Abstracts 2/2019

It’s time to work together

Tapio Varmola, President, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Chairman, The Rectors Conference of Universities of Applied Sciences (ARENE)

Digitalisation is bringing many changes to the way that higher education institutions operate. It impacts both research and innovation activities, and raises the need for many changes in both teaching and support services.

In the UK, a dream was born in the 1970s to build an Open University. Thanks to technological developments, the principal idea behind this – higher education teaching that is independent of time and place – can now be made a reality. Many higher education institutions in Finland are now pondering this idea as they work on reshaping their strategies.

Finland has 23 universities of applied sciences and 13 universities. By bringing together the strengths and expertise of all of these, Finland could become a model country for flexible study, a forerunner in modern higher education studies.

This requires new kinds of cooperation between higher education institutions, to which their boards, teachers, and key data management personnel and partners must be committed. Here are a few examples:

Student mobility and cooperation in higher education require compatible processes and perhaps also shared platforms. New digital operating models are needed in study administration in order to promote student mobility. Higher education collaboration in online teaching and pedagogical development should be encouraged in every way possible, and teachers should be rewarded for it. There is also a need to study the effectiveness of digital teaching.

In Finland there are many national data resources for teaching which should be put to use and further developed for the benefit of students. This could also generate a unique competitive advantage at the international level.

The current state of affairs is a fragmented one: we currently have in use around 150 different teaching and study administration data systems and applications. Through long-term collaboration, we can at least get from fragments to building blocks, and then gradually put these blocks together.

New expectations are being placed on higher education institutions in the area of continuing education. This creates both challenges and opportunities for teaching. The competencies of adults in the workplace are at varying levels, but at least some of them are already acting in a digital, global operating environment. How do we respond to this demand?

Higher education institutions have had a wide variety of experiences with national collaboration projects relating to teaching or study administration. They do not always leave people hungry for more. But let’s not indulge those that gripe about the past. We must shape for the coming decade a new digital vision for joint learning, implement it ambitiously, and value the experiences of working together which we already have.

 

AAPA and FUCIO: Collaboration of universities in digitalization for decades

Jaakko Riihimaa, IT General Secretary, AAPA (Human network of CIOs in Universities of Applied Science), jaakko.riihimaa(at)haaga-helia.fi
Teemu Seesto, IT General Secretary, FUCIO (Human network of CIOs in Universities), teemu.seesto(at)utu.fi

In Finland both universities and UASes (Universities of Applied Sciences) have a human network of CIOs (chief information officers). Although all universities compete with each other, these networks cooperate closely with each other and share knowledge. In both networks there is a ”stooge”, an IT General Secretary working full time. Common expert groups in the fields such as cyber security, privacy issues, enterprise architecture, contract management as well as identity management, work efficiently within that framework. A wide variety of data is also collected and the results are shared annually.

Key words: CIO (chief information officer), knowledge sharing, co-operative networks, digitalization

 

The new role of IT in digitalization

Anssi Hietaharju, M.Sc. (Admin.), Advisor, Sofigate Oy, anssi.hietaharju(at)sofigate.com
Mari Nyrhinen, D.Ed., ICT Manager, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, mari.nyrhinen(at)diak.fi

Digitalization has created a wave of change in many industries. Organizations now invest increasingly on digitalization in pursuit of innovations, increased effectiveness and modern customer experiences.

As new information technologies infiltrate to a variety of activities the organization is engaged with, it generates a risk that digital development becomes fragmented and every digital service composes an independent entity. Therefore, it is crucial that the IT functions and core functions in the organization work in close cooperation to ensure that the services in the organization produce the highest possible added value for both its internal and external customers.

This article presents the mindset of the Business Technology standard (BT standard) that was published by the Business Technology Forum in January 2019. BT standard offers a strategy, including a set of best practices, tools and structures, for organizing and coordinating technology management as whole across the entire organization. Moreover, this article shows how technologies in BT standard have been categorized in different technology areas.

In addition to the point of views of the BT standard, the article provides some tips on how to get started in building a BT mindset in your own organization.

Key words: Business Technology standard, digitalization, information technologies

 

Framework for Digitally-Competent Educational Organisations: DigCompOrg

Kari Helenius, M.Sc. (Tech.), CIO, Häme University of Applied Sciences, kari.helenius(at)hamk.fi
Lotta Linko, M.A., Quality Manager, Häme University of Applied Sciences, lotta.linko(at)hamk.fi
Henna Pirttilä, M.A., Development Manager, Häme University of Applied Sciences, henna.pirttila(at)hamk.fi

New technologies are changing education at organisational and pedagogical level. New digital competencies are required from students, staff and support functions. This article discusses how DigCompOrg (Kampylis, Punie & Devine 2015) has been utilised at three different levels at HAMK: to promote strategic development, structure enterprise architecture and organise team work.
DigCompOrg is a European framework for the digital competence of an educational organisation. It covers leadership and governance, teaching and learning, professional development, assessment, content and curricula, collaboration and networking, and infrastructure.

At strategic level DigCompOrg provides a frame for developing the core competences of HAMK’s (Häme University of Applied Sciences) ICT: facilitating digitalisation, information management and automation, data-driven decision-making and agile service development. Embedded in enterprise architecture, DigCompOrg reveals the interdependencies between development projects that affect skills, processes, data, information systems, technologies and digital infrastructure. HAMK’s learning development team have structured their operational roadmap, action plan, targets and tasks in accordance with DigCompOrg.

A shared framework ensures parallel activity at strategic, tactic and operational level.

Key words: digital competencies, enterprise architecture, action plan, digitalization, development

 

A common path towards the future – The Lapland University Consortium’s shared CIO Office and ICT Services

Manu Pajuluoma, M.A., CIO, University of Lapland & Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Manu.Pajuluoma(at)ulapland.fi
Markku Taipale, M.A., CIO, University of Lapland & Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Markku.Taipale(at)lapinamk.fi

Lapland has over ten years of successful contract-based cooperation in providing ICT services for higher education institutions.

The introduction of the Lapland University Consortium’s shared CIO Office and ICT Services at the beginning of 2019 marks the next major step forward in the consortium’s strategic development efforts. In connection with the reorganization, sixteen employees of the Lapland UAS made a transition to the new Group CIO Office and ICT Services organization operating at the University of Lapland.

The organizational change process was co-designed with the employees involved in the change. During the initial stages of the development work, descriptions of the current state of the operations were produced and the vision of the Group CIO Office and ICT Services was outlined. The results of audits and evaluations carried out in our work community were utilized in the process. Based on the initial investigations, working groups of experts were set to develop the organizational structure and to define the core tasks, roles and responsibilities.

The activities of the Group CIO Office and ICT Services of the Universities are based on shared policies and services. Development is guided by a common enterprise architecture, common information security policies and a shared customer care model.

Key words: Information management, ICT Services, change management, collaboration, joint planning, University Consortium

Karelia is led by information

Mikko Penttinen, Quality Coordinator, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, mikko.penttinen(at)karelia.fi
Lauri Hänninen, ICT-planning Officer, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, lauri.hanninen(at)karelia.fi

Changes in the higher education funding model and the reductions of funding have resulted in the need for systematic monitoring and anticipation of higher education operations and economy. A large amount of real-time data is available in many different systems and the challenge has been the management of this amount of data and the use of the information as a support for the management in decision-making. Based on this need, Karelia University of Applied Sciences started to develop a knowledge management tool, Karelia-Vipunen. The success of the development work was based on cooperation between IT and other units at the higher education institution. This article describes the development history of Karelia-Vipunen as well as the use of its data in the monitoring of operations and economy.

Key words: Karelia University of Applied Sciences, knowledge management, data administration, Karelia-Vipunen, cooperation

IT benchmarking for better knowledge management

Tuomo Rintamäki, M.Pol.Sc., M.Sc. (Econ.), CIO, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, tuomo.rintamaki(at)metropolia.fi
Juha Venho, M. Eng., CIO, Turku University of Applied Sciences, juha.venho(at)turkuamk.fi
Teemu Seesto, IT General Secretary, FUCIO (Human network of CIOs in Universities), teemu.seesto(at)utu.fi

How digitalization in universities of applied sciences (UAS) correlates with their spending on IT resources?
How much are we spending on IT? How does our spending on IT compare with other UASs?
If we know the structure of our IT costs can we improve the impact of IT on core functions?

Most Finnish UAS are participating in BenchHEIT survey (BM) with the aim to find answers to these questions and to be able to provide recommendations to UAS management to improve the impact of IT resources.

BM is a survey on IT costs and volumes of higher education institutes. Its participation is voluntary and free of charge. The survey has been invented and is being developed and managed as a EUNIS Task Force.

From the BM analysis we can find out that IT costs in relation to student FTE have decreased about 7% during the last five years. During 2013–2017 the share of IT expenditure out of total expenditures of the Finnish UASes has remained fairly stable, about 6.5% . According to these figures there has not been heavy inputs on digitalization. On the other hand, the space allocated to IT classrooms have decreased 38%.

