How can I improve my grades dramatically

Dramatically improve online learning outcomes with phenomenon-based learning

The digital transformation of learning is changing the way we learn and develop. Today technology enables a wide variety of different approaches to teaching and learning. Phenomenon-based learning is one of the leading forms of pedagogy that has recently sparked discussion around the world. The results of this very up-to-date approach to education are considered so promising that Finland is among the first countries to include phenomenon-based learning in their national curriculum in 2016. However, what kind of concrete results can this new approach promise?

Phenomenon-based learning creates interest in learners through real phenomena

Phenomenon-based learning is based on the idea of ​​bringing learning and teaching closer to practice, instead of concentrating on individual, isolated subjects that have no relation to everyday life or to each other at all. For example, phenomenon-based learning improves effectiveness, problem-solving skills and interaction between learners. Learning provides more motivation and encourages the learners to think creatively. The Riveria case study is a great example of improving learning outcomes through phenomenon-based learning in Riveria students.

Studies in a New Learning Environment: The Riveria Case Study

In spring 2015, we delivered the Valamis - Learning Experience Platform, a social learning environment that supports phenomenon-based learning, to Riveria. In autumn 2015, Valamis was officially launched for Riveria students and enabled learning based on phenomena instead of conventional online learning. In the updated educational model, special emphasis was placed on technical functions as well as content presentation and visual learning experience.

Many notable improvements in study results within a year

If we compare the study results of the Riveria students from autumn 2014 with those from autumn 2015, the results so far are extremely positive and encouraging. For example, after starting phenomenon-based learning, students completed their online studies much faster.

Below are the outstanding improvements in study outcomes made possible through phenomenal learning, Valamis, and other educational development work.

1. Higher pass rate for online courses

In the fall of 2014, 49% of the students successfully passed the online studies offered to the Riveria students. In autumn 2015, the corresponding number of passed online studies was 59%. In January 2016, the pass rate for online courses was already over 70 percent.

2. Getting better grades

Compared to autumn 2014, around 70% of the students achieved better grades in their studies in autumn 2015. In autumn 2014, 81% of the students passed the online studies offered to Riveria students with level T1 (satisfactory). In autumn 2015, the better grade average was visible, as 78% of the students either received an assessment at level H2 (good) or K3 (excellent).

3. Better answers in essays

According to the teachers, the quality of the answers in essay form has improved. Students are now able to relate the topics they have learned to real life, which also increases the value of personal reflection in their responses.

4. Easier tracking of study progress

In the new learning environment, it is easier for online teachers, learners and instructors on-site to follow the learners' progress. The Learning Record Store (LRS) and the Experience API enable detailed tracking of study progress, and with the help of a visual concept map, teachers can easily identify which sections present the learners with the greatest challenges. In Valamis, learners can also easily track their own study progress and give and receive feedback on their studies.

In the summer of 2015, Riveria's management made the strategic decision to invest in the long-term development of online education and the subsequent decisions have led to the positive results outlined above. In addition, a heavy focus on study guides and development, as well as the ability to provide grades and feedback without delay in Valamis, may partly explain the positive results achieved in such a short period of time. In the case of Riveria, the phenomenon-based studies were continuously developed based on the feedback received from the learners.