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Faculty of Educational Sciences


Recent Submissions

  • Kämper, Ella (2023)
    The mental health of university students has been a concern worldwide for years, and the issues have been increasing gradually to this date. Factors related to increased stress and mental health issues among university students include poor academic performance. To succeed in studies, students need to acquire organized study skills, which are also connected to one’s psychological well-being. By increasing psychological flexibility, it is possible to learn skills of managing stress, thoughts, and emotions and thus enhance one’s own mental well-being. Psychological flexibility is the goal of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and refers to a skill to focus on the present moment and live in the pursuit of one’s own goals and values. The connection between psychological flexibility and well-being has been studied quite extensively with quantitative measures. However, there is less research about this connection in the context of higher education institutes and university students. Also, according to the knowledge of the researcher, there has been fewer studies on the impact mechanisms of the different sub-processes of psychological flexibility and ACT. More in-depth research with qualitative methods is also needed to gain better understanding about the phenomenon. In some studies, ACT-based interventions have been found to have a positive impact on university students’ psychological well-being and study skills, but more research is needed within this context. The study was conducted applying a mixed methods approach combining repeated measures ANOVA and inductive content analysis. The research group consisted of students who participated in the web-based course, Towards Better Well-being and Studying, during fall 2021 at the University of Helsinki, Finland. For the quantitative measurements, a control group was also used, consisting of students on the waiting list for the course. The research task of this study was to gain better understanding of the possible changes in the participants’ well-being and organized study skills during the course, as well as to examine, how the students attending the course have evaluated the effectiveness of the specific modules and tasks involved during the course. Quantitative results showed that the course had a statistically significant effect on participants' organized study skills, psychological flexibility, and emotional and psychological well-being. Comparing the results of students who participated in the course with those of the control group, whose measures remained mostly the same, confirms this finding about the effects of the course on well-being, organized study skills and psychological flexibility. The results of the qualitative part of the study were in line with these findings. Based on findings from inductive content analysis, the course’s different modules were perceived as useful, and the course had an impact on the well-being of most students as well as their organized study skills. Students’ responses displayed personal development and in-depth reflection both at an individual level and at a broader and societal level. The students felt that they had gained new insights and particularly many concrete tips on how to promote their own well-being and learning, which they will continue to use in the future.
  • Liikanen, Elena (2023)
    Objectives: Are serious games enjoyed by the students, are they effective for learning and who exactly benefits from them? These questions are raised by the scientific evidence on enjoyability and effectiveness of serious games being contradictory. In parallel, there is a practical need to ensure that everyone has similar opportunities to thrive in school. The purpose of this thesis was to compare learning with serious games and traditional instructional style. Temperament and enjoyment were decided to take into account in the analysis, as both possibly play a role in learning with either of the instructional styles. Enjoyment has also been claimed to play a role considering the effectiveness of serious games, and it is also important from a student satisfaction point of view. Hence, it was also investigated which instructional style (game or traditional learning) students enjoy more. Lastly, the connection of temperament and enjoyment was investigated. Methods: Altogether 66 Finnish fourth grade students participated in the study, 31 in the control group and 35 in the intervention group. Class teachers were instructed to either take up a serious game website called Loru Games for learning multiplication and division (intervention group) or keep teaching as normally (control group) for the period of two weeks. In both groups, teachers were sent links to pre- and post-tests assessing multiplication and division skills. Teachers also filled in temperament (EAS: Emotionality, Activity, Sociability) questionnaires about the students. Paired samples t-tests were run to investigate which instructional style was enjoyed more. Correlational analyses were run to examine the connection between temperament and learning with either instructional style and the possible connection between enjoyment and temperament. Results: The participants in the intervention group rated game learning significantly higher compared to the traditional instruction. It was also found that there was no association between enjoying either of the instructional styles and temperament. Lastly, it was found that the participants’ learning scores (post-test scores) were not associated with temperament or instructional style. Based on this study It seems that serious games are an enjoyable learning method for the students and it does not seem that there is a need for concern about only some students reaping the benefits of either of the instructional styles, at least where temperament is concerned.