In the BM analysis it is possible to pick up other universities and put them in comparison by all indicators. E.g. the top management of Turku UAS prefers to be compared with other big Finnish UASes. Regular, annual participation in BM survey makes it possible to draw time series and to find out core development trends. IT chiefs of Finnish UAS have introduced permanent process to improve the reliability of BM data and thus improve its value in comparison.

Key words: Benchmarking, IT-costs, digitalization

 

Project portfolio management enables data management

Outi Pelkonen, BBA, Planner, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Johanna Krappe, M.A., Head of Research, Development and Innovation Services, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Juha Venho, Master of Engineering, CIO, Turku University of Applied Sciences

In the year 2014, TUAS faced severe problems in project portfolio management. The portfolio and project management system did not support the processes nor the information management. TUAS decided to start a digitalization project where the project processes would be developed and a new project portfolio management system would be purchased. The aim was to enhance portfolio management, streamline the processes and decrease the number of systems and Excel files in use. After extensive internal planning and requirement phase and a short deployment phase, the TEPPO system was implemented on the 1st of June 2017. Roll-out was made progressively in line with the changes in processes and different functionalities were taken into use monthly during the first half a year. There have been over 400 monthly users, which means more emphasis needs to be given to the training and instruction. Trainings will be organized continuously for new and advanced users in order to ensure the adoption of the new system and procedures. A crucial prerequisite for success in these kind of changes is the clear support and commitment of the management board. Evaluation of the implementation shows that other critical factors are communication and engaging a wide range of the users in the planning phase. TEPPO is now a permanent part of TUAS’ continuous development cycle.

Key words: Project portfolio management, RDI-projects, Digitalization, Information systems

 

Using data – perspectives on data management in University of Applied Sciences

Seliina Päällysaho, PhD, M.Sc. (Econ.), Research Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, seliina.paallysaho(at)seamk.fi
Jaana Latvanen, M.Soc.Sc., Information Specialist, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, jaana.latvanen(at)seamk.fi

The questions relating to the data management have arisen to a significant role in R&D work, public administration as well as in business. The collected data can be used to create new ideas but also provide the companies a good opportunity to develop their business and new products. The most common datasets in research, development and innovation projects of the universities of applied sciences are often collected by inquiries and interviews. The data management is very complex. The processes of storing and opening the data sets are still undeveloped and need to be improved.

This article represents the handling of the data which is created in the Finnish UAS (Universities of Applied Sciences) and brings out the special characteristics of the data management especially of the projects which are carried out in the company cooperation.

Key words: open R&D, open science, universities of applied sciences

 

Let’s learn in digicampus – meaning Where?

Matti Sarén, PhD, eMBA, President/CEO, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, matti.saren(at)kamk.fi
Jaakko Riihimaa, PhD, IT General Secretary, AAPA (Human network of CIOs in Universities of Applied Science), jaakko.riihimaa(at)haaga-helia.fi
Jukka Ivonen, B.A., CIO, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, jukka.ivonen(at)haaga-helia.fi
Petri Silmälä, M.A., Coordinator, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, petri.silmala(at)metropolia.fi
Sonja Merisalo, MScEng, UX Designer/Trimico Oy, sonja.merisalo(at)trimico.fi

Wake up to the future world, where a helpful kyborg is a housemaid and instead of mom there is an eMommy reminding you to go to the next lecture. To be precise, the lecture has changed to a global module which is held in a hologram space online. Actually, the whole concept of education has evolved: professional qualification has compartmented to a portfolio of know-how. AI takes care of the routine and technical issues. In learning, person´s self-direction is still important. Digitalization has changed the traditional educational structure: a resource-driven individual´s knowledge path is the way to learn. VR enables different kind of simulations and AR makes it easy to learn e.g. human anatomy. The best learning environment depends on the student, demands of the educational institute and features of the subject and the course. New technologies bring machine learning and AI algorithms to student guidance. Teacher is more of a “with learner” or “with supervisor” supported by technology.

Key words: learning, digital campus, virtual reality, learning environment, know-how, pedagogy, information management

 

IT management, digitalization and pedagogy

Tore Ståhl, M.Ed., Educational Researcher, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, tore.stahl(at)arcada.fi

End-users often think of IT management as distributing gadgets and maintaining network connections. The most crucial management, however, happens in the background in terms of data and user management.

Digitalization is the buzzword of this century, although it is often unclear what it includes, and what we want to achieve through digitalization. Within higher education, digitalization should be student and learning oriented.

Higher education pedagogy and learning is characterized by an increasing portion of activities on-line, which decreases or at least alters several aspects of communication, such as the lack of visual cues. Partly due to this, learning analytics has become interesting since it can provide us with cues regarding student behaviour.

Digitalization, on-line learning and learning analytics are connected by their dependence on the user identification provided by the IT management. Although IT infrastructure is a prerequisite for digitalization, it should be subordinate in relation to learning and pedagogy.

Vilken är IT-förvaltningens roll då högskolorna digitaliseras? Denna artikel är avsedd att ge den vanliga användaren en förståelse för IT-förvaltningens roll i högskolan generellt, och att presentera några reflektioner runt digitalisering, pedagogik och lärande (oppiminen). Reflektionerna härrör ur flera perspektiv, dvs. mina 10 år som ”adb-ansvarig”, 14 år som nätpedagogisk utvecklare och en 4 års sejour som IT-chef.

Key words: information management, user management, learning, digitalization, learning analytics

 

The co-operation between an academic library and IT services in producing digital services

Minna Kivinen, M.A., Information Systems Specialist, Häme University of Applied Sciences, minna.kivinen(at)hamk.fi
Sinikka Luokkanen, M.A., Information Services Manager, Häme University of Applied Sciences, sinikka.luokkanen(at)hamk.fi

Diversification of studying styles and an increase in commercial higher education form an additional challenge for university libraries when providing services and materials. In the case of printed materials, it is easy for the library to serve all customer groups, but there are challenges in the field of digital services and the supply of electronic material. Libraries acquire licensed e-materials both via FinELib consortium and by themselves. Contracts are made for each individual organization and costs depend on the volume of users. Access to e-materials stem from network settings; users who have rights for using e-materials should be able to connect to materials on campus as well as off-campus. Mobile and digital services are designed to serve university’s own students and staff. Finnish university libraries are open to the public and library staff must be aware of which services can be offered to different customer groups. Library staff have ongoing dialogue with university’s IT services to maintain library services and to find solutions to overcome technical barriers.

Key words: academic libraries, licensing, user groups, digital services

 

Information managers in co-operation

Marjo Valjakka, MBA (eServices and Digital Archiving), Planner, Data Management, Data Protection Officer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, marjo.valjakka(at)laurea.fi

Information management is a legislated obligation for the universities of applied sciences but also an essential part of digital processes, securing the operations and management of reputation. Still problems in information management can be found in all the universities of applied sciences.

IT department has traditionally taken care of technical requirements of data management whereas the content and quality of information has been the responsibility area of records management professionals. The digital world needs, however, more cooperation between these two units as well as between the whole personnel. Every employee has to understand their role in handling the data.

Due to the requirements of legislation and digitalization, it seems that the time is now right for the concrete development of information management internally but also between the universities of applied sciences. One example of cooperation are CSC’s five idea paths concerning digital record management methods and digital archiving.

Every development project requires resources. That is why it is essential that the administration is committed for the development procedures and that the employees can see their benefits for themselves. Collaborative working methods, strategy based operational models as well as consistent training are the means to achieve high-quality managed information management and genuinely digital service processes in all the universities of applied sciences.

Key words: information management, record management, co-operation between UASes

 

Possibilities of utilizing artificial intelligence in customer service operations of service organizations

Sebastian Fagerström, MBA, Head of Sales, SME, Finland, If Insurance, sebastian.fagerstrom(at)gmail.com
Keijo Varis, D.Sc. (Business Administration and Economics: Management and Leadership), Principal Lecturer, School of Leadership, Master School of Engineering and Business, Turku University of Applied Sciences, keijo.varis(at)turkuamk.fi

This article discusses the possibilities of utilizing artificial intelligence in customer service activities in the service sector, especially in the insurance sector. To sum up, by utilizing correctly, artificial intelligence enables the development of customer service functions, both in terms of cost efficiency and quality of services. From the point of view of both the customer and the service organization, the combination of artificial intelligence applications and services provided by people is best suited to a customer-oriented and cost-effective service organizations. Artificial intelligence applications can automate simple and routine customer service situations and tasks, leaving more time for customer service personnel to handle situations and tasks that require emotional intelligence and extensive understanding and profound knowledge. As a whole, the service speeds up and the quality improves. However, the exploitation of artificial intelligence in the service sector of customer service organizations requires the creation of a comprehensive artificial intelligence strategy and its coordination with the service organization’s competition strategy, customer service strategy and IT strategy.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, customer service, artificial intelligence strategy, learning systems

 

PEPPI – Digital Service Environment for Higher Education Institution management

Virve Peltoniemi, MBA, ICT Manager, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, virve.peltoniemi(at)tuni.fi

Peppi-ecosystem has expanded into the most significant ERP Service for Higher Education Institution (HEI) management. Peppi provides role-specific desktops and e-services for students, teachers, planners, higher education services and administrators.

