Exceptional situation affects the future university of applied sciences
Director Jouko Lähteenmäki from TAMK’s School of Built Environment and Bioeconomy tells that available remote work tools and connections have now been taken in maximum use in the Tampere Universities community.
“The digital leap was taken with a fighting spirit. Students have good IT skills and most of them have participated in remote teaching actively,” Lähteenmäki praises.
Remote teaching and supervision are carried out with special arrangements, which enables students’ progress in their studies. Laboratory work has been implemented within the limits of the assembly restrictions. Video recordings make it possible for students to watch lectures at their own pace.
There are different implementation forms for different students. TAMK has paid special attention to graduating students by offering them special courses, if necessary.
“In the field of construction, practical trainings have gone well as building sites are open and the labour market situation is good. The exceptional situation has not impeded practical training,” Lähteenmäki describes students’ spring in the construction field.
Remote supervision of theses has also succeeded. In the construction field, almost all theses are practical and directly connected to enterprises and communities.
“Teachers, students and employers have managed well in this exceptional situation,” Lähteenmäki praises.
Exceptional situation leads to something permanent
“The exceptional situation marked the beginning of innovative solutions. It is a good start,” says Lähteenmäki.
He however reminds that students want to be seen and heard and the feeling cannot be created through technical tools only. It is good to take time to consider which teaching method suits each course best and which procedure leads to the best learning results.
Kaisa-Leena Ahlroth, who works as a manager at TAMK’s School of Pedagogical Innovations, considers preconditions for learning from the pedagogical viewpoint.
“In addition to IT skills, learning in social networks and building of new knowledge on prior learning are emphasised.”
According to Ahlroth, remote teaching suits TAMK’s professional teacher educations, which are multiform studies. Remote teaching has worked so well that teacher education students hope more of it in the future, too.
“Remote teaching does not only mean independent learning but it is also a communal process as the video connection gives the sense of presence and increases communality. Especially use of the camera and photograph play a role in it,” states Ahlroth.
Reflection skills are needed in all independent learning. Consciousness of learning is emphasised. It is connected to learner centredness, responsibility and self-evaluation.
Ahlroth and Lähteenmäki think that there is no turning back. In the future, studies will probably be organised with mixed modes of study.
Text: Arja Lundan
Photos: Jaakko Saarilampi