Pedagogical practices of international short-term courses in Helsinki Summer School

Minna Lakkala, Liisa Ilomäki, Pauliina Mikkonen (Hakijapalvelut), Auli Toom (Yliopistopedagogiikan keskus HYPE)
7.3.2017, 13:00 – 14:00 Sali/sal/lecture hall 6

We will present results of research concerning the pedagogical quality of 16 university courses in a three week international short term program in Helsinki Summer School (HSS). International short programs that aim at high-level academic outcomes are a new phenomenon, not investigated widely (Donnelly-Smith, 2008; Chieffo & Griffith, 2014). A general research approach followed mixed method strategy (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003). Lesson observations, teacher interviews and course materials were used as data to investigate the pedagogical approach of the courses. Students answers to an online feedback form were used to evaluate students experiences of the courses. Through combining educational theories (e.g., Biggs, 1996; Paavola & Hakkarainen, 2004; Herrington & Oliver, 2000) with data-driven analysis, the courses were concluded to represent three types of pedagogical approaches: Self-directed academic studying, Student-centered practices, and Authentic expert-like practices. The students appreciated the second and third type of courses more than the first one. Factors that students mentioned as positive related to the learning of interesting content, international social interaction, expert lecturers and practices, and high-quality teaching arrangements. Recommendations for designing international short-term courses as well as university courses in general are discussed based on the results.