Peppi offers interfaces for integration and there are also many plugins made by universities or commercial operator. Universities can acquire these plugins from the owner (HEI) or commercial operator.

Vision for Higher Education and research in Finland 2030 also set the sights on the Digital Service Environment consisting of digital services by HEI’s themselves and also shared digital services. How Peppi supports all this digital transformation?

Firstly, Peppi development model was improved in 2018. Six thematic groups of HEI-specialists drive forward system and service development. Secondly, service for Cross-Institutional Studies development project has started. Thirdly also accessibility testing of Student Desktop in on the way in 2019. In addition to all that new digital Peppi-service for the Management of Further Education, Extension Studies and studies in the Open University of Applied Sciences (UAS) has been released. As well there are some interesting Learning Analytics and Recognition of Prior Learning services in progress.

Key words: ERP Service, Peppi-ecosystem, digital service environment

 

The digitalisation of higher education institutions increasingly relies on a fast and reliable network

Harri Kuusisto, Funet Development Manager, CSC – IT Center for Science, harri.kuusisto(at)csc.fi
Maria Virkkula, Communications Specialist, CSC – IT Center for Science, maria.virkkula(at)csc.fi
Matti Laipio, Development Manager, CSC – IT Center for Science, matti.laipio(at)csc.fi

Can you imagine life without the internet? The university and research network serves as a backbone of everyday lives of students.

Functioning network connections facilitate smooth web surfing for students in a fast and reliable campus network. In today’s world, the day-to-day work of higher education institutions would practically come to a grinding halt without functioning network. Throughout its history Funet, higher education institutions’ common network, has aimed at breaking boundaries and records. It opened the door to the global internet for Finland 30 years ago. Since then, the network has been updated regularly. In the planning of the current update of the network, the aim has been to find a solution for the all future needs of students and personnel of higher education institutions.

Key words: internet, Funet, data communications, success story

Data protection was enhanced by training

Matti Kuosmanen, Lic.Phil., Data Protection Officer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, matti.kuosmanen(at)savonia.fi
Olavi Pesonen, M.A., B. Eng. (Information Technology), IT Manager, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, olavi.pesonen(at)karelia.fi
Kari Kataja, M.Sc. (Eng.), M.A., M.Sc. (Econ.), M.Ed., Information Systems Manager, Data Protection Officer, Häme University of Applied Sciences, kari.kataja(at)hamk.fi

In 2017-2018, the Public Administration Information Management Advisory Board (JUHTA) and the Public Administration Digital Security Steering Group (VAHTI) organized two joint data protection projects.

In connection with these projects, the Population Register Center organized a security and data protection management training (TAISTO18) in November 2018. The aim of the exercise was to develop organizations’ capabilities to manage security breaches. About 235 public administration organizations participated in the exercise, of which seven were universities of applied sciences and eight were universities.

The exercise was successful and participation was felt to be useful. It is necessary to continue training in crisis situations. This is what TAISTO19 will do next autumn.

Key words: privacy, data security, TAISTO18, GDPR

 

Facilitating challenges for the interpretation of the EU Data Protection Regulation: cooperation and codes of conduct

Maria Rehbinder, LL.M., Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E), Senior Legal Counsel, Academic Legal Services, Aalto-yliopisto, Vice Chairman of LIBER Working Group on Legal Matters
Ulla Virranniemi, LL.M., M.A., Data Protection Officer, Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, ulla.virranniemi(at)oamk.fi
Kari Kataja, M.Sc. (Eng.), M.A., M.Sc. (Econ.), M.Ed., Information Systems Manager, Data Protection Officer, Häme University of Applied Sciences, kari.kataja(at)hamk.fi

Codes of conduct makes easier to contribute to the proper application of GDPR, taking account of the specific features of Finnish universities. Data protection officers of Finnish universities co-operate to create codes of conduct for research and student administration. Common codes of conduct reduces the need for local interpretation.

Key words: data protection, GDPR, codes of conduct, Higher education

 

Bank of Ideas – Collaboration, Visibility and Agile Experiments

Antti Mäki, Director, CSC, antti.maki(at)csc.fi
Outi Tasala, Customer Solution Manager, CSC, outi.tasala(at)csc.fi
Jussi Auvinen, Data Administration Contact, CSC, jussi.auvinen(at)csc.fi
Karoliina Ahtiainen, Customer Solution Trainee, CSC, karoliina.ahtiainen(at)csc.fi

Ideapankki, ”Bank of Ideas”, is a service with the intention of collecting, sharing and progressing development ideas to further the digitalisation of higher education and research in Finland. The service was developed in cooperation between AAPA and FUCIO, networks for Finnish Universities’ and Universities of Applied Sciences’ Chief IT Officers, and CSC – IT Center for Science. Ideapankki brings forth and discloses development needs and ideas to everyone in order to enable discussion on these while aiming to find the right body to progress and do pre-studies on these development ideas. Ideapankki has been in a trial use for about a year at the time of the publication, and experiences gained from this have been encouraging. Over 50 ideas have been submitted to the Ideapankki, and the idea committee, selected CIO’s from the CIO networks together with CSC have proposed ideas to different tracks for furthering them. Any representative of higher education or research institutions can propose a new development idea for Ideapankki.

Key words: Ideapankki, digitalisation, development ideas, cooperation, agile experiments, idea modelling, CSC

 

 

Abstracts No 1/2019

Editorial: Strong competence-based learning in higher education

Asko Karjalainen, D.Ed., Director, School of Professional Teacher Education, Oulu University of Applied Science

Competence-based learning is a multi-levelled phenomena. In the higher education sector, the term has until now generally referred to the wording of competence objectives for degree programmes that was developed during the Bologna process. In vocational upper secondary education, however, the term has a whole extra level of meaning. According to the vocational education reform, competence-based learning means carrying out the education process in such a way that the student progresses along an individualised study path which takes into account their initial competence level. The competence which the student already has is identified and all eligible previous experience and training is credited. Teaching and instruction is provided in order to supplement this prior competence and attain the learning objectives of the degree programme. Competence is shown through demonstrations in genuine work tasks or equivalent simulated situations. This method is referred to as strong competence-based learning.

Strong competence-based learning has a long history in Finland. The story begins in 1994, when the competence-based qualification system was initiated in vocational adult education. Currently, all vocational education is demonstration-based and individualised, in accordance with the principles of strong competence-based learning. There is therefore an abundance of experience and research knowledge on offer which all higher education institutions would do well to take a look at. Strong competence-based learning presents challenges to both educational institutions and teaching staff. The biggest challenge is in changing the way that both the teacher and the student operate. On the other hand, this method opens up almost revolutionary perspectives in education planning, implementation and development. The concept of competence acquires extra depth, as does the understanding of the core of the teacher’s work and the student’s responsibility. The pedagogical significance of education’s connection with the workplace becomes clear and guides the path of development.

Strong competence-based learning involves learning psychology that is really spot on. The method implements in an excellent way the foundational learning principle that all new learning should be based on previous learning. Although this principle has been known for a long time, its implementation in the traditional model depended on the teacher’s pedagogical imagination. In competence-based education, the student’s prior competence is always examined and any observed deficiencies are corrected before new things are taught. The studies then progress towards new competence in line with the student’s requirements and capabilities. If we would now start to act in this way, I believe that our higher education teaching would obtain even better qualitative results and would easily meet the quantitative objectives set by the Ministry.

Does strong competence-based learning fit with higher education teaching? It would seem to fit at least with professional teacher education and master’s degrees from universities of applied sciences. Positive experiences with both of these have already been obtained, and there are already examples available of good practices. There are no structural or operational barriers to the process of making the operating model for higher education institutions entirely competence-based. The old way of teaching and studying is deep in our culture, however, and this can lead to impassioned debate that has little to do with the facts. If renewal is the goal, the best course of action is to experiment and develop. Strong competence-based learning has to be studied in practice so that we can learn the opportunities it presents for higher education degree programmes. Debating different ideas without having any personal experience of the matter is hardly likely to move anything forward in practice. If all Finnish universities of applied sciences would try out strong competence-based learning without delay, even in just one degree programme, we would soon obtain a lot of data and material for constructive discussions as well as signposts for genuine development. Isn’t it time to shift from thought to action? Let’s challenge the universities to join the experiment as well!

