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Finland Research

Finland Research

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Published by: Centro Studi Villa Montesca on Nov 28, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Bridging Insula EuropaeFinlandNational Research
Bridging Insula Europae134214-LLP-1-2007-1-IT-COMENIUS-CMPThis project has been funded with support from the European Commission.This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible forany use which may be made of the information contained therein
Project Bridging Insula Europae
The task of Euneos was to investigate ODL limitations and barriers. As this was the main stepof the project research phase and for this reason, we formed a focus group of nine teachers tobe held both on-line and in person. Seven teachers were chosen from Vihti upper secondary,and two from other schools. The selection included teachers of different subjects and withdifferent ICT skills levels. Those two teachers who were not from Vihti school representedteachers with more experience of ODL.The main aim of the focus group was to single out barriers, limitations and negative aspects of ODL systems. The Vihti upper secondary school was chosen as the main target school of interviews, because the school represented a mainstream upper secondary school in Finlandwith about 550 students, and because it was possible to contact teachers also face-to-faceover there.
Fastwrite interviews in August 2008
The interviews were carried using fastwrite questionnaires especially designed for this purpose.They were put into practice in late August 2008, after the Finnish teachers came back toschools from their 10 weeks summer holidays to start the new school-year 2008-09. Theonline interviews were complemented with face-to-face and phone contacts.
Various subjects
Eight female teachers and one male teacher were interviewed. The age range of their studentswas from 16 to 19 years in 8 cases, and from 7 to 12 years in one case. The subjects includedEnglish (3), French (1), German (1), Swedish (1), chemistry (1), mathematics (1) and physicaleducation (1). Their experiences with educational ICT were for 0 – 1 year (2), 2 - 3 years (2),4 – 5 years(1), 6 – 7 years (2) and for 10 or more years (2).
General attitude: positive
Two teachers said that their attitude to eLearning was very positive, one said that her attitudewas neutral and six teachers described their attitudes as positive. Their use of the Internet wasfrom 0 to 1 hour a week in 6 cases, from 2 to 3 hours a week in one case and from 4 – 5 hoursa week in onecase. One of the interviewed was on her maternity leave, and had currently no lessons.
ODL not involved in curriculum
The eLearning was involved in the curriculum to a large extent only in the case of primaryeducation (7 – 12 years). The two teachers who had the longest experience of educational ICT
said that eLearning had been integrated into the curriculum of their subject to some extent.Others said it was integrated to a small or to a very small extent.
Not much utilization of ODL
Two of the teachers said that they adopted eLearning very much or a lot in her teaching. Fourteachers adopted it moderately, or a little, and three teachers had adopted eLearning verylittle.The teachers who adopted eLearning more performed many different kind of activities n theInternet with their students, such as browsing web pages, searching Internet resources,making partner projects, having email correspondence, taking part in forum discussions, usingtext chat or messaging and participating in live online sessions. Those who only adoptedeLearning a little were mostly satisfied with searching web resources.
Systematic promotion would motivate
The interviewed teachers were asked to choose up to three things that motivated them most ineLearning. The most active teacher found her best motivation in the following: systematicpromotion of eLearning at school, enthusiasm of students and internationalization.Development of materials and facilities was also an important motivating factor for theteachers who were more active in eLearning. Instead, teacher-in-service training was oftenchosen as one of the most motivating things among the teachers who were less active ineLearning.
More training needed
There was a lot of distribution in opinions of the teachers concerning the equipment, eveninside the same school. Some said there were enough computers, while others thought theopposite. The more experienced teachers emphasized the need of teacher-in-service training intheir opinions.
Rapid or slow growth of ODL?
Five teachers thought that the future role of eLearning will increase rapidly, whereas three of them said the development will be slow. One of the teachers thought that eLearning will stayas it is, not to be decreased or increased.

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