Thursday, 26 February 2015

Final conclusions and ending the project

DIP -project has come to its end and it is time to write the last post to this blog. Last autumn was a very busy time for the project and unfortunately there aren't too many blog posts from that time. The autumn was spent running the Participatory Learning and Teaching -online module and developing and disseminating the checklist for inclusive learning environments. I will try to make some conclusions from these last two activities to this blog now.

Participatory Learning and Teaching online module was organised 29.9.-21.11.2014 and there were 12 participants who completed the whole module. The feedback we got during our closing chat session was encouraging and participants seemed to have learned the ideas and principals of participatory learning and teaching and other themes within that area. Some feedback from the participants:

General feeling and interesting themes:
"This has been an interesting experiment as a course. I learned quite much not only because of the contents and material you provided but also to see how can this participatory teaching can be improved"

"The idea about communities of practice was very interesting and also to think about this can be included as a teaching tool or a motivator process"

"Though I have not been a teacher yet, so everything in this course have been new to me in that sense"

"Thank you, from my perspective this was something so different to what I normally do, I found it really enlightening. "

"… the stories were fantastic. This was a very big plus point that we trusted each other enough to share these experiences."

Do you think multicultural learning group added value to the module?
"I think from the multicultural point of view there is not so much difference. I have been this week in Ireland observing teaching, and the ways delivering the message would not differ so much as such"

"I think it's a relative viewpoint whether it (multiculturalism) really existed in this group or not. From my viewpoint I'd say yes. But it was heartening to see people coming from different disciplines and backgrounds and having similar experiences"

The module included both individual and group assignments.
"Both of the group assignments were a disaster from my side. I would suggest that these group assignments could be done right in the beginning as they are more "demanding" than creating a linkedin profile"

How to improve the module in the future:
"I think the videoconferences could be a nice addition."

"It was a good experience in general, but the information was shattered in too many different places, that it would be good to look into for the next time"

In general we can be quite satisfied with this pilot module and we are definitely going to offer that module again. Of course we are going to develop the module on the basis of the feedback we received and also based on our own reflection and analysis. All in all it was an interesting pilot and we were able to perform it in the given timetable and framework. In addition the feedback from the participants was encouraging, as already mentioned.

 The other main activity during last autumn was the development and dissemination of the checklist for inclusive learning environments. The project actors from TAMK School of Vocational Education did the dissemination of the checklist mainly to the vocational teacher students and students of vocational special needs education teacher -programme. These students got the introduction to the use of the checklist and the students applied the checklist in their work as a teacher. After the piloting time feedback and comments were gathered from these teacher and special needs teacher students.

The feedback from the use of the checklist was encouraging and promising. The themes and statements described in the checklist were considered practical and they raised questions and discussion among school communities. The checklist was considered useful when teachers, teacher teams, school communities and networks evaluate and aim to improve their inclusive practices. The first part (student / commitment to studies) was perceived as the most useful part of the checklist. The other parts were perceived useful as well but the other two parts require more comprehensive analysis. As a summary, the checklist for inclusive learning environment can be utilised in developing inclusive learning and teaching practices and in fostering participatory learning and teaching. The overall results about disseminating the checklist can later be read from an article (will be published in spring 2015 in Finnish).

In conclusion, DIP-project has now officially ended, but the themes and their development still goes on. I would like to thank all the parties involved in this project, you made it work!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Analyzing and evaluating checklist for inclusive learning environment

During last spring (2014) and this autumn our project team members have piloted the checklist for inclusive learning environment mostly with our teacher students and the students of special needs educator programme. As the project is slowly coming to its end, it is important to evaluate the received infromation and feedback we have got from the use of this list.

The evaluation and deeper analysis will be made in collaboration with DIP -project team but we also use an external service provider for this analysis. The idea is to make a customer / user survey about the usability of this list. The first feedback from the checlist have been ecouraging and it is said to be useful in many different ways. As the evaluation and analysis proceeds, we will share some thoughts about it in this blog.

