April contact days wrap-up And next steps !

Recognition and validation of learning and competence

This was just a brief overview on RPL in higher education especially in the UAS context, which has made more significant advances than research universities in not only recognizing and validating prior learning and competence but also in recognizing and validating competence acquired on the job during the studies (= "studification"). A variety of methods is now in use to demonstrate and validate competence ranging from presentations, role plays to portfolios etc. Traditional exams are hopefully not the only demonstration method as they fail to support the notion of competence, especially now that competence-based curricula have become the norm in UAS.

Collaborative workshops round 2

Thanks to the 3 remaining sub-teams for facilitating their workshop during which we were able to discuss and learn about topics such as copyrights, human rights and democracy, cultural diversity and discover or rediscover collaborative methods. All in all the workshops were engaging and informative. A couple of things to keep in mind for the future (more detailed feedback from your tutor) :

Time is the enemy: it is important to tackle scheduling in the planning phase and keep track of time during the implementation. Then again planning on one's feet shouldn't be ruled out if some activity doesn't work the way it was expected. Listen to your audience and be flexible !

Methods vs content. Does the method I chose match well enough the content I intend to teach or is there a discrepancy?

Feedback and feedforward: What exactly am I hoping to get when I collect feedback? What method am I going to use ? Did I reserve enough time for collecting feedback? If relevant, how will I act upon it in my next lesson /course?

Last but not least: evaluate the workshop together with your peer(s) and share the recipes and relevant materials on the Moodle General Discussion Forum as soon as possible.

Diversity and special needs in VET

In the morning we had an opportunity to visit Luovi, a vocational upper secondary school for students with special needs. Matti Kauppinen gave us speech and a tour, which everybody appreciated.

After lunch we continued with the theme in Pasila. There are still six schools dedicated to providing special needs vocational education in Finland, but most of the students who need special support are nowadays integrated to regular vocational schools. Inclusion is the approach were everybody regardless of his/her disability has the same rights and responsibilities, and many times inclusion can be better served when people go to school together. It's not only about the official systems, it's also about how we all as teachers can make small changes in our ways of delivering our classes in order to make it easier for students with learning difficulties and other disabilities.

Irmeli's slides

Next steps

Collaborative workshop recipes (see comment above). Thanks to those of you who already shared their materials !

Contact days reflections. In the Community or wherever you like as long as you are reflecting somewhere and we know it (the idea of sharing your reflections in the Community or your blog was to give you the opportunity to receive some comments not only from your tutors but from peer group members. It seems it didn't work too well... Remember that these reflections are an essential element of your portfolio. In other words, no reflections, incomplete portfolio...

Teaching practice implementation and observations. Remember to add a comment in the learning journal document so that we know that you have expanded it and we can provide feedback. It is important that you document your learning journal on a regular basis. We would very much appreciate if you could invite us to observe one of your teaching sessions well ahead of time. We are usually flexible but also have other commitments to attend to this spring so the earlier we know about the session you wish us to observe, the more convenient for us. (Ideally, whenever possible we would like to choose from several sessions).

Any hints about next June's contact days ?

Our picks


Irmeli (Scroll down to find the newest photos)

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