Conceptualising and promoting student agency in university studies (StudyAgent)

Agency is seen as a core component of professionalism. However, conceptual models and practical tools for assessing and supporting agency construction, and development of agency in higher education are lacking. The project will apply a novel multidimensional approach and diverse methods to study student agency. The project comprises two interconnected sub-studies: The comparative large-scale study collects novel data on students’ agency experiences in four countries (Belgium, Finland, Spain, and USA). The design-based follow-up study focuses on Finnish higher education students’ agency construction and development of agency competence across three years of study, and the pedagogical practices supportive of student agency. Measures including questionnaires, interviews of students and teachers, and teachers’ self-reports will be linked to student agency analytics. The project has a high potential for impact on educational practices, and transfer into renewing learning and work cultures.

The core team:

Päivikki Jääskelä, PhD (Education), Adjunct professor, Senior researcher, PI
Maarit Arvaja, PhD (Education), Adjunct professor, Senior researcher
Elina Vaara, M.Sc (statistics), Project researcher