Meanwhile, please check the blog Participatory Learning and Teaching and get yourselves introduced with the international online module!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Last - but not least - activities

The project's acting time is shortly coming to its end, as the project ends 31.12.2014. The rest of the project's working time is going to be spent on analysing the processes, making final conclusions and  disseminating and embedding the results. The effort is put to 1) disseminating, piloting and developing the checklist for inclusive learning environment, 2) developing, piloting and analysing the rerults from the international online learning module "Participatory Learning and Teaching" 3) improving the understanding of different aspects of student experience in higher education by continuing collaboration with partner universities and 4) summarizing the model of organizing benchmarking workshops in educational institutes as international collaboration. A lot of interesting work for the last four months!

The online learning module Participatory Learning and Teaching will start soon and some information from the participants will be published in blog. Another current topic for this autumn is the continuation of collaboration around the theme student experience. Ideas, practices and information is shared between partner universities by both face-to-face and online meetings.

At this point I have to say that although the project and this process has been interesting and rewarding from the very beginning, I never could have imagined all the great things and especially the wonderful people I have met and experienced during this project. When reflecting the results realized in the project so far, I think we can be satisfied: the appointed goals are fulfilled.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Participatory Learning and Teaching 2 ECTS (online course)

DIP -project offers a pedagogical e-learning course "Participatory Learning and Teaching" for teachers and other pedagogical staff of Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. This course is also aimed for the teacher students in TAMK School of Vocational Teacher Education.
About the course:

Participatory Learning and Teaching  

Participating this course will develop your competence in understanding the new kind of learning and teaching by using participatory pedagogy in online environments.  By taking part in this course you have the ability to study in online environment as part of an international group, participate in discussions and activities by using participatory teaching and learning methods as well as educational technology.

Participatory Learning and Teaching course is a pedagogical education module of 2 ECTS aimed for pre-service and in-service teaching personnel who are subject matter experts. Previous pedagogical studies are not required. The course is divided into two parts: "The basis of participatory learning and teaching" and "Participatory learning: practices, cases and visions". The duration of the course is 29.9. - 21.11.2014. 

Why participatory learning and teaching?
Participatory pedagogy is an extensive pedagogical approach which combines different pedagogical strategies. It enables the use of different types of activating, exploratory, problem and phenomena based pedagogical models and methods. It is not in itself an individual method. 

The course is designed to be completed alongside work. The pedagogical approach is based on individual, group and networking methods. The participants are required to contribute to the discussions and group activities during the course. The learning environment is a combination of structured learning platform (Moodle) and open social media environments such as blogs and Google Tools. The assessment is an ongoing process and based on the activity and implementation of the theory and practice. 

Learning outcomes
By taking part in the course participants will

  • understand the meaning of participatory learning and teaching
  • be able to make aims and goals for developing their own teaching and learning methods
  • learn ways to support the students’ participation and human agency
  • recognize the importance and use of peer groups 

Who can participate?
This course is aimed for pre-service and in-service teachers who are subject matter experts. Previous pedagogical education is not required. This course is aimed for teachers and other faculty staff members in Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and MeLLearn (MELLearN Hungarian Higher Education LL Network), Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and Tampere University of Technology (TUT) as well as for teacher students in TAMK School of Vocational Teacher Education. In order to participate the course please contact Ms Maija Joensuu (maija.joensuu(at) by 15th September 2014 the latest. Participatory Learning and Teaching course is free of charge. This course will be realized totally in online learning environments, so participants should have the ability to study in virtual environments. Please note that the language of the course is English. 

