G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
"Don't you start going solo here!" : design for and analysis of interdisciplinary learning processes for a university nanoscience course (2019)

Kähkönen, A.-L. (2019). "Don't you start going solo here!" : design for and analysis of interdisciplinary learning processes for a university nanoscience course [Doctoral dissertation]. Jyväskylän yliopisto. JYU dissertations, 116. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7831-0

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kähkönen, Anna-Leena

eISBN: 978-951-39-7831-0

Journal or series: JYU dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2019

Number in series: 116

Number of pages in the book: 1 verkkoaineisto (159 sivua, 32 numeroimatonta sivua) :

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7831-0

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel


The purpose of this thesis was to design a nanoscience course for first-year university students. The designing of the course was realized through design-based research, beginning with the characterization of the context of the course and the most pressing learning goals for the course – the skills a student in nanosciences should have. The characterization involved expert panel inter-views, a survey of Finnish opportunities for studying nanosciences, as well as a literature review on interdisciplinary studies. The chosen outcomes for the course were for students to build their skills of collaboration, belong to a network of nanoscience students, recognize examples of disciplinary cultures, gain experiences in swapping between disciplinary perspectives, and skills for building common ground between concepts and theories. The course design was implemented in 2012 and 2013, with data collected on students’ discussions throughout their interdisciplinary group work in the laboratory. The analysis was based on qualitative methodologies; coding the discussions and finding overlap between design features and the mediating processes for each course outcome, as well as a conversation analysis study of the excerpts where disciplines entered the student group discussions. The design goals of the course were met except for the experiences in swapping between disciplinary perspectives; it was found to be particularly difficult and uncomfortable for students to experience situations demanding this without extra supports from the materials or teachers. The fruitfulness of the laboratory environment in learning collaborative skills was also evidenced in the study. The findings indicate that the first-year students already are apt disciplinary categorizers of one another as well of concepts and methodologies. This key skill received relevant practice with the course materials, showing this intervention to be both effective and relevant.

Keywords: nanosciences; design-based research; higher education (teaching); interdisciplinary research; conversation analysis

Free keywords: nanoscience education; design-based research

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

Last updated on 2021-09-06 at 00:18