 

Foundations of competence-based education: Universities of applied sciences and the theory of knowledge

Hannu L. T. Heikkinen, Professor, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä

The article examines the epistemological foundations of universities of applied sciences in Finland. A special focus is on the concept of competence-based education (“osaamisperustainen koulutus”) which has become popular in the Finnish discussion about education, but especially concerning the education given by universities of applied sciences. The author claims that the national discussion about competence based education is based on a ‘limited view’ on universities of applied sciences, focusing mainly on technical and practical issues. The author advocates an ‘encompassing view on universities of applied sciences’ instead. In Aristotelian terms, the encompassing view covers not only the technical (‘techne’) the practical (‘phronesis’) dispositions, but also the theoretical (‘episteme’) dispositions to knowledge as well as critical-emancipatory interests. This idea is based on Stephen Kemmis’ interpretation which integrates Aristotelian views on knowledge with Jürgen Habermas’ theory of knowledge and human interests. The central message of this theoretical article is that the encompassing view on competence-based education is essential in our times of eco-crisis, and education must provide the future generations thinking tools to overcome the global challenges which we have to solve in the near future.

Key words: forms of knowledge, knowledge interests, research, universities of applied sciences

 

By using evaluation criteria are we assessing how the learning objectives have been reached?

Anna Nykänen, M.Ed., Specialist in Education, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Common evaluation criteria for bachelor studies have been renewed at Laurea University of Applied Sciences and taken into use in January 2019. In the article, it is argued that from the point of view of competence-based education common criteria are not as helpful for assessment as study unit specific criteria would be in the study units. However, in case of project studies or work-based learning we should be able to assess and recognize unexpected competences.

Key words: evaluationevaluation criteriacompetence-based educationcompetencies

 

Competency based evaluation unifies Finnish nursing education and the quality of the education

Marja Silén-Lipponen, Ph.D., Principal Lecturer, Project Manager, Savonia University of Applied Sciences
Paula Mäkeläinen, Dr.Sc., Principal Lecturer, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
Tiina Nurmela, Ph.D. (Nursing Science), Principal Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences

The YleSHarviointi project is expected to develop competence-based evaluation for generalist registered nursing students education (180 ECTS). The aim of the project is to verify the competency level required for pre-licensure generalist registered nurse students and help to ensure that a sufficient and consistent level of professional nursing qualifications are offered by all registered nursing programs. The assessment also makes it easier for nursing students to progress in their studies, supports the return to work for those nurses, who have been absent from nursing for a some time, and helps to compare the learning outcomes of nursing qualifications both nationally and internationally.

Key words: competence-based evaluation, national evaluation model, nursing qualifications, healthcare

 

Case: competence-based practice carried out in an employment relationship

Anniina Friman, Biomedical Laboratory Scientist (Master’s degree), Part-time Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Kaisa Friman, Nurse, M.Sc. (Health), Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Tiina Tarr, Physiotherapist, M.Sc. (Health), Student Coordinator, Turku University Hospital
Tuija Lehtikunnas, Nurse, Dr.Sc. (Health), Hospital Director of Nursing, Hospital District of Southwest Finland
Sini Eloranta, Nurse, Dr.Sc. (Health), Docent, Principal Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences

The aim of this project of Turku University Hospital and Turku University of Applied Sciences was to create an innovative and competence-based way to run a practical training and to create a model in which working, studying, recognition of prior learning and work experience could be intergrated. In this project three practical nurses, who studied their bachelor’s degree were hired to share shifts of one practical nurse’s vacancy for a four months’ period. Students completed an internship of 6–8 ECTS alongside their other studies.

Results showed that practical training supported students professional growth and strengthened their competence in various ways. In terms of employment, students experienced pressure on expertise, which in this case turned out to be a major motivating factor. For those students who already had families, the recognition of prior learning and the financial compensation was the main driving force to take part in this type of practical training.

This type of competence-based practical training builds a completely new form of co-operation between a school and a workplace by supporting students for smooth adaptation to working life.

Key words: competence-based learning, mentoring, practical training, employee, multiform studies, healthcare

 

Health and social services are reformed – how about educations?

Soile Juujärvi, Dr.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Timo Sinervo, Dr.Pol.Sc., Research Manager, National Institute for Health and Welfare 
Olli Nummela, Ph.D., Researcher, National Institute for Health and Welfare 

The health and social services system in Finland is undergoing a huge reform that strives for more efficient and effective services, improved health, wellbeing and equality among citizens. The guiding principle is to increase freedom of choice in services, while the citizen can choose a service provider from among a variety of authorised providers from the public, private or third sectors. Services are supposed to be integrated packages adjusted to individual needs, and pathways within services will be smoother. The successful reform requires a paradigmatic change in ways of conceptualising and implementing competences in profession education and vocational training. While competence-based curricula allow to specify knowledge, skills and attitudes, they offer valuable tools for creating new competences and updating old ones among health and social care students and professionals. Implications of new competence needs for education and pedagogy are discussed.

Key words: Health and Social Services Reform, health care and social services, competence-based curriculum,  competency, service integration, stncope

 

Student always at the center – students’ experiences in competence-based special needs teacher education

Pirkko Kepanen, D.Ed., Special Needs Teacher (retired)

The article is based on a doctoral dissertation, the material of which was gathered in a vocational special needs teacher education programme implementing a competence-based curriculum in 2014–2016.The research results show that the competence-based educational model represents a new learning method of which the adult students involved in the study did not have previous experience.

Key words: University of Applied Sciences, vocational special needs teacher education, competence-based approach, self-assessment, reflection, reconstruction

 

Competence-based circular economy teaching

Marketta Virta, M.A., B.Eng., Turku University of Applied Sciences
Pia Haapea, Lic.Tech., Principal Lecturer, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Taru Owston, M.A., Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Asseri Laitinen, M.A., Lecturer, VAMK University of Applied Sciences

The scarcity of resources on our planet forces us to re-think our ways of consuming, producing and educating. The move from a linear economic model to a circular one requires educated people who are able to assess the life cycle of a product and work together with others to create new services and long-lasting products.

The Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra, financed a project “#kiertotalous” to create a manual and a toolbox for educators who want to help their students learn about the circular economy model. The methods have been in use in three universities of applied sciences who now had to put in writing what they have been doing in such a way that three other universities were able to use the model.

The method all use the format of a project where students work in teams. There is no circular economy without close collaboration of people from different fields, so multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. The students receive a brief and work a for a client that can be a business, an authority or an individual. They are asked to evaluate themselves and their peers and they receive feedback from the client.

The projects vary from short 24-hour events to processes lasting the whole term. Learning important innovation and work-related skills, both students and their coaches bring forth hope for our planet.

Key words: circular economy, learning methods, multisectoral, technology, design, business economy

 

Competence-based studies in higher education – the roles of teacher and student during change

Merja Sinkkonen, Dr.Soc.Sc., Head of Master’s Degree Programme, Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Annukka Tapani, Dr.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Jussi Ylänen, Lic.Phil., Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

The aim of this article was to study how a teacher and master-level students effect on the learning outcomes during the “Project Competence” course.

Our data consists of questionnaires (N= 53) gathered form master-level students in the university of applied sciences in the end of the course “Project competence” in May 2017 and 2018. We asked the students to divide their learning outcomes (100%) among different actors (student, teacher, student group and working life). And estimate the realization and ideal state of their learning outcomes and justify their answer. In this article we focus our attention to the answers dealing with students themselves and the role of teacher.

As a result of this study we found that it is important for a student to take responsibility for his/hers own development like employees need to take responsibility for their own development.

Key words: competence-based, learning, teaching, master’s degree, development expertise in pedagogy

 

Development of competence-based curricula in the Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Helena Kangastie, M.Sc. (Health), Head of Development, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

The merging of two Lappish universities of applied scienses in 2014 was accelerated by the development of competence-based curricula. The development Project (OPS2017) was conducted in 2014–2017 and its main objective was to build competence-based curricula for all education programmes. In addition, the key objective was to harmonise the ways of organising learning. The student’s learning process was at the centre of the development. In this article, I describe that development work and its results.

