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Brandmannautbildning på distans, en het fråga: om utmaningar, motsättningar och förändringar vid implementering av distansutbildning
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Firefighter Training at a Distance, a hot topic : on Challenges, Contradictions and Changes in the Implementation of a Distance Training Mode (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, distance courses combining online studies with physical meetings on campus have become increasingly common as an alternative to regular campus courses, even in vocational training programs with extensive practical skills components. This thesis is focused on the implementation of distance firefighter training in Sweden and the ways in which this intervention has affected training activities and participants, as well as on the impact that historical and contextual training aspects have had on the implementation process. Based on a sociocultural and activity theory framework, a longitudinal, comparative study was made of the distance and campus study modes, focusing on those challenges, contradictions and changes resulting from this intervention that have had the greatest impact on the students’ learning processes, the instructors’ teaching roles and the basic training program as a whole. Four data collections were made over a period of about five years. The data consisted of interviews with students and instructors, observations of practical exercises, logbook notes and general documents pertaining to the training programme. Three phases were identified in the implementation, viz. an introduction phase, an extension phase and a consolidation phase. The introduction phase was characterized by a focus on instructor-driven approaches where the instructors’ traditional one-way knowledge transfer approach to teaching was gradually re-assessed, which made possible the introduction of a technology-supported, more process-oriented and student-centered course design. This resulted in the distance students beginning to take greater individual responsibility for their studies than the campus students, who proved to be more dependent on the knowledge imparted by their instructors. The extension phase, during which other instructors, usually with little experience of technology-supported teaching, and additional student groups were included in the distance training, was characterized by a normalization of the changes brought about during the introduction phase, meaning that, to some extent, they tended to shift in the direction of the traditional knowledge transfer and practice-oriented approaches of the campus training mode. This tendency can be attributed to conflicts between the instructors’ conceptions of the online learning environment and their views of how vocational training should be conducted. The manner in which they dealt with these conflicts can be summarized as quiet resistance, manifested by reduced online presence, less support to the distance students and a continued focus on their commitments on the campus program. Over time, this appears to have resulted in the distance students adapting their study strategies to the dominating attitudes in the training program and spending less time interacting online. Although these patterns also occurred in the consolidation phase, it would appear that during this phase the distance students developed their own goal-oriented and self-directed learning strategies. An important conclusion of this thesis is that the traditional attitudes commonly found in the firefighter profession had less impact on the distance students’ learning processes than on those of the campus students. Furthermore, it was found that the implementation of the distance mode was a catalyst that brought to light conflicting views about the program’s goals and core content, and contributed to established attitudes to teaching and learning being challenged. However, it also contributed to some extent to changes in the approaches to teaching. Finally, the thesis demonstrates that the gradual changes in course design and the division of responsibility between instructors and students in the technology-supported distance mode resulted in the students becoming more goal-oriented, more focused on exercise preparations and better able to participate in exercises in a manner that deepened their understanding of the complexity of exercises.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2015. , 110 p.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 111
Keyword [en]
Firefighter training, online vocational training, learning processes, instructor roles, activity theory, contradictions
Keyword [sv]
Brandmannautbildning, nätbaserad yrkesutbildning, lärprocesser, instruktörsroller, aktivitetsteori, kontradiktioner
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101813ISBN: 978-91-7601-248-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-101813DiVA: diva2:803434
Public defence
2015-05-08, Humanisthuset, Hörsal E, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Available from: 2015-04-16 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2015-05-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Reformed firefighter training program in Sweden: Conflicting instructor conceptions of professional learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reformed firefighter training program in Sweden: Conflicting instructor conceptions of professional learning
2014 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, ISSN 2242-458X, E-ISSN 2242-458X, Vol. 4, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2003, the content and form of Swedish firefighter training were reformed. New curricula and guidelines were implemented, instructors from different fields of knowledge were recruited and the training program was extended. In this study, 29 instructors were interviewed with a view to identifying and analyzing the salient conceptions of professional learning amongthem and how their conceptions have been affected by, and have affected, the implementation of the new training program. The resultsshow thatthe dominant conception among fire and rescueinstructors continuesto be adaptation-oriented, and that it has not changed significantly,despiterevisedtraininggoalsand challengesfromthe development-orientedattitudeprevalent among the risk andsafetyinstructors.It is also shown that this fundamentalcontradictionbetween instructor conceptions is manifested inseveraldilemmasand conflictsduring the negotiationand implementation phases ofthe new training program

National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96589 (URN)10.3384/njvet.2242-458X.14v4i2a5 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-11-24 Created: 2014-11-24 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Preparations for practical exercises in vocational education: Can ICT-based distance instruction be an alternative to face-to-face instruction? An empirical contribution
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preparations for practical exercises in vocational education: Can ICT-based distance instruction be an alternative to face-to-face instruction? An empirical contribution
