A record number of Pedaforum 2020 participants reflect on the digital leap and the changes in teaching caused by the coronavirus

"Right now, it must be noted that corona is not only a global health crisis but also a crisis in education; the demand for continuous learning has never been higher. The current situation challenges us: What and how do we teach children and young people when we cannot predict the future?" ponders Professor Sanna Järvelä with the record audience at Pedaforum 2020.

Pedaforum on August 20 - 21 brings together more than 1,200 pre-registered participants which is a record number in the seminar’s history. Usually, around 600 participants attend.

The event connects a comprehensive range of people working in the field of education and experts in teaching, guidance, study administration and services, students and others interested in higher education in Finland and abroad. More than 130 lectures, discussions, teaching experiments and different sessions will take place over the two days. The aim of the seminar is to share experiences of good practices and information on pedagogical research at higher education institutions. This year, the themes of Pedaforum reflect the changes, challenges and opportunities brought about by the coronavirus.

"Remote learning and working provide special opportunities for communal learning but it is difficult to make it successful. Remote learning requires joint planning from the student, the group and the teacher as well as technology to visualise the many stages of learning without close interaction. The AI-based support systems that are currently still under development and the visualisation of the learning process are needed to support a good quality of remote learning”, Professor Järvelä explains. She is one of the keynote speakers at Pedaforum with her lecture Co-evolution of human capabilities and intelligent technologies.

“Strong learning skills become highlighted in remote learning; these include the ability to set goals, act strategically, being aware of the progress of your own learning and regulating the challenges related to learning - and more and more attention should also be paid to the skills of learning in a group", Järvelä continues. "At the moment, international research on learning is bringing up studied factors that help create a new kind of learning culture. These factors include sufficiently challenging learning objects, communal learning and related skills, skills in regulating personal and shared learning as well as adaptive technology to support learning".

Digital teaching from all perspectives: classroom, doctors, vehicle inspection and learning analytics

For the first time, Pedaforum 2020 is organised entirely online and free of charge. The event is a relevant example of hybrid teaching models. The programme is built around continuous and open learning, digitalisation and campus experience, different learning environments and learners and accessibility. 

The seminar delves deeper into topics such as learning analytics which has attracted extensive international interest as a research subject. Its various applications are widely applied for many uses in different parts of the world. "Learning analytics are used to summarise essential information accumulated during learning as various graphs, recommendations and predictions that can be used to support learning and studying. Learning analytics and monitoring enable students, instructors and teachers to become more aware of activities related to learning and, for example, notice the students’ need for support during their studies", explains Doctoral candidate Anni Silvola from the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu.

Experts from the University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences present, among other things, the adaptive digital class, online learning environments and digital teaching methods for the education of different professions such as medical specialists and vehicle inspectors. One of the topics is reflecting on how analyticsAI, functional pedagogical solutions for massive non-stop online teaching and efficient online guidance in higher education can reduce interruptions in studies. Communal learning in terms of interaction and the competitive advantage in the competence ecosystem created by networks is also an important theme. Pessimism pedagogy spices up the Pedaforum 2020 lectures. 

Pedaforum seminars have been organised annually since 1996 in different university cities; Pedaforum2020 is organised co-operatively by the University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

Pedaforum website >

Caption: The Pedaforum 2020 theme is The Cycle of Learning - Campus and Cloud.


Last updated: 19.8.2020