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LearnWell (Wellbeing of the Learning Community) is a research area at HAMK Edu research unit, which aims at research-based development of learning, teaching and wellbeing of the learning community.

The research done in this area utilizes both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The main instruments used are study experience questionnaire LearnWell and HowUTeach self-assessment tool for teachers. They are research-based instruments, which measure learning/teaching approaches, experiences of the learning/teaching environment and wellbeing. In addition to being research instruments, they serve as self-reflection tools for students and teachers, and both include counter feedback to enhance awareness of own learning/teaching. The results are utilized in developing the quality of learning and teaching at HAMK, and in supporting wellbeing of the learning community.

LearnWell researchers: Liisa Postareff, Viivi Virtanen, Juulia Lahdenperä, Riikka Tuominen, Telle Hailikari, Sara Rönkkönen, Taina Civil and Merly Kosenkranius



The objective of the study experience questionnaire instrument LearnWell is to gain knowledge on students’ learning processes, experiences of the teaching-learning environment and wellbeing in diverse teaching-learning contexts.  It can be used to measure students’ learning and experiences in course/module level or programme level. At HAMK, students respond to the instrument three times during their studies (mid 1st year, beginning of 3rd year, time of graduation) thinking of their learning generally in their own programme. The results can be used in developing the teaching and teaching-learning environments and in supporting students’ learning and well-being in the different programmes.

The statements in the instrument are based on prior research on academic teaching and learning, and it is mainly based on the HowULearn instrument (see e.g., Parpala & Lindblom-Ylänne 2012) developed at the University of Helsinki. The instrument has been further developed, modified and extended at HAMK to take into account the context of universities of applied sciences. This version is called LearnWell. The instrument consists of different parts which include items that are evaluated on a Likert scale. The different parts focus on 1) students’ learning processes, 2) experiences of the learning environment, 3) experiences of competence development and 4) study-related well-being.

The questionnaire allows various possibilities to explore students’ learning and wellbeing. For example, it can be used to identify successful or at-risk-students through profiling the students based on their responses, or to investigate how students’ learning processes and experiences of the teaching-learning environment are related to their experiences of workload and their wellbeing.

In addition to being a research instrument, the questionnaire can also be considered as a self-reflection tool for students. Through responding to the items, students have the opportunity to monitor their own studying and learning. 

For teachers and higher education institutions, the questionnaire provides valuable and reliable research-based information of students’ study processes, experiences and wellbeing in different teaching-learning environments. This research-based information can be used to develop teaching and teaching-learning environments. At HAMK, this information is discussed with the programme leaders, and dealt with in the LearnWell Pedagogical Development Programme, which all teachers at HAMK will join between 2021-2023.

Privacy notice: LearnWell Privacy Notice


HowUTeach is a research-based self-assessment tool created primarily for teachers in both science universities and universities of applied sciences (Parpala & Postareff, 2021). The purpose of HowUTeach is to increase teachers’ awareness of their teaching and enhance individual self-reflection relating to teaching and well-being. HowUTeach contains different inventories covering teaching processes, experiences of the work environment, and well-being.

HowUTeach also includes counter feedback, which can be given to teachers after they have reflected their own teaching and wellbeing. The feedback includes descriptions of different teaching dimensions as well as suggestions on how to develop and improve teaching practices and wellbeing as a teacher. At HAMK, HowUTeach and the counter feedback is used in the Pedagogical Development Programmes to promote teacher reflection and awareness of own teaching and wellbeing and the relations between them. It is also used for research purposes to enhance research-based development of teaching.