better than little groups. After second lesson we took the extra task away from the game because last lesson was going to be on Friday evening and the students would be little bit tired already. We also added picture of Seppo Taalasmaa from Salatut Elämät television series to Classroomscreen as we thought we would motivate the students to study with little bit humour. 

Task about dishwashing
By Laukkanen Silja

After getting feedback about the experiment from students and their teacher together with our own feelings we felt that our experiment was success. Based on feedback from the students’ 83 percent of them thought that the lesson was either interesting, okay or they learned something new. Only 17% percent of the students’ thoughts that the experiment was boring. We also thought that our teaching with gamification and flipped learning really worked because most of the students did very well in different tasks and were really self-oriented towards looking for knowledge. In our opinion important factor for our experiment to be successful was that the students were in their classroom together with their teacher and that made learning and interaction work a lot better. If the experiment would have been done totally distantly we think that it would not have worked so well because it would have lacked great amount of students interaction among each other. 

Classroomscreen view.
By Laukkanen Silja


Peruskoulun opetussuunnitelman perusteet [POPS] (2014). Helsinki: Opetushallitus. 

Rantanen, M. & Palojoki, P. (2015). Kotitalous verkko-opetuksena. Teoksessa H. Janhonen-Abruquah & P. Palojoki (toim.), Luova ja vastuullinen kotitalousopetus. Creative and responsible home economics education (s. 73–94). Helsinki: Unigrafia. 

Siljander, P. (2014). Systemaattinen johdatus kasvatustieteeseen. Peruskäsitteet ja pääsuuntaukset. Tampere: Vastapaino. 

Shoemaker´s helpline

Theory behind our teaching experiment

The Finnish national core curriculum (FNCC, 2014, p. 17) is based on a concept of learning in which the student is an active operator who learns to solve problems and sets goals both individually and in collaboration with others. Like the FNCC, our learning experiment was built on a constructive concept of learning, where students operate as active members of the group and interact with each other to solve the questions presented during the classes. As Siljander says (2015, p. 216), the constructive concept of learning can be divided into either individual or social approaches. According to Kauppila (2007, p. 48) the social approach enhances the construction of learning in collaboration with others and (2007, p. 76) gives the teacher a possibility to improve students´ meaningful learning and helps developing their inner motivation.

In our teaching experiment we utilized problem-based learning which, according to Ilomäki (2012, p. 106), is a pedagogical model where students develop their learning by discussing among themselves pre-arranged problems. Before the lessons we compiled the problems into video format, and during the lessons the students searched for the solutions in small groups. Ilomäki (2012, p. 109) says that the teacher´s role in problem-based teaching is to plan the content of the problematic situation and be the expert from whom students can seek advice. Another expert in our teaching was the shoemaker, who specializes in shoe care. We also used reverse teaching, which means that students get acquainted with the theory at home and do assignments at school (Toivola, Peura & Humaloja, 2017, p. 20).

Development of the teaching experiment

Traditionally, shoe care teaches that students should take care of either their own shoes as well as school shoes and, at the same time, learn to use various materials and tools for shoe care. We decided to come up with something new and different for our shoe care teaching. Since we wanted to use problem-based learning as the background theory for our lessons, we started to develop shoe care problems. We created problem situations that the students might face in their daily lives because, according to Perry (2020, p. 139), in home economics lessons it is good to focus on the care of the kind of shoes that the students themselves wear.

We ended up filming video material for the lessons. The videos acted as “sensitive material” of people who have different kinds of problems with shoe care. The topics of the videos were: dirty sneakers, broken heel, protection of new shoes and leather shoe care. We also wanted to bring a bit of humour to the problems; this was achieved by dramatizing the problems and editing the videos so that the voices and pictures of the people were blurred and names changed. In addition, the actual shoes seen in the videos were available in the classroom so that the students could examine them while solving the problems presented in the videos. The shoes had been treated in such a way that they corresponded to the stories and the emerged problems seen in the videos.

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Picture 1. Shoemaker introducing sneaker care

For our learning experiment, we created a shoemaker´s helpline where an actual shoemaker gave answers to the people with shoe problems. The aim of our lesson was that the students would learn how to properly take care of different kinds of shoes. The shoemaker acted as an expert of shoe care, who gave his solutions to the problems seen in the videos. Bringing the shoemaker to the teaching experiment created credibility to the stories and opened the profession of shoemaker to the students.