Key words: competence-based curriculum, university of applied sciences, organising learning

 

Professional Teacher Education and the Competence Frames of References

Seija Mahlamäki-Kultanen, Ph.D., Docent, Dean, School of Professional Teacher Education, Häme University of Applied Sciences
Iiris Happo, D.Ed., Principal Lecturer, School of Professional Teacher Education, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Sirpa Perunka, D.Ed., Senior Lecturer, School of Professional Teacher Education, Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Professional teacher education targets at teachers in vocational institutions and universities of applied sciences. The education provides a general pedagogical qualification. According to legislation, professional teacher education includes the basics of educational science, professional pedagogical studies, teaching practice and optional studies. Haaga-Helia, Häme, Jyväskylä, Oulu and Tampere Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) have the permission to offer teacher education. These UASs are participating in the Teacher Training Forum and Teacher Training Development Project (OPEKE) organized and funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Teacher Training Forum has outlined a common frame of reference for competences expected from all kinds of teachers. They are comprehensive subject specific knowledge, creative expertise and agency as well as constant development of oneself and the community’s competence. An earlier analysis by Mahlamäki-Kultanen and Nokelainen (2014) demonstrated that teacher education is competence based and the competence targets in all UASs are on a high professional level and are quite uniform. In 2019, the OPEKE-team analyzed the latest curricula. It proved out that the competence targets are in line and correspond with the Finnish National Qualifications Framework level 7. The competence requirements include, among others, a comprehensive understanding of their own field, readiness to apply scientific research and methods in practice as well as competence to act as an expert and innovator in their professional field teaching

Key words: professional teacher education, competence based education, curriculum

 

Strive for strong and competent region

Tiina Kirvesniemi, D.Ed., Project Manager, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
Leena Muotio, Ph.D., Principal Lecturer, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

Universities of Applied Sciences have an important role in regional developing. The fields of developing vary in question of target groups, objectives and developers. Both RDI and teaching act in regional developing in different areas and ways. To improve regional developing, it is necessary to focus the functioning of internal operations of the university. According to workshops held to four teams of Culture and Arts and RDI-team of Creative Industries, the RDI-staff and teaching seem to work quite separated, like trains in different trails. This leads to situation where the students are unused potential in RDI projects and they miss opportunities to widen their competence-based learning contexts. It is crucial to get to know each other in RDI and teaching so that teachers and students can participate in project planning, realization and implementation. Then it is possible to answer the challenges of regional development as united.

Key words: Culture and Arts, Creative Industry, teaching, competence-based approach, RDI

No 4/2018 Abstracts

Editorial: Regional development requires participation and utilisation of the diversity of regions and regional developers

Jouni Koski, Ph.D., President, Managing Director, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

If the decision to construct a network of universities across the whole country was a significant one for regional development, then so also was the decision made over a quarter of a century ago to strengthen the higher education sector through universities of applied sciences which serve different areas of economic life. Regional development was further boosted with legislation that added the task of regional development to the duties of universities of applied sciences, in addition to the tasks of education and RDI (research, development and innovation). At the same time, or perhaps precisely because of this regional development task, the pedagogy of universities of applied sciences has seen impressive development. In contrast to how things were before, pedagogy is no longer a school’s internal matter, but it has become a shared issue for the region and the partnering organisations operating in it. A form of pedagogy has developed which integrates universities of applied science with society and with their region and which strengthens participation and partnership and regional development. In this way, new foundations have been laid down for further advancing regional development in Finland, which reached the grand age of 101 on 6 December 2018.

Although Finland is not large in population, it does cover a large area. In order to develop well, our country’s varied, unique regions require diversity, which is one of the strengths of our dual university system – also when considered from the regional perspective. Different kinds of regional development methods and models have been developed in different parts of the country, and a number of these will be presented in this theme issue. In the future, the role of universities of applied science in regional renewal and vitalisation may become more and more significant, and this requires the continual development of regional development methods and models. In this process, the open sharing and international benchmarking of different regional development methods and models are, without doubt, key factors for moving forward. Similarly, increasing the participation of local citizens in the development of their residential areas and living environments will certainly bring more effective solutions to regional and social problems because they are based on residents’ knowledge of their conditions and needs.

Universities of applied sciences have a significant role as developers of methods and processes for supporting civil participation. Through their pedagogic development, universities of applied sciences have become strong joint developers that know how to use diverse methods to engage citizens, businesses, communities and university students in joint development work. In this way, the objectives can include a good life for Finnish people, integration, and also, for example, the strengthening of regional vitality. When seeking to develop things, participation is of immeasurable value, whether it involves individuals or whole communities and organisations. I would like to return to consider again that significant decision to add the task of regional development alongside the universities of applied sciences’ tasks of education and RDI. If this decision had not been made, the involvement and participation of universities of applied sciences in regional development would not be at the level that it is today.

The strength of the pedagogy of universities of applied sciences for regional development is founded on participation, in which the involvement of students plays a central role. When university students, who are accumulating professional expertise, participate in regional development work together with employees, and when the learning takes place in cooperation with regional partners, the result is a huge and powerful contribution to development. The 145,000 students and around 10,000 experts at universities of applied sciences are a significant resource for the regional development of our country. It is excellent that we are learning all the time to make better use of this resource in our society.

 

Students as circular economy accelerators

Marketta Virta, M.A., Engineer, Project Assistant, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Sonja Lankiniemi, MBA, M.Sc.(Econ.), Project Specialist, Project Manager, Turku University of Applied Sciences

Students influence the development of their area already during their studies. In Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), the students are strongly involved in RDI activities from the beginning of the studies. Students have been an important asset e.g. in the development of Topinpuisto, circular economy hub located in Southwest Finland. Topinpuisto develops the value chains of circular economy and accelerates the transition to circular economy in Turku and in Southwest Finland.
Among other things, students have researched the opportunities of a circular economy to create a new business.

At TUAS, students are not seen as clients but as partners. Student-business cooperation is beneficial for students, companies and their regions. Students can deepen and develop their expertise and companies can take steps towards a more sustainable future. When participating in RDI, students have an impact on their region even before their graduation and promote, for example, the realization of carbon neutrality and circular economy.

Keywords: circular economy, project study environment, RDI activities, technology

 

Technological innovations in the developing of villages

Marika Ahlavuo, Science Producer, Cultural Producer, The Research Institute of Modeling and Measuring for the Built Environment (MeMo), Aalto University 
Sami Alho, Project Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, SeAMK
Matti Kurkela, 3D-studio Manager, Lic.Tech., M.A., Aalto University
Jussi-Matti Kallio, Project Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, SeAMK
Hannu Hyyppä, Professor, Dr. Tech., Docent, Aalto University

At Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (known as SeAMK), the School of Business and Culture, together with the School of Food and Agriculture, have carried out jointly with Aalto University various demos, projects and exhibitions centering on the theme of virtuality. This article focuses on the work applied in collaboration with SeAMK that has made headways and created joint ventures related to a Virtual Village Project and to two Master level theses in the field of digitalisation and virtual reality. New technology was used in a particular 3D virtual reality project (the so-called ’Virtuaalikylät 3D Liiverissä’ project) that was a joint effort with the villages of Southern Ostrobothnia and their active inhabitants. In the article, we examine from a 3D and technical innovations perspective how the cultural and knowledge resources present in the villages could be enhanced through virtual technology. As an important result from the co-operation between SeAMK and Aalto University, we have been able to predict future trends in the possibilities offered through the use of 3D virtual reality in assisting the development of villages.

Keywords: regional development, 3D, virtuality, cooperation, inclusion, culture, food and agriculture

 

Unique cooperation to boost regional development

Tuula Rajander, M.Ed., M.A., Planning Officer, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

This article considers universities of applied sciences as a regional developer in sparsely populated areas such as Kainuu region. The joint problem of these areas is a lack of workforce, which obstructs economic development. Education is one of the most efficient ways to affect the supply of workforce.

Universities of applied sciences are part of the brand and attraction of their regions. Student recruiting brings more young people and people of working age to the area. Graduated students also like to stay in the area where they have studied. Digitalization of education has facilitated student-recruiting challenges of the UASes in sparsely populated areas.

From the student-recruiting point of view, it is important that UASes specialize in their own strong lines and subjects. The chosen lines should also match the general focus areas of the region. Focus areas in Kainuu region are innovations of technology and mining industry, bioeconomy, wellbeing and health. Corresponding strengths of Kajaani UAS are production systems, game and measurement applications, adventure activities, intelligent home care and business potential.

Keywords: continuous learning, developing of regions, lack of workforce, sparsely populated areas, student recruiting

 

Participative development in Lahti, Finland

Mirja Kälviäinen, Principal Lecturer, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Sara Ikävalko, Lecturer, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Kati Kumpulainen, RDI Specialist, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences

New digital native generations set new requirements for the city services and environments. In the City as a Service for Young Citizen project, young adults from 16 to 30 years of age have been participating in a mosaic of explorative user research methods to produce a rich picture of the possible use and needs of services by young citizens. The exploration-based methods have included user workshops, self-reporting design probes and theme-based material produced by users. The results have provided user empathy for envisioning service experiments to be tested in real user contexts and environments in the city of Lahti and with an ecosystem of local service providers. The participative user information and real life participatory experiments have produced evidence for the need of special service solutions for young citizen. These should be crossing the physical, face-to-face and digital realms and aligning with young users’ special requirements for authenticity and anonymity.

Keywords: design, participation, service design, young citizen, user driven research, experimentation

 

Co-creating urban art in Leppävaara with local volunteers

Martta Pirttioja, MSc, Environmental Designer, City of Espoo

In August this year, a colourful piece of art appeared on the wooden wall of the Galleria shopping centre’s parking area in northern Leppävaara. The artwork, was inspired by alder leaves, was co-created by multiple actors: active residents in the neighbourhood, the City of Espoo, the owner of the property and the Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

The project is an example of the work of the Environmental Design team which was established in April 2018 under a cross-administrative development program ‘Participatory Espoo’. The team’s principal task is to function as an easily approachable representative of the city and to boost the projects the inhabitants or other actors want to further. The ultimate goal is a network of active inhabitants, local businesses as well as third- and fourth-sector actors working together to create an Espoo they like. In an ideal case, the city’s role would be to enable these projects and to work as an equal partner.

