NJB Vol. 69, No. 3 (Autumn 2020)
Guest Editors’ Letter
Special Issue on Business Education
The premise of university education is scientific research and higher education based on theory. However, educators seldom see the opportunity to combine research into their teaching development work. By studying their own work, educators could gain understanding and knowledge on how to improve their practices and create effective teaching and learning methods. Cultivating a research-based teaching development benefits not only educators´ work but also creates student-centered organization culture that supports students´ performance, learning results, engagement to studies, and even graduation. This way research and teaching can support and not fight against others.
In this special issue of the Nordic Journal of Business focused on business education, we want to bring forward selected examples of research-based teaching development. The three articles included in the special issue were first presented at the 2019 Nordic Academy of Management Conference. These articles look at the role of interaction in higher education teaching from different angles and different contexts. However, all of the articles highlight the impact of teacher´s pedagogical role and professional growth in creating successful learning environments.
In the first article, Helena Kantanen, Leena Penttinen, Päivi Rosenius, and Katri Ruth discuss the importance of students´ first-term experience by looking at the teacher-student interaction. A supportive and participative study environment showed to be significant for students´ integration and the development of their professional identities. One of the crucial actors was accessible teachers and their abilities to create interesting courses and use varied teaching methods.
The second article by Henrik Virtanen and Anu Norrgrann focuses on the importance of interaction between students. This study offers an insight into e-learning and learner´s experiences on participation by studying behavior in MOOC-course. Interaction is seen as a key characteristic to improve engagement, learning experience, and skills development. The study revealed that, despite the autonomous nature of MOOC-course, educators´ guidance and encouragement is necessary to enliven interaction. The authors also find that interaction is not important only because of improving engagement and satisfaction but it has also an effect on the development of the business skills of the students.
In the third article, Taina Eriksson, Minna-Maarit Jaskari and Päivi Kinnunen discuss an online course that has been co-taught across universities. The interest here lies in the interaction between teachers, but it offers also insights on students’ experiences of trending ways of organizing courses in collaboration. Co-teaching was found to be a chance for teachers to grow professionally and build collegial relationships and build bridges across disciplines. Despite students recognized some challenges such as overlapping content and conflicting communications, co-teaching offered online learners more timely and efficient guidance and greater satisfaction.
We wish that these three articles inspire business educators to reflect on their experience- and research-based knowledge. Moreover, the ongoing pandemic has challenged educators in an unprecedented way, but at the same time opened us several interesting research paths in the context of digitalization of teaching and learning. Hopefully, these times push us educators to take stronger steps towards creating common ground and building scholarship in business education.
Finally, we would like to thank all the anonymous reviewers that gave their input in peer review and by doing so, building the scholarship on business education.
Minna-Maarit Jaskari & Jenni Kantola
Nordic Journal of Business
Helena Kantanen, Leena Penttinen, Päivi Rosenius and Katri Ruth – Grasp Your Field! First-Year Business Students’ Engagement with the Study Environment and Their Own Academic Field
Henrik Virtanen and Anu Norrgrann – How Can Interactivity Be Facilitated in a Massive Open Online Course? Lessons from the “Principles of Service Management” Course
Taina Eriksson, Minna-Maarit Jaskari and Päivi Kinnunen – Co-Teaching is Great! – But Only if There is Time: Teacher Perspectives on Online Co-Teaching
The whole issue as a PDF can be found here.