No 3 (2013) Abstracts

Dear readers,

The virtual campus of the future will combine physical and virtual facilities, technology and a social environment into a set of learning environments of a novel type. The web will no longer only be used to hand in course work, read articles or sit exams; as a learning space, the virtual environment will be no different from a physical classroom or a team work room.

The third issue of our journal in 2013 discusses both the future outlook of online teaching and practices tested and found good in real life. For example, the articles examine how using a web conferencing system makes flexible study arrangements for remote exams possible, and how an online publication can serve as a versatile learning environment. The articles on simulation pedagogy introduce us to a driving simulator used by students and the experiences of social and health care students of learning in a virtual gaming environment.

As teaching moves to the web, the information and library services at universities of applied sciences must also shift their focus to not only electronic materials but also guidance in using the materials and finding information. At many higher education institutions, the library indeed is an underused resource for teaching information skills.

In an ever more virtual world, the students increasingly use their own devices for studying – mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Permanent computer rooms and networks are being replaced by flexibly adaptable facilities and wireless networks. It is thus also apt to examine the perspective of information management in this UAS Journal.

Enjoy your reading!

Editor-in-Chief Riitta Rissanen (Savonia University of Applied Sciences) and Theme Issue Editor Irma Mänty (Laurea University of Applied Sciences)


All you can do online is learn

Development Manager, online learning Irma Mänty, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, irma.manty@laurea.fi

The free open online courses of big international universities will develop the methods and pedagogical solutions of online learning in higher education. This article describes the current phenomena of online learning, which includes in addition to the above mentioned, mobile learning, videos, and virtual games.

Peer-reviewed Articles

Students’ experiences of their competence development during pilot on integrating RDI and teaching

Principal Lecturer, D.H.Sc. Anneli Sarajärvi, Health Care and Nursing, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, anneli.sarajarvi@metropolia.fi
Researcher – Senior Lecturer, Ph.D. Marja Salmela, Health Care and Nursing, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, marja.salmela@metropolia.fi
Adjunct Professor, Director, D.H.Sc. Elina Eriksson, Health Care and Nursing, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, elina.eriksson@metropolia.fi

The aim of the pilot study was to experiment several practices to integrate RDI work and teaching and to describe students’ progress during the pilot phase.

The purpose of this article is to describe students’ experiences of the development of their competence in subject matter, work community relations, personal growth and RDI during the integration project. The data were collected from Metropolia’s nurse students (n = 65) by means of an e-questionnaire. The results were analyzed statistically with the SPSS Program. Statements describing competence were expressed as frequency, mean and standard deviation. According to the results, the students assessed their progress to be ‘somewhat better than before’ the pilot study. In particular, this applied to the subject-specific competence, whereas the other areas of competence development proved less significant.

Based on the results, the recommendations for further development arise from increasing cooperation between education and the workplace, improving curricula, integrating RDI work as part of teaching throughout the studies as well as observing and assessing students’ development of expertise during the course of their education.


From Virtual Campus to just Campus

Development Manager Harri Kuusela, FUAS – Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences, harri.kuusela@hamk.fi

FUAS – Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences is a strategic alliance formed by HAMK, Lahti and Laurea Universities of Applied Sciences. The Federation has established several common functions, one of which is Virtual Campus. The aim of Virtual Campus is to form a common learning environment where physical and social learning spaces meet various e-solutions and build up into an integrated entity, FUAS Campus.

Virtual campus@Lapland UAS

Planning Officer Tanja Rautiainen, Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences, tanja.rautiainen@ramk.fi
Coordinator Anu Pruikkonen, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, anu.pruikkonen@tokem.fi

Developing distance learning and elearning has been a strategic focus area of both Kemi-Tornio and Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences since the beginning of 2000. In practice this has meant developing an online format for adult education. The adoption of new, online ways to teach and study requires need-based support and training that are easily available as part of a daily work routine. In order to meet these support needs both universities of applied sciences have invested in providing elearning support services to the students and staff as part and parcel of basic support activities.