Keywords: servicedesign, urbandesign, laureauas, Espoo, involvement

 

Youth, active part in development within different living areas

Jukka Piippo, PhD, Nurse specialized in psychiatry, Psychotherapist in specialist level, Principal Lecturer within Mental health, Arcada University of Applied Sciences

PAD – Positive Attitude Development project was a joint project between Arcada University of Applied Sciences and Tallinn University. The main aim with the project was to increase possibilities for young and young adults with mental health problems to get access to labor market within defined areas in the countries. This was done by decreasing stigma and influence attitudes towards mental health to become better. The main activities during the project were face-to-face meetings with citizens and employers. At the meetings, panel discussions were organized, in which issues concerning mental health problems were discussed between employers, professionals, members of target group and educational instances. One of important points during the project was when experts-by-experience become involved at the project. Their participation lead to many significant and positive developments of the projects activities.

Keywords: mental health, youth, cooperation, Helsinki, Tallinn, health and welfare

 

Assets based community participation and place making

Kate Miller, The University of the West of Scotland, Lecturer in Education, PHD
Ronald McIntyre, The Open University, Designer, Executive Masters in Business Studies
Gary McKenna, The University of the West of Scotland, Research Fellow, PhD

This paper discusses how processes of community development and community education tend to be dominated by a deficit discourse that is influenced by neoliberal political and economic forces. It provides an example of how a community outreach programme can turn the tide on these processes by implementing assets based approaches to place making and working with young people. Assets based approaches value the resources that exist in the community and build on the strengths and affordances of communities. We identify that there are a parallels between deficit models of community development and deficit or ‘banking models’ of education. We argue that a strong assets based approach that emphasises and values the experience of community members is an effective way to empower communities to make positive change.

Keywords: assets based approaches, community empowerment, critical pedagogy, education, place making

 

Creative Campus Arabia – Design Changes Cities

Tiina Laurila M.Sc., M.A., Project Producer, Metropolia UAS
Petra Lassenius, M.A., Project Manager, Metropolia UAS
Päivi Keränen, M.A., Project Manager, Metropolia UAS

This article presents how design discipline can contribute to the city and campus development. Two projects are introduced: Live Baltic Campus project (2015–2018) brought together city planners, government representatives, campus developers and stakeholders in utilizing the campuses of the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki and 5 partner universities in Turku, Uppsala, Stockholm, Riga and Tartu as labs and developing them as innovation hubs. Creative Campus Arabia Project (2016–2018) focused on identifying stakeholders, vitalizing the neighborhood and providing services like a planned coworking space and XR Centre, new networks that support creative fields and the Arabia-Toukola area in Helsinki. At the same time the new XR Design degree program was founded by Design and Media Degree Program. Collaboration between educational institutes is also part of the development towards digitalization where technology-based solutions are utilized in designing future cities.

Keywords: campus development, city development, design

 

3D City models and virtuality as tools in regional development

Juho-Pekka Virtanen,  M.F.A., Doctoral Student, Aalto University
Kaisa Jaalama, Doctoral Student, M.Sc. (Admin.), Aalto University
Arttu Julin, M.Sc. (Tech.), Doctoral Student, Aalto University
Matti Kurkela, Lic.Tech., M.A., Studio Manager, Aalto University
Mikko Maksimainen, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Research Professor, Aalto University 
Matti T. Vaaja, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Professor, Aalto University
Hannu Hyyppä, Professor, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Associate Professor, Aalto University

The development of 3D city models is progressing towards an interactive, smart digital twin of the urban environment. This allows the stakeholders of the urban environment to obtain information concerning the functions, planned changes and infrastructure. In addition to receiving data, citizens, officials and commercial actors can also communicate their own needs and actions, either via direct participatory actions, or indirectly, by accumulation of data to various services. Future 3D city models offer a multitude of benefits for cities, citizens and business.

Keywords: 3D, city model, urban environment, digital twin, engineering, geospatial data

 

Can a university of applied sciences contribute to regional development in the archipelago?

Rasmus Karlsson, M.Pol.Sc., Project Manager, Novia University of Applied Sciences

Can a university of applied sciences contribute to regional development in the archipelago? Novia UAS is involved in several regional development projects in the archipelago between Finland and Sweden. All these projects connect to local entrepreneurship. Regional development projects have a long history in the archipelago. Projects that are considered failures, or not leading to change for the better on a local level, might lead to distrust in project efficiency and lower interest in future project participation from the local community. Mapping local level needs and wishes in the application phase is important to make sure sufficient funds are allocated.

A university of applied sciences has a role as project partner not bound by municipal borders, providing a professional project organization, a wide network of contacts on different levels of the society including financing frameworks, and professional knowledge in a variety of subjects.

Keywords: regional development, archipelago, interreg, project leadership

 

Stakeholder informed curriculum development in the Central Baltic Area

Sanna-Mari Renfors, PhD, Researching Principal Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

This article presents a case of international curriculum development in higher tourism education in the Central Baltic Area. The aim of the curriculum is to provide an aligned and relevant skillset for the area to grow as a coherent and competitive tourism destination. In practice, the curriculum aligns higher tourism education with the needs of the tourism industry and the labour market in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia into a new, joint curriculum and a study programme. As Europeanisation enables cooperation between the higher education institutions in a broader geographical context, the curriculum is designed and delivered by four universities situated in three countries in cooperation with the tourism industry.

Keywords: tourism industry, regional development, curriculum development, Central Baltic Area

 

Does international cooperation enhance local social innovation?

Susanne Jungerstam, D.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Novia University of Social Sciences
Annika Wentjärvi, M.Soc.Sc., Research Manager, Novia University of Social Sciences

International cooperation and interprofessional work are both expected to enhance social innovation. Social innovation, in turn, is often expected to be locally developed in close cooperation with end users, organisations and stakeholders. In the BSR Interreg-project Social Empowerment in Rural Areas (SEMPRE), the aim has been to combine the elements of international and interprofessional cooperation and social innovation in a regional and local context. The aim of the article was to discuss both opportunities and challenges that the project encountered, primarily focussing on international and interprofessional competences. The main findings include both positive experiences of good practices and learning across borders, and challenges related to project activities primarily related to the development of both interprofessional and international communication competences, as well as to the project format of developing local social innovation in an international setting.

Keywords: social innovation, interprofessional, international cooperation, project, social services

 

Efficiency in maritime business both in Satakunta, Finland, and in Southern Africa

Teija Järvenpää, B.Eng.,  Project Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Nina Savela, M.Pol.Sc., Project Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Minna Keinänen-Toivola, D.Phil., Research Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

The changing environment, rapid development of technology and climate change will increase pressure to produce multiskilled personnel in Satakunta, Finland. The efficient maritime cluster in Satakunta constitutes of knowledge, energy efficiency and export actions. Maritime training in Satakunta dates back to 1880 and today, digitalization is emphasized in maritime training. Energy efficient solutions, developed in shipbuilding and port operations in Rauma, generate new business opportunities. The maritime cluster in Satakunta is strongly export-orientated. For example, in Southern Africa, potentials for SMEs include the maritime industry, cleantech, and opportunities in the circular economy. The sector’s eagerness to grow opens up possibilities for job creation and SME growth. This increases international recognition, enables the exchange of ideas, and the development of technologies. Know-how, digitalization and environmental friendliness are uprising accelerating trends in the maritime cluster in Satakunta as well as in export markets.

Keywords: maritime cluster, energy efficiency, export, Satakunta, Southern Africa, technology

 

The challenge of producing information that promotes regional welfare

Erkki Saari, MAdSc, DSocSc, RDI Senior Lecturer (social services), Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Leena Viinamäki, DSocSc, Principal Lecturer (social services), Lapland University of Applied Sciences

When we think about the role of higher education institutions as producers of information that promotes the welfare of those living in the various regions of the country, we take as our starting point the drawing up of welfare reports that are intended to be part of the welfare management of municipalities. Political decisions based on information provided by welfare reports can influence the polarisation of the country, e.g. whether its regions differentiate in terms of migration gain or loss or well-off and disadvantaged populations. In order to make justifiable political decisions concerning welfare, there is a need for statistical data that describes the welfare of the areas and the view and experience information of the authorities and of the population about the welfare of the population and the functionality of welfare services it can use. However, the welfare reports intended to be drawn up by municipalities should be replaced by regional welfare reports containing the above-mentioned information and drawn up by researcher groups formed by the higher education institutions responsible for the education in health care and social services, the Centres of Excellence in Social Welfare and the research institutions operating in different regions.