For Additional information please contact
Maija Joensuu, project coordinator, TAMK, School of Vocational Teacher Education, maija.joensuu(at), tel. +35850 464 4777 

Teachers and course administrators
Mr Pekka Kalli, principal lecturer at TAMK, School of Vocational Teacher Education, pekka.kalli(at)
Ms Anikó Kalman, Deputy Head of Department, associate professor at Budapest University of Technology and Economics, kalman.a(at)
Ms Sisko Mällinen, principal lecturer at TAMK, School of Vocational Teacher Education, Sisko.mallinen(at)
Ms Maija Joensuu, project coordinator at TAMK, School of Vocational Teacher Education, maija.joensuu(at)

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Individual Learning Paths - closing seminar: Lively discussion and new contacts

The project's closing seminar was held today and I would like to thank all the people involved today: speakers, project partners nationally and internationally, all other international guests as well as participants from Finland. We heard about some current topics from different angles and got to interact with a multiprofessional and multucultural group of participants. So thank you! Hopefully this day activated our thoughts in many important pedagogical and educational issues and gave some international perspective to these things. Inclusivity and inclusive practices, individual learning paths and student experience are all important aspects to consider in every schooling level and in all countries and although different countries have made different kind of actions developing these, they won't ever be "completed", so the continuing development is needed. Luckily we are going to put some effort in developing these questions in our University as well as our partner schools during and after DIP -project, so the work continues.

Here are some photos from the seminar :)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Active working time

Although I haven't written to DIP blog for a while, we have been working actively with our project during the last few months. The next "visible" event is the closing seminar on 8th May. The program of the day can bee seen here. The theme of the day is Individual Learning Paths - Student Experience and Participatory Pedagogy. We will hear about individual learning paths at different educational levels, as Mirkka Nieminen-Hirvelä will inform participants about vocational upper secondary level and from the viewpoint of a non-profit coaching organization and Hanna Ilola presents the theme from the viewpoint of universities (of applied sciences). The key note presentation will be given by Sarah Wilson-Medhurst with the theme Student experience. In the afternoon Sarah continues by leading a workshop on activity-led learning. These themes are certainly very topical at the moment in Finland and other European countries as well. At the same time, our School of Vocational Teacher Education is hosting an international week, and DIP seminar will have some international guests from different European countries. I'm hoping we will have some interesting discussions!

Photos: Maija Joensuu

The planned e-learning course, Participatry e-Learning, is now getting its shape and contents. Before our international week begins, we will have our own workshop for this courses planning and preparation with our partners from Budapest and our local network (Tampere University of Technology). Participatory e-Learning course is a pedagogical education module of 2 ECTS aimed for pre-service and in-service teaching faculty who are subject matter experts. Previous pedagogical studies are not required. The course is divided in two parts: 2The basis of participatory pedagogy and learning" and "Participatory e-learning in practice: cases and visions". The duration of the course is 29.9. - 21.11.2014 . This course is aimed for teachers and other faculty staff in Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and Tampere University of Technology as well as for teacher students in TAMK School of Vocational Teacher Education. More information about the registgration etc will be published later. Participatory e-Learning is also a topical theme at this time and for example "gamefication" will be dealt during this course at least to some extent. Stay tuned for more information...!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Project's closing seminar 8th May 2014, Welcome!

Disseminating Inclusive Practices -project actors in Tampere UAS, School of Vocational Teacher Education, are happy to invite all project partners, other stakeholders and others interested in pedagogical developmental issues to join our closing seminar. The closing seminar is organized 8th May 2014 and the theme for the seminar is " Individual Learning Paths - Student Experience and Participatory Pedagogy". The seminar takes place in TAMK (Kuntokatu 3, 33520 Tampere) at Y-kampus (room C1-22, "backstage"). The program consists of key note presentations and parallel afternoon activities (visits to different educational institutions or a workshop), detailed program can be seen here. Registration is needed and it sould be made 25th April the latest. We are happy to have our project partner, Coventry University in the spotlight in this seminar: Ms Sarah Wilson-Medhurst is giving a key note presentation about Student experience and preparing a workshop for the afternoon. Hoping to see you in May!