Eerika Virranmäki

Eerika Virranmäki

MSc., Biology and Geography subject teacher

Doctoral Researcher


I work as a Doctoral Researcher in the Geography Research Unit of the University of Oulu. In my doctoral research I examine the change of the geography education in the Finnish upper secondary schools in the context of the digitalisation of the Finnish Matriculation Examination and of the wider society. I´m focused on the change of the assessment, and teachers’ conceptions about geographical knowledge, it´s significance in society and how it´s related to powerful disciplinary knowledge. I examine teachers’ beliefs, teaching methods and assessment in the teachers’ point of view.

My research interests include also geography and biology didactics on all school levels, especially teaching with GIS and phenomenon-based teaching and learning.

My doctoral research has been partly funded by LUMA Oulu.

Research interests

  • Geography education
  • Geographical knowledge
  • Powerful disciplinary knowledge
  • Educational assessment
  • Teachers' conceptions
  • Digital education
  • Bloom's revised taxonomy

Responsible for the following courses

  • Electrical matriculation examination in Geography (5 ECTS credits). University level course designed for the teacher students of geography.
  • Development towards Geography subject teacher expertise (5 ECTS credits). University level course designed for the teacher students of geography.

Teacher in continuing education

I have been working as a teacher organizing continuing education for geography and biology teachers. These training sessions have also included the production of continuing education material. 

  • LibreOffice and Paikkatietoikkuna in teaching geography -continuing education for teachers, eLukio: BI, GE, TT teachers' day, Oulu, March 2019
  • Abitti-software in the digital matriculation examination in biology -continuing education for teachers, Oulu, January 2019 (together with Jarkko Himanka and Kirsi Valta-Hulkkonen)
  • Geography and phenomenon-based teaching and learning -continuing education for teachers, Kokkola, May 2017
  • Make geography live with geomedia -continuing education for teachers, Oulu, February 2017 (together with Hanne Mäenpää and Kirsi Valta-Hulkkonen)
  • Geomedia in teaching of geography and biology -continuing education for teachers, Kuusamo, January 2017
  • Paikkatietoikkuna and spatial data analysis in geography -continuing education for teachers, Oulu, November 2015 (together with Kirsi Valta-Hulkkonen)
  • LibreOffice and Paikkatietoikkuna in teaching geography -continuing education for teachers, Oulu, May 2015 (together with Jarkko Himanka and Kirsi Valta-Hulkkonen)


Social media

Professional and community activities

  • Member of the Geographical Society of Northern Finland directorate, 2015 onwards
  • Treasurer in the local board (Oulu) of the Biology and Geography Teachers’ s Association of Finland (BMOL), 2015 onwards

Research groups

  • Geography Research Unit

Selected publications

  • Virranmäki, Eerika; Valta-Hulkkonen, Kirsi; Pellikka, Anne (2020) Geography tests in the Finnish Matriculation Examination in paper and digital forms – An analysis of questions based on revised Bloom’s taxonomy. - Studies in educational evaluation 66, 100896 . [Original]
  • Virranmäki, Eerika; Valta-Hulkkonen, Kirsi; Rusanen, Jarmo (2019) Powerful knowledge and the significance of teaching geography for in-service upper secondary teachers - a case study from Northern Finland. - International research in geographical and environmental education 28 (2), 103-117
  • Pellikka, Anne; Valta-Hulkkonen, Kirsi; Virranmäki, Eerika (2015) Keskustelua koulu- ja yliopistomaantieteen yhteistyön kehittämisen tarpeista. - Terra: maantieteellinen aikakauskirja 127 (1), 33-36

Thesis supervisions

Supervision of Master's thesis
    • Jonna Piri (2019). 
    • Tiina Tolvanen (2019). 
    • Tulina Karhu (2018).
    • Annika Nivakoski (2017). 
    • Hanne Mäenpää (2017). 
    • Katariina Karikytö (2017). 
    • Auli Heikkilä (2016). 
    • Anna Hemmilä (2016). 
    • Pia Ronkainen (2015).