Moving Towards Digitalization of Teaching: Learnings from Higher Education Course Developments

Research output: ThesisMaster's thesis


Digital materials are increasingly used in teaching. The question is how teachers can use digital teaching materials in their teaching in the best possible way. This thesis seeks to address the research question of how can digital teaching materials be used in higher education to support students’ learning? This research provides new knowledge by contributing to literatures of: Digital teaching materials and their use, blended teaching, and flipped classroom. We conducted a multiple-case study of eleven case courses from the areas of Project Business, Digital Transformation, Operations Management, and Designing. Case courses were taught at Aalto University, Finnish Institute of Technology, EIT Digital, and Oulu University. Some of the case courses used digital materials as part of the teaching for the first time while others had long experience of using digital materials in teaching. We collected data from eleven case courses through 10 interviews, 20 lecture observation sessions, participation observation in 13 case course design meetings, a survey of EIT Digital students, Aalto Online Learning video development process, feedbacks from 4 case courses, and student portal materials. From the cross-case analysis, we derive eight propositions concerning the form of digital materials, the necessary support to adapt digital materials in teaching, benefits such as scalability and implications of those benefits to teaching, different ways to motivate students to complete assignments, and the roles of active learning and feedback when using digital materials. Our propositions also provide new knowledge on the roles of external support organizations in the proliferation of digital materials and how to motivate grade and deadline-oriented students to study. We suggest further research in how to support using non-self-produced digital teaching materials, what is the best way to connect assignments to digital materials that students would study the required materials, and how to best use deadline-orientation of the students to pace the teaching in courses.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Artto, Karlos, Supervising Professor
  • Matinheikki, Juri, Thesis Advisor
Award date20 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2019
MoE publication typeG2 Master's thesis, polytechnic Master's thesis


  • digital teaching materials
  • teaching
  • higher education
  • university
  • learning


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