TAMK's definition of continuous learning is ready
TAMK's Strategic Steering Group for Continuous Learning consists of Hanna Ilola, Director of Pedagogical Innovations and Culture, Hannu Koponen, Business Operations Manager, Markus Aho, Innovation Manager, Susanna Seitsamo, Director of Social Services and Health Care, Katja Komulainen, Vice President and Lea Yli-Koivisto, Head of Education and Learning Services. The group started working on the definition of continuous learning in August 2023 and it was approved by TAMK’s management at the end of the year.
Different actors in the education field have very different meanings for continuous learning. Similar concepts have existed for a long time, such as lifelong learning and lifetime learning.
“We wanted to find out what exactly TAMK means by continuous learning. The Digivisio 2030 project has also given us a reason to clarify the issue," says Hanna Ilola, explaining the background to the work.
At TAMK, the definition of continuous learning is divided into three areas: education, business and RDIC (research, development, innovation, and competences). Clarifying the definition supports not only teaching but also other activities.
“Many institutions are now reflecting on the meaning of continuous learning in their own context. The definition will facilitate communication between actors," Ilola believes.
For external audiences, the definition is also a promise of the latest knowledge and the most appropriate pedagogical solutions.
“In RDIC, we have access to the latest information and we know what is needed in the field," says Markus Aho.
The next step is to consider how to take the completed definition into TAMK's operations and how to get the three areas working together. The aim is to finalize the proposal by the end of spring.
“We will consider which of our existing processes support the definition of continuous learning and which processes are still missing," says Hannu Koponen.
What is continuous learning at TAMK?
At TAMK, continuous learning refers to all the activities that increase the possibilities of individuals, groups, communities, businesses, and organisations to develop their own competences and improve working life. TAMK also strengthens its regional, national, and international role through continuous learning, especially in its strategic focus areas. Continuous learning and its quality are systematically developed in cooperation with internal and external stakeholders.
Continuous learning in education
All education organised at TAMK supports the development into continuous learners. TAMK uses the methods enabled by the education system for the needs of continuous learning.
All education systematically anticipates the competence needs of the working life. Both the curricula and learning goals comprise of competence-based units, from which parts can be used for the needs of continuous learning.
Different forms of competence development consider pedagogical flexibility, work-life connection, accessibility, sustainability, as well as the accumulation and combinability of studies. Education, which supports continuous learning, requires learner-centred, flexible, open, and accessible, also digital, learning environments, as well as pedagogy and guidance.
Continuous learning as TAMK’s business
The education business is based on the recognised need for continuous learning. New products are created for domestic and international customers by anticipating and recognising already existing competences.
The business utilises TAMK’s strong expertise, capability, and pedagogical competences of its Schools. With these, educational products are created to meet the changing competence needs of the working life in a responsible and ethical manner.
It is important for TAMK to have versatile cooperation with the working life and functioning future prediction processes in order to identify the needs for continuous learning.
Continuous learning in RDIC activities
RDIC activities create competence data for TAMK, which strengthens the research-based, anticipatory, infrastructural, and working life oriented continuous learning models and contents.
RDIC enables the creation of new ideas, piloting, experimentation, and development, which in turn ensure the forward-looking and working life oriented continuous learning.
Hanna Ilola, Director, Pedagogical Innovations and Culture, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
tel. +358 40 0263 675, hanna.ilola [at] tuni.fi (hanna[dot]ilola[at]tuni[dot]fi)
Text: Emmi Suominen and TAMK's Strategic Steering Group for Continuous Learning
Photo: Emmi Suominen