Carrying out the teaching experiment

We carried out our teaching experiment in an Uusimaa school of over 400 students. We taught four classes of seventh graders during a week. We decided to use Google Meet as the platform for our teaching because it was known to the students. The duration of each lesson was 45 minutes.

All the lessons had a similar, clear structure. Before the lessons we had sent to the students a video greeting of ourselves including the pre-assignment to read from their own book the chapter about shoe care and find out what the shoemaker´s job is like. In the beginning of each lesson, we explained the topic, goals and structure of the lesson and we got acquainted with the shoemaker by showing a video greeting from him. After this, we went through the shoe problems one by one: first we watched a video, then we gave the students time to answer the problem in Google Meet chat and, at the end, we watched a pre-recorded answer from the shoemaker and discussed it a little bit together with the students. After having watched, answered and discussed all the problems, the students gave us feedback by filling a Google Forms –questionnaire that we had designed for them beforehand. In the feedback questionnaire we asked “what did you learn about shoe care” and “did you like the lesson”; in addition, it was possible to write an open feedback. At the end of each lesson we gave the students a homework in which they had to ponder why shoe care is important and examine their own favorite shoes and think about how they could be treated.

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Figure 1. Virtual learning environment

Realization of the objectives of the teaching sessions

In our teaching experiment we wanted to create as motivating and developing a way as possible for students to learn how to take care of shoes. Our goal was also to get out of our own comfort zone and try a new way for all of us to implement online co-education with the students in their classroom and us teachers at our homes.

We managed to reach all the goals we had set for our teaching experiment. We were able to plan and implement a brave teaching experiment where we utilized our self-made teaching videos as the heart of the lessons. We are satisfied with the fact that we dared to enact our own vision of shoe care in practice. We feel that the teaching experiment developed us as teachers and co-teachers. Based on the feedback, we believe that the purpose of our teaching experiment (learning the correct way of shoe care, developing teamwork skills and improving problem solving skills) were all realized by the students.

We are especially happy about the way we made progress throughout the four teaching sessions. The first session went all wrong because of technical difficulties but we were able to fix the issues before the second one. The teaching that went wrong was very instructive and we understood how important it is in distant teaching to make alternative plans in case of technical problems. The second lesson went already better than the first one but we were perhaps rushing it a bit too much because we weren’t sure about how much time each group discussion would take. Our third and fourth lessons went significantly better and we didn’t really have any technical issues. Throughout the teaching sessions we as teachers became more natural and improved our interaction with the students. We all agree that four teaching sessions were just the right amount for this experiment because we developed after every single lesson and after the fourth one everything went wonderfully and we were very pleased with our teaching.

Kaisa Häyrinen

Minna Lempinen

Saara Miikkulainen


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Toivola, M., Peura, P. & Humaloja, M. (2017). Flipped Learning – Käänteinen oppiminen. (1. edition). Helsinki: Edita.

Reviewing nutrition by using a “What I eat in a day?” YouTube video

Iida Harvala, Pihla Pohjankyrö, Emmi Rajala & Tea Tarvainen


The teaching experiment was done for the course “Teacher as a researcher of one’s job”. The goal of the course was to design, implement and develop a virtual teaching session. We wanted to try and develop a new kind of virtual and applied teaching method as well as strengthen our pedagogical skills. In addition, we were able to familiarize ourself with various opportunities that distance learning has to offer, and at the same time we were able to develop ourselves while operating outside our comfort zones.

The teaching experiment was carried out in a middle school in Helsinki for three different groups of 8th graders in March 2022. The duration of a teaching session was 60 minutes and the lessons were held during one week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The lessons were held remotely: students were at their own classroom with their own teacher. We, the teachers, were projected on the screen in the classroom. Students and the classroom were projected to us through the teachers’ computer. Communication happened over Teams. The students were encouraged to come and ask us for help over the computer if they needed it.

Our distance teaching point. Picture by Tea Tarvainen.

