Pedagogical education and development

Research-based development of teaching and learning.
Research-based development of teaching and learning

At the Centre for University Teaching and Learning, the development of teaching and learning is founded on research-based evidence and methods to support it. We collaborate with faculties to identify development areas in teaching, to create pedagogical experiments and innovations and to examine their impact. The Centre plays a key role in providing pedagogical support to faculties as well as teaching and learning in general at the University, and in developing a better teaching and learning community. The support and assessment of pedagogical development processes at different levels and by different parties at the University draw on research-based evidence. The Centre is engaged in the research-based and systemic development of teaching and learning in collaboration with the University’s faculties. The Centre’s staff continuously enhance their expertise in teaching and development.

Theory of Change

HYPE promotes learning-focused instruction, pedagogical solutions and pedagogical development at the University of Helsinki. The key is that instruction and pedagogical practices are relevant for learning and well-being.

HYPE’s university pedagogical education provides directions and examples for university teaching. Our curriculum is research-based and up-to-date in regards to the current needs in learning and instruction at university. Pedagogical approach and practices utilized in HYPE’s pedagogical education and courses provide teachers with concrete models and examples for their own teaching and pedagogical development. 

Research-based pedagogical development, reciprocal pedagogical development, and networked collaborative pedagogical development are the three essential elements in HYPE’s theory of change.

HYPE enacts research-based pedagogical development at university. HYPE does research on teaching and learning in all faculties at the UH. HYPE follows international educational and multidisciplinary research on university pedagogy, learning and instruction, and utilises this in the pedagogical developments. Research-based development means that we utilise versatile research results and empirical evidence of learning and teaching when identifying and defining focuses of development as well as deciding development activities. HYPE identifies proactively the trends and pedagogical needs of university teaching and learning, and collects new research evidence for the pedagogical development needs. HYPE is a pioneer in research-based pedagogical development and innovative initiatives. With the means of pedagogical research knowledge and research expertise, HYPE supports and challenges general and established pedagogical practices in various disciplinary contexts.

HYPE develops learning and teaching at university by utilising reciprocal systemic approach. This means that we identify, support, and investigate pedagogical initiatives stemming from the university community, and scale the pedagogical innovations. It also means providing support for the meaning-making processes in the faculties and degree programmes regarding the university level strategic development guidelines. We support understanding of the university-wide pedagogical renewals, curriculum processes, and evaluations of teaching, and what they mean locally and in various disciplines. HYPE supports pedagogical developments in the faculties and degree programmes by highlighting and maintaining  pedagogical discussion in the strategic development of the University of Helsinki. A current example of this is the university-wide future scenario work of university teaching and learning. Through its’ activities, HYPE supports the dialogue between the everyday pedagogical practices and solutions, and strategic development guidelines of university teaching. We highlight active participation and ownership of the development of university teaching, and support building networks for the pedagogical development. With the research-based approach, HYPE aims at modelling best pedagogical practices, and supporting pedagogical experiments and innovations on various systemic levels in the university.

HYPE supports active participation and ownership of the whole university community in the development of teaching as well as building networks for the pedagogical developments. HYPE constructs various networks by identifying brokers, stakeholders and collaborators and by communicating with them through versatile interactions and dialogues. University pedagogical studies and Teachers’ Academy are excellent examples of systematic pedagogical networks that HYPE has initiated and has a central role. HYPE supports networking through active participation in various pedagogical developments, organising workshops, events, and seminars, and communicating about HYPE’s activities inside and outside the university. HYPE has a significant role in bringing the pedagogical development initiatives to various networks. Through versatile networks, HYPE also shares responsibilities of the development of teaching and learning among all actors. National and international collaboration and networks with other pedagogical developers and educators in university pedagogy are important in the HYPE’s development.

Pedagogical education in university teaching and learning

The Centre for University Teaching and Learning offers staff training in university teaching and learning to the University’s teachers and to researchers who also provide teaching. The scope of the pedagogical education providing formal teacher qualification is 60 cr, comprising basic studies (25 cr) and intermediate studies (35 cr).

Key principles for studies in university pedagogy

University pedagogy explores learning and teaching from broad and diverse perspectives. It is a multidisciplinary discipline drawing on research, theories and methods from, in particular, educational sciences, educational psychology, social psychology and sociology. In addition, it encompasses the pedagogical processes and practices the University uses to promote student learning and high-quality research-based teaching. University pedagogical research knowledge on learning, guidance, supervision and learning environments play a key role in these efforts.

Studies in university pedagogy provide teachers with the profound research-based knowledge and skills needed to teach, guide and supervise university students in their discipline and to develop teaching collaboratively at various levels (courses, degree programme, faculty, University), taking into account the University’s values and strategic guidelines. The objective of studies in university pedagogy is to support work methods that promote the development of teachers’ and students’ academic expertise and enhance their wellbeing. The studies provide university teachers with the skills required to examine their professional identity and their teaching and to develop these skills consciously based on research.  

Key principles of training in university pedagogy include a research-based approach, collaboration and peer support, and continuous self-assessment and self-development. We implement these principles, for example, by modelling and sharing good pedagogical practices and utilising practical assignments in which teachers apply university pedagogical research knowledge, concepts and principles in their own work. We promote learning-centred teaching, emphasising guidance of an active learning process, interaction, and the use of various learning environments.

Models of generic academic skills to support degree programmes

The researchers and experts of the university pedagogy have developed the models of generic academic skills in cooperation with study psychologists and career services. The objective of models is to visualise the different generic academic skills the degrees should produce at different stages of studies both at the bachelor's and master's degree levels.

The generic academic skills are described in models as follows:

  • Study environment skills
  • Self-regulation and management skills
  • Communication, interaction and collaboration skills
  • Research skills and scientific thinking
  • Identifying own expertise

The aim of models is to describe skills which are common to all the disciplines and give tools and practices to support learning of generic academic skills.  Model gives also examples of learning outcomes of the generic academic skills integrated to domain-specific studies.

Research-based teaching and learning innovations
HowULearn – A research-based tool for supporting degree programmes

HowULearn surveys are carried out collaboratively by the Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HYPE) and Strategic Services for Teaching.

Campus teams and senior lecturers in university pedagogy assist faculties and degree programmes in formulating their own additional survey questions, assessing the survey results and drawing conclusions.

WELLS – Pro­mot­ing university stu­dents’ well-be­ing
TeamFluent – Team up with Science

TeamFluent is a research-based, practical solution for improving teamwork in real-life situations at workplaces.