The strategy of the forthcoming Lapland University of Applied Sciences describes the management of “distance” as one field of expertise. This includes e.g. investments in ICT solutions and continuation of the strong development work in the field of elearning. Lapland UAS will utilize its existing elearning expertise in this work. In this article elearning efforts made this far are described and the future virtual campus is envisioned.

eLibrary: a virtual library for a virtual campus

Information Specialist Johanna Kiviluoto, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, johanna.kiviluoto@lamk.fi
Head of Information Management Sirkku Blinnikka, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, sirkku.blinnikka @lamk.fi

Availability of digital collections in higher education information and library services is directly linked to the developing of eLearning. As virtual campuses are becoming more and more common, must information and library services find ways to best serve their users online. The Joint Higher Education Library in Lahti is developing eKnowledge and eLibrary services as part of the FUAS Virtual Campus. The aim is to integrate information and library services with the virtual campus and also develop innovative new online services. The focus is in teaching and guiding students and staff in information skills and using the digital collections, as well as in promoting the educational use of these collections.

Open sitting rooms of learning

Research Manager, Project Manager of the AKTIIVI project Leena Vainio, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, leena.vainio@hamk.fi

The article describes the activities of universities of applied sciences in the development programme Active citizen of the open learning environment. The programme was launched in 2008, and 27 projects have received funding under it. Universities of applied sciences have been involved in one half of these projects as coordinators or co-implementers. The projects have set out to develop virtual and physical open learning environments, produce open learning materials, put together digital operating models and develop a new operating culture. The project actors are enthusiastic developers who full-heartedly hope that their experiences, ideas and operating models could gradually become part of every-day activities at universities of applied sciences.

Tyyne project examined workplaces as a future learning environment

Specialist Ari-Matti Auvinen, Suomen eOppimiskeskus ry, ama.auvinen@hci.fi

The report of the Tyyne project published in June 2013 highlights the fact that in today’s changing work environments, continuous learning will be increasingly important. Learning is undergoing a change, as the majority of on-the-job learning takes place outside conventional training. Learning at the workplace is also moving away from developing an individual’s skills by education and training to become more clearly a continuous communal activity, the key feature of which is collegial sharing.

Blended adult education in cooperation with companies – Case: Becoming a competent nurse in networks and nets

Principal Lecturer, Doctor of Health Science, Pirkko Jokinen, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Health Sector Kuopio, pirkko.jokinen@savonia.fi
Principal Lecturer, Ph.D. (Educ.) Irma Mikkonen, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Health Sector Kuopio, irma.mikkonen@savonia.fi

The education was part of the EU-funded project: SaWe – To become a competent nurse in networks and nets. The aims of the project were to develop an innovative education model for adult nursing learners in collaboration with health care personnel, and to construct a model which combines students’ learning with development of health care practices. As the result of the project and education the model of blended learning can be recommended to be adapted for adult education.

Studying online for a Bachelor’s in Information Technology

Principal Lecturer Mikko Hallikainen, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, mikko.hallikainen@oamk.fi

You can now study for a Bachelor’s degree online, also in certain fields of technology. A group of adult students of information technology who started in Raahe in autumn 2011 studied online without encountering any particular problems. This was made possible by sufficiently advanced learning environments and hardware.

CSE Simulation Centre offers learning environments at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

Project Manager Veli-Matti Nurkkala, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, veli-matti.nurkkala@kamk.fi
Project Researcher Jonna Kalermo, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, jonna.kalermo@kamk.fi

At the CSE Simulation Centre of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, the students can benefit not only from driving simulators that are unique in Finland but also of a virtual fitness training, tourism and gaming environment of the future as part of their studies. The R&D that started from the development of driving simulators has over a short period expanded into several separate projects, which the personnel and students of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences are developing together, aiming for new services and business.

Achieving more developed simulation pedagogy in nursing through student feedback

Principal Lecturer, Ph.D. Jorma Jokela, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, jorma.jokela@laurea.fi
Advanced Practice Nurse, Master of Health Care Melisa Heiskanen, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, melisa.heiskanen@laurea.fi
Freelancer instructor, Information Specialist, postgraduate student of information science, University of Oulu, Juha Kämäräinen, juha.kamarainen@mail.suomi.net

The article discusses the pedagogical arrangements of simulation-based learning at the Hyvinkää unit of Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Feedback by students has influenced in developing new forms to integrate simulation training more efficiently in the nursing curriculum. Both the flow of simulation experienced by the facilitators and satisfaction expressed by students has been improved due to reforms based on feedback. Abilities to respond sensitively and to create relevant solutions are required in implementing simulation training successfully.