Keywords: regional development, welfare barometer, welfare account, welfare report, service system, social services, health care

 

Regional development and future knowledge in municipalities

Jaana Laitio, Degree Programme in Customer-Oriented Development in Social Service Work, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Saara Jäämies,Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design , Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Sanna Juvonen, Master of Education, Senior Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

In the future, the population of the world centralizes more and more in cities. The development of urban areas has a major impact on sustainable development of the European Union and its citizens from the economical, ecological, and social point of view. At the same time, urban areas are places where different challenges, inequalities, unemployment and poverty are concentrated. The development of municipal and urban areas and the skills of employees working there need to be ensured in a changing environment. The key challenges and at the same time competences of experts in the future municipalities are to work with digital services and to strengthen the inclusion of residents, as well as to promote human-centered work in changing environment.

Key words: public sector, municipality, employee, future, competence, Social Service Degree Programme, Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design

No 3/2018 Abstracts

Editorial: A step towards the future

Turo Kilpeläinen, President, Lahti University of Applied Sciences

Digitisation has not only changed consumer behaviour but also the tried and tested methods of many sectors. And it goes without saying that, if it has not already done so, this shift will make an impact on the traditional structure of many higher education institutes (HEIs) Finland, in particular, has experienced the reality of demographic development alongside urbanisation processes and an ever-increasing sustainability gap in public sector funding.

As such, Finnish HEIs must carefully consider how to best go forward with the task of using public funding to generate the expertise and experts required by society. We must also think long and hard about the future role and purpose of HEIs from the perspective of both the individual and society as a whole.

It is generally accepted that HE students are mainly focussed on developing the knowledge and expertise necessary to secure their dream job. And when thinking about young students, the pressing questions are how and at what stage of their institution-based learning journey are they able to take what they have learned and apply it in the wider context of building a life of their own. In an era when it takes a just a second for a super computer to calculate the answers to a millennium’s worth of maths homework for every child in the world, we are going to need new ways of sparking their motivation to learn.

Currently, HEIs are primarily organised around the goal of completing degree-level qualifications. The paradigm shift we are experiencing, however, challenges us to make education more flexible, open, and accessible. In practice, this means we may need to tear down the foundations of the entire HE system. Not only should individual study modules be viable solutions for students pursuing a degree, but for professionals working towards CPD and job-seekers developing their expertise profile, too.

The impact of an increasingly flexible approach to higher education will inevitably bear fruit in terms of HE admissions. Indeed, courses and programmes will be opened up to everyone seeking to update their expertise. Students in Higher Education are increasingly diverse in terms of their background. Consequently, greater flexibility may mean that students are able to tailor the content of the study modules they take or their whole study plans in order to benefit from the expertise of leaders in their fields, both here in Finland and the rest of the world. In this model, the competencies that students develop are not limited by the education available at the institute they are attending. Instead, they can take advantage of a global pool of knowledge and expertise.

Predicting the future is difficult, though. When considering the impact of societal change, we may take the view that the expectations held by the state, regions, stakeholders in working life, and students in relation to HEIs will all change. That being said, we must also assume that the expectations of these actors will not necessarily be the same. The role of digitisation in facilitating accessibility and a completely new form of instruction would appear to be vitally important.

Consequently, this publication seeks to consider concrete examples of the ways in which digital developments are making an impact on teaching and learning at universities of applied sciences. The themes covered include digital competence among students, teachers’ digital pedagogical expertise, pedagogical approaches, raising the profile of universities of applied sciences, and a wide range of practical examples of learning environments and digital tools. The premise behind all this is a desire to meet the needs for expertise in professional life.

As a group of universities of applied sciences and one university, we have taken a courageous step towards the future with the development of the “eAMK” network (an e-resource for universities of applied sciences). The bringing together of HEIs in this way will hopefully foster a permanent community of expertise that transcends institutional borders. Indeed, glinting on the horizon is a new kind of network-based operational model for the entire HE sector.

 

It is all about the future digital competence

Marja Kopeli, M.A., Faculty Coordinator, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

As a part of eAMK project four universities of applied sciences (HAMK, Humak, KAMK and Savonia) made in November 2017 a Webropol inquiry for students concerning their digital skills. In the questionnaire there were 48 claims and with them the students estimated their digital skills and also estimated the importance of mentioned skills.

According to the survey the students have good skills to study in digital learning environments chosen by their home university. The UAS orientation services seem to work quite well from this point of view. Instead the students seem to need more training to lead their identity in digital world and also to gain, use and create information in digital environments. Overall the students estimated their skills lower than the importance in 80 percent of the claims.

When planning degree programme curricula the future orientation should be in an important role, also in digital skills point of view.

Co-configurative approach to digital literacies in higher education

Olli Vesterinen, Ph.D. (Ed.), Principal Lecturer, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
Sara Sintonen, Adjunct Professor, Senior Lecturer, University of Helsinki
Heikki Kynäslahti, Adjunct Professor, Senior Lecturer, University of Helsinki
Yutaro Ohashi, Associate Professor, Nippon Institute of Technology

Digital literacy is crucial in higher education sector as well as in future work. Higher education institutions can prepare students for the world of work better if the developing of digital competences is acknowledged. Interventions in formal education are urgently needed, and more attention should be given to teacher training and in-service training in order to narrow the digital divide gap (Kaarakainen, Kivinen & Vainio 2017). The article discusses five points of digital literacy: 1. to self-evaluate or to test? (evidence) 2. perspectives (such as identity) 3. participation (agency) 4. dynamic in terms of time (development) 5. individual vs. team (peer-learning). All this connects with the digital pedagogical practices. A co-configurative approach has been developed to look beyond traditional tool-based self-evaluations, which have been the current narrative in the research on digital literacy.

The compliance of teaching and guiding with digipedagogy

Eija Heikkinen, Ph.D. (Sc.), Development Director (Education), Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

Working life requires collaboration between universities, businesses and stakeholders. Students, teachers and staff need opportunities to learn how to connect with each other to create and develop new operating models, products and services. An open business culture requires a proactive attitude towards goal-oriented collaborative development activities and allows the staff members of companies and universities to make mistakes.
The pedagogical approach of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) is called cKAMK, where C describes the concepts of connect, create and coach. Teachers and students work in teams and use project learning methods to solve problems or to develop new products and services collaboratively. In coaching, the teacher is the expert who guides students to find the information they need. The students are responsible for learning and active participants in their work. In addition, KAMK develops a digipedagogical approach and has created a staff competence development model, which includes digital tools for the model’s connect, create and coach functions. This article describes the cKAMK approach.

A Teacher’s Role in the Midst of Digital Change

Tarmo Alastalo, M.Eng., Certified Business Coach, Senior Lecturer, Karelia UAS
Maarit Ignatius, M.A., Coordinator, Blended pedagogy, Karelia UAS

Karelia University of Applied Sciences promotes the creation of flexible study and learning opportunities and the diversification of year-round education by supporting the development of the personnel’s digital skills, change of working methods and the transforming role of a teacher. According to the strategy of Karelia UAS (2017–2020), the implementation of each study unit should form a pedagogically coherent whole that suits the learning environments used.

The objective of this systematic development of learning and study processes is both a functional and pedagogical change aiming at emphasising the student’s role in the learning process and the development of more individualised learning and study processes. The goal of the development cycles is not only to enhance the digital pedagogical skills of the teacher, but also to create new tools for the long-term guidance, counselling, teaching and evaluation of the student. One of the tools used in the development of the digital pedagogical change and in the change of the teacher’s role is the SAMR model by R.R. Puentedura (http://hippasus.com/blog/).

Online implementations by the support and assistance of eAMK project 

Kati Mäenpää, M.Ed., Senior Lecturer, Guidance Counsellor, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Ph.D. Student, University of Oulu
Päivi Tervasoff, M.Soc.Sc., Senior Lecturer (Social services), Special Education Vocational Teacher, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Päivi Rautio, M.H.S., Lecturer, Work Guidance Instructor (STOry), Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Minna Manninen, M.H.S., Senior Lecturer, Head of Midwifery Education, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Satu Rainto, M.Sc. (Health Care), Senior Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Jukka Kurttila, M.Ed., Senior Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Juha Alakulppi, M.Ed., Senior Lecturer, Psychotherapist, Authorised Sexologist, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Minna Perälä, M.H.S., Senior Lecturer (Midwifery and Health Care), Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Marja Kinisjärvi, M.H.S., Senior Lecturer (Midwifery), Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Henna Alakulju, M.Ed., Study Affairs Planning Officer (Student Services), Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Jukka Savilampi, M.A., Senior Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences

A team of health and social care teachers planned a new online course (Violence against woman and domestic violence, 5 CU) to a Finnish university of applied sciences shared digital course offering, Campus Online portal. The course was planned and constructed by the support and assistance of eAMK project and its training programme. This article describes a pedagogical example of the course planning process, online implementations and co-operation. It highlights the possibilities of improving or building up new high quality online education in network, with support of a higher education professionals and working life co-operation partners.

