International Student seminar in September 2021

This seminar explored various forms of pedagogies in open learning spaces, and were discussed by student teacher from Uppsala University, Tallinn University, and the University of Helsinki. The students had the possibility to share experiences with students and teacher educators from the other universities.

Additional days were for preparation and consultation for students and teacher educators were organized at each university.

The aim of this task is to give the student a wider view of the environments what other students use and their learning potential for formal education, especially during distance learning. Student should after the completed task:

  1. obtain new conceptual approaches to analyse learning environments, learning engagement and subject-integrated/phenomenon-based learning (minilectures about learning engagement and learning in open learning environments are available from 1st September 2021), 
  2. observe their own immediate surroundings and create a photo diary to find learning potential from different environments (task should be completed by 13th of September 2021), 
  3. analyse possibilities to use out-of-school learning environments to support curriculum-goals (especially during distance and hybrid learning) (task is completed on the 13th of September 2021 seminar), 
  4. create a learning assignment for students that incorporates different available learning environments and supports student engagement (task is completed on the 14th of September 2021 seminar) 

Students from all three partner universities collaborated on content and methods for carrying out a teaching unit in an open learning environment in each of their contexts. To prepare for the joint work, they were introduced to the topic in two mini-lectures: 

1. “Why should you learn outside the classroom?” Helene Uppin, Tallinn University

Short overview of the lecture

  • Learning is contextual
  • Learning in open learning environments have various benefits
  • Field trip as an organisational frame for learning
  • Tips to have a successful field trip
  • Missing the potential of field trips
  • Changing the mindset about learning in open learning environments 

2. “Supporting learning engagement” Anne-Mai Näkk, Tallinn University

Short overview of the lecture

  • The concept of learning engagement 
  • Engagement as a way to promote interest towards learning and subjects
  • Characteristics of primary school pupils’ engagement
  • Risks of hindering pupils’ engagement
  • Tips to support pupils’ engagement
  • Changing the mindset about supporting pupils’ learning engagement 

The implementation of the task


Students receive a task description and two pre-recorded 15 minutes lectures about basic concepts when talking about learning environments and autonomy/engagement supportive structure of learning. 

Students observe their own surroundings to discover learning potential for teaching a previously agreed concept from three types of environments: home, outdoors (all outdoor environments that are considered safe during distance learning – parks, gardens, playgrounds, etc.) and digital. Students document their findings in a short photo diary. 

Photo diary contains 3-6 photos, 1-2 photos from each domain (home, outdoors and digital). Digital learning opportunities can be saved as screen shots. We recommend using Google slides or a similar web-based presentation program for sharing photos with the group.

Analysis and creation of a learning activity 

  • 1st day: Students share their photo diaries in group, and discuss with others how they have expanded their understanding of learning environments and choose one relevant topic to work on the following day. The chosen topic should be in accordance with the national curriculum. See, for example, cross-curricular topics in the Estonian National Curriculum in the appendix. We recommend working with cross-curricular topics, for example the theme of environment and sustainable development is represented in the national curriculums of all participating countries. 
  • 2nd day: Students create learning instructions for a specific learning assignment for students in primary school, in groups of 4-5, and share results with others. Students are free to implement these tasks with their practicum classes, but this is not part of the DEPTER project workflow.
Developing Primary Teacher Eduction Research
Developing Primary Teacher Education Research

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

Last modified: 2022-04-13