Blog no 4 – Culture, what does it mean?

I tried to write about culture, but at first, I realize that I do not know exactly what does it mean. At first, in Europe, it meant cultivating the spirit (animi cultura). Nowadays there is many meanings for the word culture.

For me, it is easier to think culture when I think of a certain group of people. Like parents, students and teachers. I am not thinking about different countries and people from different countries. Maybe too often there is talks about different cultures when example media is talking about different countries. Culture is so much more.

I think some population that have something similar habits or thoughts; even those people are not connect together. Parents can joke about the “sleepwalking” and Baby Blues. Students are complaining always how they do not understand their teachers and teachers are surprised how students are not following the instructions that are almost like picture book. These populations are progressing together and making their own culture and their own language, like comics, humor and memes.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle student memes

Kuvahaun tulos haulle phd teachers memes

Blog no. 6 – Good instructions

Good instructions are short, clear and comprehensive. The instructions will answer to the questions that are rise when reader is reading the assignment. Those instructions take lot of time to prepare. However, when the first version is ready, it is easy to use it as a backbone when new instructions are prepared.

In the blog task, the following slide include very important note. “Resources: how much text are you able to read and give feedback on?” (Räsänen, 2012). This is also very important note when you think your instructions. How much time and effort you can put to your instructions AND to your feedback and readings. Those things should be in equilibrium but doing the instructions, lecturer have to remember design the lectures so that there is clear bounds at the end. Bounds that are supporting the learning, teaching and timing.

Blog no. 5 – EMI in teaching

At this point of my PhD studies and teaching under graduate students, I use EMI when there is another teacher who is not using Finnish in teaching. I ensure that students understand what we expect them to do or learn. However, I am not teaching the same things in Finnish. I only answer if they ask something that they did not understood or I will continue the teaching in Finnish or English.

I think this style is good for the new (first or second year) students who are not so comfortable to use English. They will learn it in action. They have to use English in their studies and work life if they continue in this field.

In the future, I will use EMI in lecturing and lab works. It is good, because it is much more clear language to use in our field. We have straight orders and cause-effect relationship when the English do not give too much flexibility to understand something wrong. Nevertheless, there is a problem, when a student or a teacher do not understand some word or sentence which meaning is decisive. If the language does not bend, this might be a dead end.

From a student perspective, there is a good teachers and “bad” teachers. Both of those use EMI in different way. Sometimes when the grammar in EMI might be good, the accent is so strong that the listening is taking the energy from learning.


Blog no. 3 – Interesting Kinaesthetic language learning

I haven´t heard before about kinaesthetic language learning. It was interesting to hear and try it. I think it works with small children and those who are focus to the issues that are mean to be learn.

Still. What if there is a student or a child, who is not comfortable with him- or herself? How to work with this kind of student? He/she may remember only that part of teaching where they have to do something that is not feeling good or right. They do not learn if they are too focus on their feelings and stressful situation. Do they have to take part to the activity session? Alternatively, can they watch it first if they want?

For me, it was difficult to learn the new language because I was too focus to the ball or movements. That is because I try too much to do everything correctly and learning new language is hard to me. So I just tried to stay on my feet 🙂 and tried not to be too competitive (because there was this ball 😀 ).

However, I think that I am going to use this method in our lectures if the topics are too heavy and lessons too long. Moving between the learning parts is refreshing and maybe this will help someone to internalize example how the receptors works on the cell surface. So thank you Mariana, Katarzyna and Anneli.


Blog no. 2 – Teaching Challenges

There can be multiple challenges in the teaching, both with students and with teachers.

Students` motivation, background, age, experiences, friends, life situation and order of precedence can have a positive or negative impact on learning. In some cases, it is not for either (to teacher or student) to push the student towards a better grade if the student have choose to use his/her time to something else. She/he has valued something more important than the one in question. Sometimes the average results is good enough. This is the question, which teachers should ask before the courses. Therefore, teachers can push those students who want to reach the better scores, but they need some support.

The word push can contain negative and positive atmosphere. In this text, I think it is positive word. Almost like support. From here, we can continue to another problem. Unique perspectives. To someone, push (even it is a support to another) can be distressing and mean. At this point, the teacher had to know what to do.

The same things that affects to students learning can affect to teaching. Teachers are also individuals, who have their own thoughts. The difference between teacher and the students is that at the same time the teacher have to teach some detailed topics and follow the atmosphere in the classroom. Teachers should sense the learning levels (tiredness, blank look etc.) from the students. Then the teacher can change the voice volume, topic or take a break from monologue.  But! Teachers are not fully responsible for learning. They can help and provide some support and tips, but after all, students have to do the work.

These challenges are just a glimpse of all the factors that affect to learning and teaching. I think that the teachers have a massive role in the classrooms and teaching situations. Teachers can prevent or contribute to the existence of these challenges. However, there are as many ways as there are people.

The first Blog – How I use technology in my teaching

Before the course starts, I use technology to prepare the information to share and the example situations to show how some steps should done. I use the Internet to search data, information, articles and methods. I use computer and phone to do that. When I am teaching I use PowerPoint and videos to make the learning methods easier. It is easier to start to work in laboratory when you have seen methods step-by-step. After that, the students know what they should think and prepare before the actual work, in theory. In the lab, the safety is most important thing and then will come the learning and results. That´s why the technology have done the teaching easier for us. We can show before the actual works what to consider when working with dangerous reagents.

Technology could be more useful if there is more voice activity in the phones and tablets. In the lab, we cannot touch almost anything with the gloves. It could be easier to command the tablet to show something that we need to check, without using hands.

Technology cannot replace the ordinary learning, because if the students do not listen and be focus, they will not learn and they might cause danger situations. Technology do not put the information to their brains automatically. Students have to do it all by themselves.

TACE 2017  –  Anniina Runtuvuori  –  19.9.2017