Digital competences in the social and health care education

Anna-Leena Eklund, M.H.S., Specially Trained Nurse, Lecturer (Nursing), Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
Taneli Rantaharju, M.Sc. (Tech.), Senior Lecturer, Study Programme Coordinator in intelligent systems, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
Heli Ylitalo, M.H.S., Lecturer (Health and Wellbeing), Kainuu Vocational College

Reforms in social and healthcare structures and functions due to digitalisation are instituting a demand for change in healthcare provision and training. The aim of the DIGIOS project (1.3.2017–31.5.2019) implemented jointly by Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, Kainuu Vocational College and Kainuu Joint Municipal Social and Healthcare Authority is to develop competence in electronic health services and health technology in the region.

The project has created a multi-purpose scalable learning environment in which modern technology- assisted nursing interventions and principles can be practised. The learning environment enables cooperation between the project partners as well as the opportunity to practise multi-professional nursing. As well as nursing and healthcare, the beneficiary of the project is the engineering degree. The results of this joint development initiative are highly applicable in advanced engineering studies, in which the students gain in depth knowledge of health, wellbeing and sports technologies, among others. In addition to teaching, the learning environment will be used in supplementary training and induction for social and healthcare sector and information technology staff.

How to do things right? Blended learning in teaching ethical decision-making in health and social sciences

Soile Juujärvi, D.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

In health and social care, ethical competence is one of the core competences that is increasingly studied through E-learning. Dilemma discussions have previously been found to be the most effective method for advancing ethical decision-making. This paper introduces a pedagogical model for professional ethics course based on blended learning. Classroom teaching was combined with dilemma discussions on the digital platform. Students solved real-life ethical problems by applying professional codes, values and ethical theories. Integrated face-to-face and virtual learning engaged students in shared learning process. Threated asynchronous dilemma discussions were important for exploring theoretical knowledge. The role of the teacher was to facilitate learning and provide an example for critical discussion. The model is recommended as a highly motivating method for ethics education.

Creating a change – how does online degree education look like in the eyes of a student?

Ilona Laakkonen, M.A., eLearning Specialist, JAMK University of Applied Sciences

In 2015, we launched an online BBA programme at JAMK School of Business. Our students are motivated and have experiences from the world of work, but face the challenge of allocating their time between work, family life and studies. The past years have been an era of continuous pedagogical development and transformation for our staff. Have we succeeded? How to improve in the following years? This paper reflects these questions in the light of the student feedback and proposes present and future solutions for some of the problems common in adult online education: workload and rhythm; learning assignments and course structure; presence and social interaction. We still have room for improvement, but student responses indicate that hard work also pays off.

Distance education works well in immigrants learning of Finnish language

Kukka-Maaria Raatikainen, M.A., Senior Lecturer (Finnish and Communication), Savonia University of Applied Sciences
Anne Karuaho, M.A., Lecturer (Communication), Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Web pedagogy in learning Finnish language seems to be an effective way of learning at least when the immigrant cannot participate in traditional teaching. In Savonia University of Applied Sciences, we have developed seven courses in Finnish language and during 2018–2019 those courses will be held online. During the summer 2018, an experiment of web course in Finnish language not tied to time nor place took place in Savonia. Feedback has been mainly good: the participants felt that they have learnt many new things especially about idioms and some certain structures in Finnish. Some participants nevertheless felt that, there were not enough materials about oral language or theory about difficult subjects. It is obvious that we have to offer flexible solutions in Finnish language courses in the future also.

Immigrants getting ready for higher education studies online

Tiina Hirard, M.A., Senior Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Heidi Stenberg, M.Ed., Project Director SIMHE-Metropolia, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

This article deals with the higher education preparatory program for immigrants and its online implementation that will be carried out by nine Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences. The main objective of the online implementation is to add to the availability and accessibility of the preparatory program on the national level. Furthermore, studying online develops digital skills that are essential in today’s higher education studies and that are thus considered both as objectives and contents of the preparatory program. The pedagogical approach of the online implementation is based on co-teaching, collaborative construction of knowledge as well between students and teachers as among students, activating learning and teaching methods and continuous assessment and guidance. The online implementation can be seen not only as a new way of implementing the preparatory program but also as a new kind of cooperation and sharing know-how between higher education institutes.

Thesis process in the digital era

Merja Koikkalainen, Ph.D., Principal Lecturer, Master’s Degree Unit, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Marika Kunnari, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Master’s Degree Unit, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Soili Mäkimurto-Koivumaa, Ph.D., Principal Lecturer, Master’s Degree Unit, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

In autumn 2017, Lapland UAS launched a new multidisciplinary Master’s degree programme, Service Management in Digital Era, which is completed entirely online. The programme was designed to meet the challenges of rapidly changing working life. The multidisciplinary MONT thesis process, developed previously at Lapland UAS, was adopted for the programme’s thesis process. Most importantly, the MONT process is interdisciplinary and close to working life. MONT theses are written in small multidisciplinary groups. In an online thesis process, the students’ own activeness and responsibility throughout the process are vital. The MONT process, which is done online, is constructed such that a thesis is completed over the course of 18 months. Small thesis groups write articles on their individual development task, and students in each thematic group also compile a joint knowledge base connected to their theme as a co-creation project. Based on student feedback, satisfaction with the MONT project is connected to multidisciplinary work and the broad analysis it facilitates. Areas in need of improvement include specifying the schedule of the overall process right at the beginning of studies.

Increase personal relevance with learning diaries

Minna Jukka, D. Sc. (Econ.), M.Sc. (Tech.), Project Manager DaaS – Open Data as a Service, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

Increasing digital teaching creates a need for new kinds of interaction and personal relevance with the studies. One option is self-reflection of learning by writing a learning diary that supports the forming of personal insights helping to understand and remember. Reviewing over 40 learning diary instructions suggests the best learning diary instructions are tailored to each course, and clearly outline the goals of the diary, the teacher’s expectations and its evaluation. Guiding questions are also included: what I want to learn, what I learned, what was left unclear, what this new knowledge means to me, and what thoughts it aroused. With virtual courses, and especially with adult learners, the learning diary instructions were more detailed, suggesting that self-directedness of the studies needs more detailed guidance. Therefore, the new era of digital teaching needs good guidance in learning diaries.

Master’s Students as the Developers of Communication Skills

Mervi Varhelahti, D.Ed., M.A., M.Sc. (Econ. & Bus.Adm.), Senior Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdmann, D.Ed., Professor, University of Turku, Department of Teacher Education

Changes in the world of work are posing new challenges in orientation in higher educational institutions. This study focuses on the development of adult students’ communication skills ‒ especially media choice ‒ in Master’s studies in universities of applied sciences in Finland. The approach used in this study is mixed method, combining a framework of digital communication skills to the media synchronicity theory as theoretical background. Results suggest that a stronger link to working life orientation could be achieved with a varied choice of digital communications tools in learning.

How to Learn Use of ICT Tools while Learning in Student Projects

Anu Kurvinen, M.BA., Senior Lecture, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences
Pasi Juvonen, D.Sc., Senior Lecturer, Head Coach, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences

Change in digitalization has been rapid. Future working life will need employees who are skilled in different areas. While educating the next generation professionals, we are teaching them capabilities to take over new ways of increasing their knowledge. There is plenty of information available. Thus, one has to be able to think critically, have skills to synthesize and put the information into action in a wise way. This article presents an example of learning environment where ICT tools are learnt in conjunction with student cooperative’s business projects. Since 2009 we have been developing a new learning environment combining studying content knowledge (theory) learning by doing (practice), and employing dialogue in knowledge sharing, knowledge creation and reflection. Adopting and learning to use ICT tools is not depending on the availability of the ICT tools or applications anymore. It’s rather a question to learn how to better utilize the free to use tools available on the market, and harnessing them in the student projects. The article presents pedagogical choices that according to our experiences are increasing the readiness of adopting ICT tools and utilizing them alongside learning business.

Profiling in the virtual world of education

Ritva Kosonen, L.Phil., Principal lecturer, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences
Taina Sjöholm, M.A., Senior Lecturer, Novia University of Applied Sciences

International evaluations show that Finland’s university system is still fragmented and profiles are minimal. A weakness is also that the universities of applied sciences in Finland cooperate only to a limited extent.

The eAMK project acknowledges the importance of profiling. In the autumn of 2018, the project sent a request to all universities of applied sciences asking on which areas of education the university wants to focus considering online studies.

Two of the universities expressed their desire to profile themselves in one area of education, four wanted to profile themselves in two different areas of education. For the rest (15) the wishes were divided into several areas of education. At this stage of the project, it would be challenging to try to create a clear profile of online studies for each of the universities of applied sciences.

In the long term, we should aim to improve cooperation in those areas that provide synergy effects. The work within the eAMK project has come to a good start and we look forward to a wide variety of activities in the future.