A game teaches skills for working with the elderly – Social and health care students’ experiences of the Viva game

Principal Lecturer, Project Researcher in Hima project, Lic.H.Sc. Marja Äijö, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, marja.aijo@savonia.fi

More often social and health care professionals perform home visits and their customers are older people. In addition, in-training social and health professionals’ exposure to home visit is not always possible for logistical or financial reasons.  The development work of teaching methods should find new ways to support students’ professional skills and encourage students to work with the older adults. One new pedagogical method for the students to study and learn how to perform home visit was developed using a virtual game. In this article, the social and health care students’ learning experiences from the virtual Viva-game will be described.

Students develop business services in an international environment – Case: developing the services of an online shop

Senior Lecturer, Project Coordinator Kristina Henriksson, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, kristina.henriksson@laurea.fi

The article briefly describes the Erasmus Intensive Program organized by Laurea UAS in Leicester, England in April 2013. The text explains the concept of the IP and the learning and development challenges one student team faced in developing the services of an English online company.

Online journal as a learning environment at a university of applied sciences

Senior Lecturer, M.Phil., bibliotherapy instructor Saija Honkala, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Degree Programme in Crafts and Recreation, saija.honkala@hamk.fi

CuRec is a national online journal for cultural recreation activities produced by the Degree Programme in Crafts and Recreation at HAMK University of Applied Sciences. An online publication offers immense possibilities for a university of applied sciences: it is a learning environment, a learning material bank, a marketing channel, a tool for student recruitment and a shared forum for students, teachers, professionals in the sector and researchers. Producing material for CuRec has been integrated as a vital part of the studies and the students’ professional growth.

CuRec, which was established in 2001, will this autumn extend its range and become the online journal of the entire Education and Research Centre for Wellbeing at HAMK. At the same time, the appearance and contents of the journal will be totally revamped. This article describes the development of CuRec and the activities related to establishing, editing and maintaining an online journal.

Web conferencing platform enables distance test – Case Novia Design, Turku

Senior Lecturer Eeva Dahlberg, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Novia Design, Turku, eeva.dahlberg@novia.fi

The web conferencing software Adobe Connect is an essential part when it comes to Distance Learning in the Degree Programme in Design at Novia University of Applied Sciences, Turku. Students, studying or working abroad, can submit tests online with Adobe Connect. The software utilizes Flash Player and therefore enables web conferencing virtually on almost any device improving flexibility for both teaching and learning online.

An assessment tool for the bachelor’s and master’s theses provides a statement frame and clarifies assessment

Planning Officer, Dr. Sc.S.  Anne Sankari, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, anne.sankari@samk.fi
Senior Lecturer, M.Phil. Pekka Kuisma, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, pekka.kuisma@samk.fi

The purpose of the thesis is twofold: it is both a learning process and a demonstration of learning. The supervisors assess the thesis at the end of the thesis process. An assessment tool has been used to evaluate the bachelor’s and master’s theses at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) since 2008. It is based on the assessment criteria of the theses at SAMK. The bachelor’s degree and master’s degree have their own criteria for the grades (1–5). The assessment tool and the criteria were reformulated in 2012. The criteria are based on the thesis descriptions of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees stated in the decree on the universities of applied sciences as well as on the level descriptions of the European Quality Framework. The reform of the assessment tool facilitated its use, since the assessment criteria are better applicable to different types of theses. In addition, the assessment criteria are expressed in full sentences and these sentences can be printed as part of the statement with a suggestion for the grade. However, the supervisor can edit the sentences for the statement. The application of the assessment tool has been created for Lotus Notes environment and it can be used through a browser by signing in.

Online learning and competence development do not end with graduation

Managing Director Eric Rousselle, Discendum Oy, eric.rousselle@discendum.com

At its best, eLearning offers authentic collaboration environments, where people can learn and share knowledge together. An increasing amount of learning and doing in information societies takes place in networks and communities consisting of different types of learners. Competence development is nowadays understood as a continuum that does not end in school years. Understanding and supporting this trend sets a lot of requirements for both educational institutions and other organizations.


The development actions of the UAS Journal in a nutshell

Subeditor Lotta Linko, UAS Journal, lotta.linko@hamk.fi
Social media expert Mauri Kantola, UAS Journal, mauri.kantola@turkuamk.fi

The UAS Journal is under a constant scrutiny: the editing team has looked into the making process of the journal to find out whether or not the development activities have been successful.