  • Marttila, Annamaria (2023)
    In this thesis I studied children’s self-regulation with the data from the “friendship skills” intervention study in early childhood education and care. Self-regulation has been found to be central factor in school readiness and academic achievements as well as in general wellbeing. The data was collected in nine different early childhood education and care units (15 child groups), consisting of 162 children (n = 82 girls, M = 5,65, SD = 0.88). The study used Educator’s Evaluation Form (EEF, self-regulation) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ, internalising and externalising problems, prosocial behaviour) to measure self-regulation and both internalising and externalising problems and prosocial behaviour. I aimed to study associations between self-regulation and internalising and externalising problems, and self-regulation and prosocial behaviour, as well as between self-regulation and age. Another aim concerns the effect of gender on these associations. The hypotheses of the thesis were: (1a) self-regulation is negatively associated with internalising and externalising problems; (1b) self-regulation is positively associated with prosocial behaviour; (2) self-regulation is positively associated with age; and, (3) self-regulation is associated more positive with age in girls than in boys. Self-regulation was found to associate negatively with both internalising and externalising problems and positively with prosocial behaviour. Regarding age, gender was found to moderate the association between self-regulation and age (age by gender interaction) in that statistically non-significant positive association between self-regulation and age was found in girls and statistically significant negative association in boys. Gender was not found to moderate other associations. The results indicate that self-regulation may have profound affects to overall wellbeing of children. Gender-difference imply possible complexity in interconnections between self-regulation, age and gender. Additionally, boys may be in more vulnerable position regarding self-regulation especially when approaching to school entry. In discussion section, I discuss the results additionally in relation to the concept of self-regulation, which I view more broadly in developmental and educational perspectives. Moreover, I will suggest tentative model constructed for the process of self-regulation. Finally, I will give suggestions for future research.
  • Laine, Sharon (2023)
    This article-based Master’s thesis as well as the article itself was carried out using an explorative comparative research method to investigate young people's perceptions of media literacy skills and civic engagement in digital media in Finland, Norway, and Romania. The research employed an online Media Skills Survey, which consisted of both multiple-choice and open-ended questions, targeting individuals aged 18 to 29 (N=321). Quantitative analysis of the collected data was conducted using statistical software (SPSS) to examine frequencies, percentages, and patterns of media usage and skills across the three countries. The results of our study indicate that young people in all studied countries considered communication in digital media platforms to be the most essential media skill. Additionally, common concerns were identified regarding issues such as deep fakes, fake news, and the impact of algorithms. While participants demonstrated confidence in searching and utilizing information, they displayed less confidence in responsibly producing media content. Importantly, a considerable number of young people in each studied country belief that they did not need assistance in enhancing their media skills. These findings emphasize the significance of increasing awareness regarding safe and ethical online behaviors, as well as the necessity for comprehensive media literacy education. Furthermore, this research shed light on the role of digital media and social media platforms in young people's civic engagement, revealing their active involvement in formal civic activities, participation in online debates, authoring of political blog posts, and engagement with political issues through platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. In conclusion this study provides important insights to the academic discussion on the relationship between digital media, media literacy, and the civic engagement of young individuals. These findings emphasize the importance of cultivating responsible and knowledgeable digital citizens.
  • Delis, Anna (2023)
    Aims. The first aim of this study was to identify the types of perfectionistic profiles found among university students. The second aim was to examine how these profiles differ with regards to academic burnout, engagement and procrastination. Methods. The data were collected as part of a larger ”University students’ well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic” -project. In total, 737 students from three different universities responded to the questionnaire, establishing a suitable data set. The data were analyzed with a person-centered approach, informed by the 2 x 2 -model of perfectionism. Two Step -cluster analysis was used to classify students into perfectionistic profiles and analyses of variance (ANOVA) were conducted to examine profile differences in academic well-being and procrastination. Results and conclusions. Four distinct profiles based on perfectionistic tendencies were identified; ambitious (31,1%), carefree (35,6%) perfectionists (16,7%) and concerned (16,2%). The ambitious group was associated with the highest rates of academic engagement and the lowest rates of academic burnout and procrastination. The carefree group reported the second highest rates of engagement and the second lowest rates of academic burnout and procrastination. The perfectionist group reported the highest rates of emotional exhaustion as well as feelings of inadequacy related to academic burnout. The perfectionists also reported the second highest rates of procrastination and the second lowest rates of academic engagement. The concerned group was associated with the highest rates of cynicism related to academic burnout, the highest rates of procrastination and the lowest amount of academic engagement. This study verified the severity of perfectionistic tendencies as a discerning factor regarding university students’ academic well-being. Based on the results, especially the detrimental impacts of perfectionistic concerns should be considered both on an individual and societal level. Societal impacts have been assessed relating to the individualistic and competitive nature of today’s neoliberal educational policies. On an individual level, the mitigating effects of self-compassion on perfectionistic concerns have been discussed.