news 28.4.2020

Coronavirus forced universities of applied sciences to leap into digitalisation – eAMK gave them a boost

March 2020 saw a historical moment when the teaching of Finland’s universities of applied sciences moved online all at once. At the same time, the field’s preparedness to go online and potential problems were studied carefully. It was concluded that digital pedagogic support was readily available, online learning had already been a part of people’s lives, and significant issues were not detected, at least at the start. It seems that we have built up momentum and preparedness in the background during the past years, and the leap needed was surprisingly short.

eAMK has prepared the universities of applied sciences for digitalisation for the last three years by producing a shared online course selection, developing tools for digital pedagogy, and studying the ecosystems of learning. The most concrete result of this work is the portal, which gathers the online courses offered by 23 universities of applied sciences in one place. CampusOnline makes it possible to take and complete courses 100% online. The courses are free for degree students and exchange students. Most of the selection is also available to everyone via Open University of Applied Sciences, either for a price or for free.

Online learning via CampusOnline has benefited students in many ways.

“Studying on CampusOnline has accelerated my studies. I’ve been able to get credits for courses that will benefit me in both future studies and work,” says Marjo Telkkälä, a student at Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

During 2019, 110,000 ECTS credits were completed via CampusOnline. This number corresponds to 500 degrees and accounts for 77% of all joint credits from all Finnish universities.

“Based on the estimates, 15,000 students have completed studies via CampusOnline, and 95% of UAS students recognise the service. We will start a pilot with the labour union PRO in autumn 2020 and open up the selection for people in working life. Online studies allow you to update and develop your skills flexibly while working. We also have plans for partnerships with other labour unions,” JAMK’s Project Manager Paula Tyrväinen reveals.

Digital pedagogy has been developed patiently

Developing digital pedagogy skills became vital in the eAMK project. The quality criteria for online implementations published in 2017 are now being used in all universities of applied sciences. Nearly 1,000 teachers participated in the related national or university-specific training on digital pedagogy.

Students also need to adopt multiple electronic systems for online learning. Nearly all universities of applied sciences have prepared or are preparing digital starter packages to support students. At the end of 2019, more than 8,000 students had already used these starter packages.

“This type of starter package is very useful before the start of your studies. I’m sure I’ll come back to the package’s content many times,” says a delighted student who provided anonymous feedback.

The instructions, guides and tools created for instructing and mentoring students in digital environments are also being used or planned to be used in almost all universities of applied sciences.

Results of the eAMK project in universities of applied sciences:

  • In 2019, included 23 universities of applied sciences, 1,308 courses and 109,955 completed ECTS credits
  • The quality criteria for online implementations are being used in all universities of applied sciences
  • The online student service model is being used in 6 universities of applied sciences
  • About 160 teachers participated in the national training on digital pedagogy, while more than 750 teachers participated in the training held by universities of applied sciences individually
  • More than 500 students participated in the cMOOC course on learning analytics. The course will continue and be maintained by the APOA project
  • Digital starter packages for students are being used in 12 universities of applied sciences
  • The digital guidance path and materials are being used in 9 universities of applied sciences
  • The operation models and quality criteria for digital mentoring from the perspective of students, institutions and working life are being used in 5 universities of applied sciences
  • 6 Open Badges being used by 5 universities of applied sciences as a part of their own badges
  • Research results on the ecosystems of learning and proximity to working life

For more information, please contact:
Rika Nakamura, Project Coordinator
tel. +358 (0)50 524 0725
JAMK University of Applied Sciences

Paula Tyrväinen, Project Manager
tel. +358 (0)40 530 9231
JAMK University of Applied Sciences