Main Article Content

Terhi Saaranen
Janette Kiikeri
Leena Salminen
Kukka-Maaria Kokkonen
Imane Elonen
Iina Ryhtä
Kristina Mikkonen
Maria Kääriäinen
Tuulikki Sjögren
Hilkka Korpi
Marjorita Sormunen


The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation of an online course, as well its development after implementation, and to focus on the health sciences educators’ and educator candidates’ assessments of their digipedagogical competence after the course. Semi-structured interviews to learners (n = 11) were used to collect data that were then analysed using inductive content analysis. The learners perceived that their ability to exploit digital applications increased and that they critically reflected upon their use of digital technology in teaching. The feedback from and presence of the tutors, as well as the collaborative activities with peer learners in the course, were generally regarded positively. Suggestions for improving the course were to limit the course content and to increase communality and other factors that support learners’ learning and work. The lessons learned from this study can be applied in basic and continuing professional development of health sciences educators.

Article Details

Articles - Special Issue


Amhag, L., Hellström, L., & Stigmar, M. (2019). Teacher educators' use of digital tools and needs for digital competence in higher education. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 35(4), 203-220. doi: 10.1080/21532974.2019.1646169

Autio, R., Saaranen, T., & Sormunen, M. (2018). Terveystieteiden opettajaopiskelijoiden tieto- ja viestintätekninen osaaminen koulutuksen alussa (Information and communication technology competence of nurse teacher students at the beginning of their studies). Hoitotiede, 4(30), 299-309. Retrieved from 

Decree on Qualification Requirements for Teaching Staff. (1998). 986/1998 (Amendments up to 126/2021 included).  Retrieved from

Elo, S., & Kyngäs, H. (2008). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(1), 107-115. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2007.04569.x   

Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. (2012). Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland. Retrieved from 

Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. (2019). The ethical principles of research with human participants and ethical review in the human sciences in Finland. Retrieved from 

From, J. (2017). Pedagogical digital competence – between values, knowledge and skills. Higher Education Studies, 7(2), 43-50. doi: 10.5539/hes.v7n2p43

Ghavifekr, S., Kunjappan, T., Ramasamy, L., & Anthony, A. (2016). Teaching and learning with ICT tools: issues and challenges from teachers' perceptions. Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Technology, 4(2), 38-57. Retrieved from

Hodges, C., & Forrest Cowan, S. (2012). Preservice teachers’ views of instructor presence in online courses. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 28(4), 139-145. doi: 10.1080/21532974.2012.10784694 

Ilomäki, L., Paavola, S., Lakkala, M., & Kantosalo, A. (2016). Digital competence – an emergent boundary concept for policy and educational research. Education and Information Technologies, 21(3), 655-679. doi: 10.1007/s10639-014-9346-4 

Lee, J., & Martin, L. (2017). Investigating students' perceptions of motivating factors of online class discussions. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(5), 148-172. doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v18i5.2883  

Lincoln, Y. S., & Cuba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA, US: Sage Publications. 

Mikkonen, K., Koivula, M., Sjögren, T., Korpi, H., Koskinen, C., Koskinen, M., … & Kääriäinen, M. (2019a). Sosiaali-, terveys- ja kuntoutusalan opettajien osaaminen ja sen kehittäminen (Competence and development of social, health and rehabilitation teachers). Oulu, FIN: University of Oulu. Retrieved from    

Mikkonen, K., Koskinen, M., Koskinen, C., Koivula, M., Koskimäki, M., Lähteenmäki, M-L., …  & Kääriäinen M. (2019b). Qualitative study of social and healthcare educators’ perceptions of their competence in education. Health and Social Care in the Community, 27(6), 1555-1563. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12827   

Männistö, M., Mikkonen, K., Vuopala, E., Kuivila, H-M., Virtanen, M., Kyngäs, H., & Kääriäinen, M. (2019). Effects of a digital educational intervention on collaborative learning in nursing education: A quasi-experimental study. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research, 39(4), 191-200. doi: 10.1177/2057158519861041

Nokelainen, A., Kuivanen, A., Koskimäki, M., Lähteenmäki, M.- L., Mäki-Hakola, H., Wallin, O., …  & Koivula, M. (2019). Täydennyskoulutustarpeet ja täydennyskoulutuksen merkitys uransa alussa olevien sosiaali-, terveys- ja kuntoutusalan ammattikorkeakouluopettajien osaamiselle  (The needs and meanings of continuing education for social and health care and rehabilitation educators competence at the beginning of their career in universities of applied  sciences). Hoitotiede, 31(4), 231-245. Retrieved from    

Oprescu, F., McAllister, M., Duncan, D., & Jones, C. (2017). Professional development needs of nurse educators. An Australian case study. Nurse Education in Practice, 27, 165-168. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2017.07.004  

Polit, D., & Beck, C. (2018). Essentials of nursing research: appraising evidence for nursing practice (9th rev. ed.). Philadelphia, PA, US: Wolters Kluwer. 

Ramírez-Montoya, M.-S., Mena, J., & Rodríguez-Arroyo, J. (2017). In-service teachers’ self-perceptions of digital competence and OER use as determined by a xMOOC training course. Computers in Human Behavior, 77, 356-364. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.09.010

Redecker, C. (2017). European framework for the digital competence of educators: DigCompEdu.  In Y. Punie, (Ed). JRC Publications Repository. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.  Retrieved from 

Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council. (2016). Retrieved from  

Scott, K. M., Baur, L., & Barrett, J. (2017). Evidence-based principles for using technology-enhanced learning in the continuing professional development of health professionals. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 37(1), 61-66. doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000146 

Sinclair, P. M., Levett-Jones, T., Morris, A., Carter, B., Bennett, P.N., & Kable, A. (2017). High engagement, high quality: A guiding framework for developing empirically informed asynchronous  e-learning programs for health professional educators. Nursing and Health Sciences, 19(1), 126-137. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12322  

Sormunen, M., Saaranen, T., Heikkilä, A., Sjögren, T., Koskinen, C., Mikkonen, K.,… & Salminen, L. (2020). Digital learning interventions in higher education. A scoping review. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 38(12), 613-624. doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000645  

Sormunen, M., Heikkilä, A., Salminen, L., Vauhkonen, A., & Saaranen, T. (2021). Learning outcomes of digital learning interventions in higher education: A scoping review. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000797

Stone, C., & Springer, M. (2019). Interactivity, connectedness and ‘teacher-presence': Engaging and retaining students online. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 59(2), 146-169. Retrieved from

Universities of Applied Sciences Act (2014). 932/2014. (Amendments up to 563/2016 included). Retrieved from

Vauhkonen, A., Saaranen, T., Pajari, J., Salminen, L., Koskinen, C., Koskinen, M.,…  & Sormunen, M. (2020). Sosiaali-, terveys- ja kuntoutusalan opettajien digitaalinen osaaminen (Digital competence of social, health care and rehabilitation educators). Hoitotiede, 32(3), 204-217. Retrieved from