A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Combining Physiological and Experiential Measures to Study the Adult Learning Experience (2022)

Silvennoinen, M., Parviainen, T., Malinen, A., Karjalainen, S., Manu, M., & Vesisenaho, M. (2022). Combining Physiological and Experiential Measures to Study the Adult Learning Experience. In M. Goller, E. Kyndt, S. Paloniemi, & C. Damşa (Eds.), Methods for Researching Professional Learning and Development : Challenges, Applications and Empirical Illustrations (pp. 137-164). Springer. Professional and Practice-based Learning, 33. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-08518-5_7

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsSilvennoinen, Minna; Parviainen, Tiina; Malinen, Anita; Karjalainen, Suvi; Manu, Mari; Vesisenaho, Mikko

Parent publicationMethods for Researching Professional Learning and Development : Challenges, Applications and Empirical Illustrations

Parent publication editorsGoller, Michael; Kyndt, Eva; Paloniemi, Susanna; Damşa, Crina



Journal or seriesProfessional and Practice-based Learning



Publication year2022

Publication date31/08/2022

Number in series33

Pages range137-164

Number of pages in the book627


Place of PublicationCham

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open accessChannel is not openly available

Publication is parallel publishedhttps://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe202301276186


This chapter introduces methods for using an individual-level multimodal approach for studying the learning experience within the context of vocational education. There has recently been increased interest in recording physiological signals in pedagogical contexts. The current research literature on multimodal studies of adult learning experience is scarce and has been primarily applied and developed in studies of a preliminary nature and with varying combinations of modalities. Learning experience is a complex phenomenon which cannot be fully captured via a single-data modality. However, based on the reviewed literature, there is still a lack of larger datasets and strong empirical evidence to enable a comprehensive understanding of experiential learning as a phenomenon.

In addition to self-reported learning experiences, there is a need for theoretical development and a more holistic empirical approach that includes physiological and neurophysiological aspects involved in learning situation. We present a case example of simulation-based learning (SBL) of forestry skills, in which the modalities applied to explore the learning experience were video recordings, stimulated recall interviews, questionnaires, electrocardiography (ECG), and electroencephalography (EEG). Our example presents how multimodal research design can be used to study learning experience, by combining measurements of the human nervous system with subjective and observational data. It is too early to evaluate the practical impact of multimodal research for the field of adult education. Successful application of multimodal methods requires interaction across disciplines, harmonizing of conceptual frameworks and goals, as well as bringing together complementary, discipline-specific expertise to guarantee valid application of research methods. Opening of the disciplinary boundaries both at theoretical and methodological domains enables to increase discussion between researchers from different disciplines.

Keywordsvocational education and trainingadult education teachinglearningexperiential learninglearning experiencespsychophysiologymeasuring methodsmultimodalityEEGpulse

Free keywordsmultimodal measurements; adult learning; experiential learning; combined methods; research design; physiological measurement; heart rate variability; electroencephalography; EEG; learning experience; vocational education

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 22:26