22 SES 07 B, Teaching, Learning and Assesment in Higher Education
Guidance is an elementary part of organizing studies. Due to the massification and diversification of higher education its role in universities has become more significant in the recent decades. There are many developments in higher education policy and practice which have generated new challenges for guidance. One of the main factors has been the transformation in the structures of university studies, which were initiated by the so called Bologna process which begun in 1999 (Bologna 2010). Furthermore, the growth and massification of the universities have affected the state and requirements of guidance. The teacher-student ratio has strongly increased, resulting in lack of resources. (Välimaa 2001; Rott & Lahti 2006.)
In Finnish universities the term “guidance” refers to many different types of student instruction, including personalized study planning, thesis supervision, internship guidance, career planning, facilitation of learning, etc. The roles of the tutors and teachers providing these services vary in great deal within universities, faculties and even departments. (Vuorinen et al. 2005.) As previous studies have indicated, there seem to be, in the first place, contradictory findings how students find the importance of personal study guidance and especially personal study planning (Liitos & Kallio, forthcoming). As regards study planning, about fifty-fifty of students see it as positive or negative. Some studies have found positive effects of guidance on student learning and studying. For example, in the study by Honkimäki and Tynjälä (2007) it was found that students who were offered extra guidance during their first study year in the form of staff tutoring became more self-regulated and more motivated, and had fewer problems in their studies than the students who did not have this opportunity. While these kinds of general benefits of organized guidance are well-evidenced less is known about students’ experiences of different forms of guidance specifically in relation to different aspects of their studying such as study planning, thesis supervision, work experience, and the development of generic skills and scientific thinking. In the present study we have looked at the different forms of guidance in relation to these diverse aspects of university studies. In more detail, the following research questions are addressed in this paper:
- How do the students evaluate the guidance in university in general?
- What are the differences of students’ experiences between the specific areas of guidance (i.e. guidance of study planning, guidance of internship, thesis guidance, guidance of learning in specific contents, etc)?
- Are there differences in guidance experiences between the students of different age and gender groups and between the students coming from different faculties and representing different study years?
Bologna (2010) URL: http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeronderwijs/Bologna/. Retrieved in January 10, 2010. Honkimäki, S. & Tynjälä, P. 2007. Study orientations in different tutoring environments: University language students’ first two years. Mentoring and Tutoring 15(2), 183-199. Moitus, Sirpa & Vuorinen, Raimo (2003) “Evaluation of Guidance Services in Higher Education in Finland”. Internat. Jnl. for Educational and Vocational Guidance 3: 159–175, 2003. Liitos, H.M & Kallio, Eeva (forthcoming) “The development of thinking skills and connection to study guidance in university.” Rott & Lahti, Juha (2006) “Bridges between European HE policies and guidance and councelling development.” In Guidance services in Higher Education. Eds. Raimo Vuorinen & Sakari Saukkonen. Institute for Educational Research. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylä University Press. Vuorinen, R., Karjalainen, M., Myllys, H., Talvi, U., Uusi-Rauva, E.& Holm, K. (2005) Opintojen ohjaus korkeakouluissa-seuranta. Korkeakoulujen arviointineuvosto, verkkojulkaisuja 5:2005. Välimaa, Jussi (2001) “Analysing Massification and Globalisation”. In Finnish Higher Education in Transition. Ed. Jussi Välimaa. Institute for Educational Research. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylä University Press.
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