2012 (English)In: Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences / [ed] Gülsün A. Baskan, Fezile Ozdamli, Sezer Kanbul and Deniz Özcan, Elsevier, 2012, 1152-1161 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this article about preparation for practical exercises in firefighter education, comparisons were made between ICT-supported preparation in distance education and preparation supported by face-to-face instruction in on-campus education, with regard totheir impact on students’ reflection and learning processes and implementation of exercises. Data was collected in two studies through interviews with students and instructors from both educations. The results showed that distance students with ICTsupported preparation took a greater responsibility for their studies and reflected more on course content and their own learning, compared to students with face-to-face instruction as preparation. Distance students were also better prepared for exercises on campus. However, interaction and collaboration occurred to a lesser degree among distance students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012
Keyword
Distance education; mediating ICT-tools; interaction; communication; firefighter education
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-59376 (URN)10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.05.266 (DOI)
Conference
4th WORLD CONFERENCE ON EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES (WCES-2012) 02-05 February 2012 Barcelona, Spain
Available from: 2012-09-19 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2015-06-04Bibliographically approved
3. ICT as a Catalyst in Problem-based Learning processes: A comparison of Online and Campus-Based PBL in Swedish Fire-Fighter Training
Open this publication in new window or tab >>ICT as a Catalyst in Problem-based Learning processes: A comparison of Online and Campus-Based PBL in Swedish Fire-Fighter Training
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology, ISSN 1947-8607, Vol. 4, no 2, 1-14 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on the impact on learning processes when digital technologies are integrated into PBL (problem-based learning) oriented distance training. Based on socio-cultural perspectives on learning and a comparative distance-campus as well as a time-perspective, instructor and student roles, and learning activities were explored. Interviews with instructors and students were collected from the two study modes at the beginning and at the end of the training period. The results showed that online PBL, compared to campus-based PBL, evolved towards a more individual, real-life and literacy-oriented problem-solving process with supervising instructors and self-directed learning among students. The follow-up study in the latter part of the training showed that the extended technology integration resulted in both phases of dissemination and normalization. The development in online PBL affected both the course design and educational talks throughout the training. However, the prevailing teaching culture and educational deficiencies of new instructors contributed to a gradual normalization of the online PBL.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IGI Global, 2013
Keyword
Digital Technologies, Distance Learning, Fire-Fighter Training, Instructor Role, Learning Activities, Learning Processes, Online PBL, Problem-Based Learning, Student Role
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101794 (URN)10.4018/javet.2013040101 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2016-11-03Bibliographically approved
4. Firefighter training in Sweden: from face-to-face learning in training grounds to distance learning - a challenge for exercise instructors?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Firefighter training in Sweden: from face-to-face learning in training grounds to distance learning - a challenge for exercise instructors?
2016 (English)In: Technology, Pedagogy and Education, ISSN 1475-939X, E-ISSN 1747-5139, Vol. 25, no 2, 249-267 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When distance learning supported by digital technologies was introduced in firefighter training in Sweden some years ago, training exercise instructors accustomed to face-to-face teaching in the field had to adapt their professional roles to an electronic landscape with a number of new opportunities and constraints. Based on activity theory and comparisons between campus and distance mode, this study was aimed at increasing the understanding of how the training exercise instructor role is affected by the shift towards technology-enhanced distance learning. An analysis of interviews with instructors and students, and observations of response exercises, show that contradictions are emerging in the distance mode between instructors’ motives, their technology tools and the object of the training they provide, and also between the two types of training, that is, the campus and the distance modes. Structural tensions and personal motives contribute to changes in the division of labour with instructors tending to adopt a much more passive role in the distance mode compared to their more active role in the campus mode.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2016
Keyword
training exercise instructor role, distance learning, digital technologies, contradictions, conflicts and dilemmas, learning process
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101797 (URN)10.1080/1475939X.2014.968197 (DOI)000374887300007 ()
Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
5. New ways of learning to fight fires?: Learning processes and contradictions in distance and on-campus firefighter training in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New ways of learning to fight fires?: Learning processes and contradictions in distance and on-campus firefighter training in Sweden
2015 (English)In: Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, ISSN 1449-3098, E-ISSN 1449-5554, Vol. 31, no 2, 220-234 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reports on findings from a comparative study on firefighter students' learning processes in a technology-supported distance training course and a traditional campus training course in Sweden. Based on student interviews and observations of exercises, the article aims to describe and analyse the impact on learning processes when exercise-oriented teaching takes place in a technology-supported learning environment instead of face to face on campus. Drawing on the concept of contradiction in activity theory, the findings indicate that distance students encounter several dilemmas and conflicts related to low instructor presence, ambiguities regarding learning requirements and division of labor, as well as shortcomings in the technologies offered. However, the distance students tend to develop strategies for dealing with these contradictions, resulting in the development of self-directed learning and more learner-centered approaches, while the campus students rely to a greater extent on traditional, instructor-centered teaching. During the 2-year training course, however, it appears the established norms and conventions of teaching and learning which characterise the campus mode, counteract changes in the distance mode. The technology-supported learning process with its focus on exercise preparation is thus gradually normalised in the direction of the campus mode, and its face -to-face, instructor-led and exercise-oriented learning process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ascilite, 2015
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101804 (URN)000358308200009 ()
Available from: 2015-04-13 Created: 2015-04-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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  • en-GB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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