UV9919H2 – Individual differences in learning, motivation, and well-being

Course content

This course focuses on individual differences in, and the interplay between learning, motivation and well-being from early childhood to adolescence in different cultural and educational contexts. The approach to the topic is interdisciplinary, and emphasis is placed upon presenting recent findings from the fields of educational psychology and special needs education (e.g., mathematics learning, executive functions, motivation, and stress regulation). The course also looks at the topic using different methodological perspectives, such as longitudinal designs and person-centred methods.

The course is organised as part of the EduCo project (funded by DIKU for 2019-2020) in collaboration with The Education University of Hong Kong.

Learning outcome

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • understand factors that contribute to individual differences in learning (especially in mathematics), motivation and well-being
  • employ knowledge and skills to identify and explain how different cultural and educational contexts contribute to the learning, motivation and well-being of children and adolescents
  • recognise and understand different methodological approaches to studying  individual differences in learning, motivation and well-being (e.g., longitudinal studies, person-centred analyses, interventions, use of biomarkers)


PhD candidates at the Faculty of Educational Sciences will be given priority, but it is also possible for others to apply for the course. However, applicants must at least have a Master's degree.

Candidates admitted to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences apply through Studentweb

Other applicants apply through this application form

Registration deadline: 26 September, 2019.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that the candidates have some knowledge of the themes covered in the course as well as basic understanding of quantitative methods.


The course covers 12 hours of lectures (distributed over 4 days à 3 hours) and learning tasks related to the lectures and course literature (see Examination).

Lectures are given by the members of the EduCo project:

  • Riikka Mononen (Associate professor, Department of Special Needs Education, UiO),
  • Markku Niemivirta (Professor, Department of Education, UiO),
  • Mari Nislin (Assistant professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, The Education University of Hong Kong), and
  • Kerry Lee (Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, The Education University of Hong Kong).

Dates: 29 October, 12 November, 13 November and 26 November. 

Location: Room xx, Helga Engs hus.

You will find the timetable at the semester webpage for the course.


Examination support material

3 credit points for participating in lectures (80% attendance is required), and submitting a portfolio consisting of four learning assignments (e.g., a short essay, a review, a study plan, and a poster), which are related to lectures and course literature, and are given during the course. If the student does not submit a portfolio, then no credit points are given.

Learning portfolios are to be submitted via online learning platform Canvas.

Deadline for the final submission is: 13 December, 2019.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.


Evaluation form.

Reading list

Course literature will consist of articles (about 200-300 pages) assigned by the lecturers and published in August.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2019


Autumn 2019

Teaching language