Dr Mervi Friman, Mr Mauri Kantola, and Ms Lotta Linko have looked in the processes of the journal bearing in mind the aim of the publication. The method used is action research with quantitative analysis on the contents, production process, and the participating network of the UAS Journal. The writers have studied what the interventions on the UAS Journal network and publication are and what outcomes of those interventions can be identified and measured.

Three processes can be identified in the UAS Journal publication: editing, marketing and networking. The processes are somewhat overlapping particularly in the areas of marketing and networking.

During the past couple of years, there have been six identified interventions in the editing process. The marketing and networking processes have both had four interventions. The figure below sums the interventions and outcomes.

The outcomes in some cases are very streamlined, supporting each other. One example of a consequentual action/outcome is the following: The introduction of theme issues and visiting editors in the editing process has sharpened the contents and allowed a more focused marketing. The targeted marketing has resulted in more visitors which again is supported by social media presence, allowing to share the article wider.

Mr Mauri Kantola and Ms Lotta Linko attended the EAIR annual conference in Rotterdam in August 2013 where they presented their poster on the actions and outcomes of the UAS Journal processes. The travel report along with other video material can be found at UAS Journal’s YouTube channel.


Winds of change in information management – ICT supporting education

Chief Information Officer,M.Sc. (Econ.) Pekka Liedes, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences, pekka.liedes@vamk.fi

Once upon a time, ICT was expected to revolutionise the efficiency of office work. While it certainly revolutionised our working days, the introduction of ICT has not always meant increased efficiency. A teacher or a student struggling with various systems and passwords would certainly agree. How could ICT serve learning processes better than today, instead of remaining an automation tool for administration?

Why should higher education institutions teach information searching skills?

Head Information Specialist, member of the AMKIT pedagogy working group Teija Harju, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Library of Engineering, teija.harju@oamk.fi

In the Finnish higher education system, at both universities and universities of applied sciences, libraries teach and give instruction in information skills and information searching. In the point of view of the universities, the greatest advantage gained by teaching information skills is the influence it has on students, advancing their studies and thus getting a degree. From the students’ angle, information skills help them to succeed not only in their studies and getting a degree, but in the working life as well. It is worth noticing that also teachers can benefit from the instruction in information skills

’How many sources?’ is a valid question

Freelancer instructor, Information Specialist, postgraduate student of information science, University of Oulu, Juha Kämäräinen, juha.kamarainen@mail.suomi.net

The students ask their supervisors, library staff and their peers about the number of sources they should have for a thesis. This question indicates that there are problems in the way we formulate ideas of knowledge and appreciate knowledge at universities of applied sciences. Guidance and support related to the knowledge base of a thesis requires a multidisciplinary approach to ensure that the thesis will fully support the formation of professional capabilities for information management. The library’s possibilities have not been fully exploited in this area.

HEIs to pull their weight in the strcutural reform

Board Member Toni Asikainen, the Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences SAMOK, toni.asikainen@samok.fi

At its budget session in August, the Finnish government managed to put together an extensive structural reform package aiming to bridge  a sustainability gap of some 9 billion accumulated over the years by 2017. The universities of applied sciences will play a key role in this structural reform, and positive impacts can be created for example by making it possible in practice to study round the year, by expanding the provision of courses through centralising education to larger units and by stepping up cooperation with other higher education institutions. The joint efforts of the universities of applied sciences can make a valuable contribution to  saving the Finnish welfare society.

Book Reviews

Theories and practices of HEIs’ regional development activities

Senior Advisor, D.Sc (Tech), Adjunct Professor Matti K. Hakala, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, matti.hakala@hamk.fi

The topical publication Teorioita ja käytäntöjä korkeakoulujen aluekehitystoiminnasta (Theories and practices of HEIs’ regional development activities) is a collection of 33 different views, descriptions or experiences  by 40 authors on the subject of higher education institutions’ regional development activities. The majority of the articles discuss RDI cooperation models developed in various universities of applied sciences and experiences gathered of them. This cavalcade provides a versatile picture of the variety of approaches taken in an effort to fulfil the regional development duties. The publication is an important contribution to material that allows the regional impact of higher education institutions to be evaluated more reliably in the future.

Edellinen artikkeliSeuraava artikkeli