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Distance education can counteract the shortage of teachers

Published: 15 April 2016

Basic Teacher Education at Luleå University of Technology is since the fall of 2015 given at a distance. Despite some initial concerns, the new study form has been shown to be successful and popular. Distance adjustment may even be a way of countering the shortage of teachers.

- Many small towns already have problems recruiting teachers, but a distance education creates opportunities for those who live in places far from one university to study, live and have a secure job to go to after the education, says Lena Nyström, lecturer and course leader for undergraduate teacher education.

Better equipped students

After the transition to distance learning the application numbers have increased significantly, an effect of this is the higher admission points and thereby better equipped students.

- The distance groups also get an exciting mix of students of different ages, with different experience, geographic residence and living situation, which creates a great dynamic, says Lena Nyström and says that the faculty who teach on the program has placed great emphasis on course evaluations and collaborated between course work teams .

- We have our ear to the ground and listened to the students' experience and they really came forward with many constructive and forward-looking ideas about what was good and what needed to change. We have tried to be responsive and there is no doubt that we have learned a lot this school year.

Also regular classroom instruction

Basic teacher training is a distance education but that does not mean that students are not in place at the university. Each semester includes 3-4 weeks on campus with examinations and lectures.

- It is important to get together at regular intervals, which is appreciated by our students, says Lena Nyström.

- My opinion is that the students are satisfied with the structure that we have had so far, which is also reflected in the results of the study results and course throughput.

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