Boundaries and boundary crossing in a multidisciplinary online higher education course on forest bioeconomy

Hanna Vuojärvi, Henriikka Vartiainen, Miikka Eriksson, Ilkka Ratinen, Kaija Saramäki, Piritta Torssonen, Petteri Vanninen, Sinikka Pöllänen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The field of higher education (HE) is characterized by diversity
stemming from multiple sources. Diversity results in boundaries
that carry the potential to promote personal and professional
development for HE students. Boundaries also offer the possibility
of learning generic skills and planning and carrying out
challenging tasks that require collaborative problem solving in
multidisciplinary teams. Drawing upon the theory of boundary
crossing, this study aims to identify the kinds of boundaries that
HE students experience during a multidisciplinary online course
on forest bioeconomy and how they manage these boundaries in
terms of boundary crossing while collaboratively solving an ill-
defined development challenge set by a working life
organization. The data consist of in-depth interviews with student
teams (N = 20). The results provide insights into the pedagogical
principles through which students’ boundary-crossing processes
can be facilitated in HE online learning settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Higher education
  • boundaries
  • boundary crossing
  • online learning
  • pedagogy

Field of science

  • General education


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