The future of higher education pedagogy from the perspective of the Alliance – 3AMK operators gathered for development seminar

From left to right development managers Tatjana Lazareva (Laurea), Päivi Laine (Metropolia) and Veera Partanen (Haaga-Helia). In the background is Laurea’s principal Jouni Koski and 3AMK’s process Director Antti Vettenranta.

On Wednesday 27.4. 3AMK’s principals, process Director, learning excellence’s development managers and other staff gathered for a development seminar in Metropolia’s Myyrmäki campus. The theme for the development seminar was higher education pedagogy and the aim was to form a common view of the role of pedagogical development in the activities of the 3AMK Alliance. With the pandemic, hybrid solutions and strong digitalization, the 2020’s are a decade of pedagogy, so 3AMK Alliance could be profiled in the future through the substance of higher education pedagogy. 

The development seminar was opened by Metropolia’s principal Riitta Konkola, who pointed out that the alliance needs to be more effective, especially in the awareness of stakeholders. Finnish higher education pedagogy is internationally known and in demand, so it’s important to keep up with development.

Starting the seminar

The development seminar was initiated by Jari Laukia, Director of Vocational Teacher Education in Haaga-Helia, who gave a comprehensive presentation to the staff about higher education pedagogy and its possibilities in co-operation with 3AMK. Among other things, the introduction highlighted the fact that pedagogy is on the rise both nationally and internationally and has a strong role in higher education. 

However, Haaga-Helia already has a pedagogical expertise, for example through the RDI’s engaging vocational pedagogy, which focuses on teacher training, education and the development of working life through, among other things AI and well being. RDI team also promote electronical working and learning environments, for example through augmented reality (XR).

The presentation also highlighted the Ministry of education and culture’s program for the sustainable growth of higher education institutions, the guidelines for which include increasing the supply of skilled labor and supporting growth through strong RDI activities. The presentation also discussed Arene’s strategy, which includes co-operation, networking and RDI activities. 3AMK has the opportunity to meet these goals while developing higher education pedagogy.  

Assignments for developing

In the first assignment the participants considered what the desired future and vision could be in the perspective of pedagogy and how 3AMK could get to that future. The second assignment considered what practical measures 3AMK could take towards the desired future. 

Through the assignments, was proposed, among other things, doing a quality assurance of the learning excellence through Eduexcellence – in which case it would be possible to study the activities of 3AMK and strengthen the educational exports. It would also increase national and international recognition, which would strengthen the visibility of all universities. Higher education pedagogy can also be commercialized to operators without their own educational activities. 

The lack of pedagogical research in Finland was highlighted in the discussion. However development should be based on research and a study of effectiveness. Based on the discussion, it was proposed to establish a research center to study and develop the individual needs of higher education institutions. The discussion also highlighted digital pedagogy and the challenges it created, which should still be studied and solved, for example through RDI operators. 

In the second assignment was proposed to visualize the goals and policies and work those through, among other things, a mentoring model, the development of pedagogical leadership, and possibly thematic groups that would take project funding and products forward for educational exports. Pedagogy could also be developed through working life exchanges, i.e. teacher exchanges by universities.

RDI activities as a future of pedagogy

In 3AMK’s vision pedagogy supports the alliance’s influence  by appearing as a strong national operator that combines vocational education and higher education pedagogy through research, education, commercial activities and internationality in all it’s activities.  

RDI activities are going to be in the heart of everything and will be reflected in all activities. The primary pedagogical development focuses on the 3AMK staff and the development of their teaching through mentoring and webinars et cetera. However, the aim is not to harmonize the teaching of 3AMK, but to research and develop teaching and teaching methods.  

At the seminar was discussed about the possibility of building a national and international research center around pedagogy with the possibility of job rotation. If the research center is to be taken forward, its planning and publication must happen soon, if it’s to be implemented in 3AMK’s next contract period in 2024-2027. From a project perspective, it would also be important to develop partnership networks and possibly seek international funding. It’s also intended that productization will be based on research and this will be linked to education exports. The prerequisities for success are great when we work together in collaboration as a 3AMK.

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