Our topic was nutrition. The lesson was built on the basis that the students had already worked with the topic earlier; the aim of our lesson was to repeat and deepen the topic. Additional goals for the teaching experiment were to develop listening and conversational skills, to consider time usage, and to utilize information and communication technology in learning. We built the lesson around a YouTube video we had filmed. Our “What I eat in a day” YouTube video featured YouTubers Mirkku and Pirkku. The video consisted of clips of the youtuber’s meals throughout the day. After each clip, students carried out tasks related to the clip in groups. They answered questions using Google Forms. Links to these forms were placed on the Flinga platform, where students were instructed to go in the beginning of the lesson.

View of Flinga. Picture by Tea Tarvainen.

Concepts of learning behind our teaching experiment

Constructivist and socioconstructivist concepts of learning formed the basis of our teaching. In constructivism, learning is considered as an active processing of knowledge, where learning is related to action. The learner interprets new information through their previous knowledge and expectations. Learning is always situation-dependent and a result of interaction. (Tynjälä, 1999, p. 37–38.) In socioconstructivism, important things, such as asking for and receiving help, are learned together. Information is not born out of nowhere and it’s not created alone, but shaped together with others, based on existing information. (Jyrhämä, Hellström, Uusikylä & Kansanen, 2016.)           

The Finnish national core curriculum (POPS, 2014, p. 17) is also based on the concept of learning, where student is an active agent, who learns to set goals and strives for problem solving independently and in interaction with others. Learning is both about doing things together and alone as well as planning, thinking, researching, and evaluating these processes. The students are instructed to integrate what they have learned with what they have learned in the past, allowing them to learn new things and to deepen their understanding of what they have learned. Learning of knowledge and skill requires long-term practice and it is cumulative. (POPS, 2014, p. 17.) We wanted to teach with positive pedagogy by praising and encouraging students. A communal, positive culture and social relationships support the inclusion, learning and well-being of children and young people (Kumpulainen, Mikkola, Rajala, Hilppö & Lipponen, 2014, p. 228).

Development of teaching experiment based on feedback

Teaching was developed based on reflection and feedback from students and teachers. After the first lesson, we changed Flinga’s editing features so that students could not edit the view. The students had added their own comments to the Flinga wall and removed links from it while the editing rights were enabled. We also edited Flinga so that links can be opened only after watching the video, because the teachers had told us that some of the students had already opened the links and started the assignments while watching the video. Before the first lesson, we assumed that the time might run out. To our surprise, we realized that 60 minutes was just enough time to process the subject. We even had time to complete the homework assignment during the lesson. This increased the interaction with the students, as they had to present their answers to us in front of the camera.

One area of development was also to make the Kahoot quiz more difficult and to come up with additional questions. The students had pointed out in the feedback that the quiz was too easy, which we had also thought about earlier. In addition, we received feedback from teachers that it is important for the beginning of the lesson to be clear. This way students will better focus on the teachers and the teaching through Teams.

The changes made after the first teaching clarified and improved the teaching. After the second lesson, we got feedback from the teachers to show the answers related to the YouTube video. Answers were added to every question on the PowerPoint slides. This resulted in students to focus better on reviewing of answers. After the third lesson, we received feedback about stuttering audio in the videos. Some parts were not properly audible. At that moment, we could not impact the audio quality, but that’s something to consider when designing a virtual lesson.

The teachers found our lessons a refreshing variation. We also received positive feedback from students stating that the lesson had been fun and that they learned something new during the lesson. In our opinion, this development of the teaching experiment was successful, and we are satisfied with the implementation of the development work.


Jyrhämä, R., Hellström, M., Uusikylä, K. & Kansanen, P. (2016). Opettajan didaktiikka. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus.

Kumpulainen, K., Mikkola, A., Rajala, A., Hilppö, J. & Lipponen, L. (2014). Positiivisen pedagogiikan jäljillä. Teoksessa L. Uusitalo (toim.) Positiivisen psykologian voima. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus. 224–242.

Opetushallitus. (2014). Perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelman perusteet 2014. Määräykset ja ohjeet: 96. Helsinki: Next Print.

Tynjälä, P. (1999). Oppiminen tiedon rakentamisena – Konstruktivistisen oppimiskäsityksen perusteita. Helsinki: Kirjayhtymä.