Research in Innovative Learning

The focus area of Innovative Learning concentrates its research on working life-orientated learning and education, emerging teaching profession and factors influencing the entire learning ecosystem.

Four people shooting video in a meeting

Research on Innovative learning is working life -orientated

The research on Innovative Learning at Jamk University of Applied Sciences arises from the transformation of working life and the development of digital technology, which are shaking up the entire field of education. Subsequently, this modifies the ways of learning, learners’ actions, teachers’ role and identity, pedagogy, learning environments, educational structures and competence management.

The constant fluctuation in working environments changes the nature of work and sets new competence requirements. The ways of working change, thus, maintaining and updating competences is a continuous process. Utilising digitalisation in competence development creates flexible opportunities for continuous learning, shaking up ways, spaces, and time where we learn. Therefore, education providers must also examine their own operations, create innovative and collaborative pedagogy, develop learning ecosystems and create new ways of supporting learners to identify and build their own competences. 

Applied, practice-based and multi-methodogical research 

As research in Innovative Learning focuses on working life-orientated learning, emerging teaching profession and factors influencing the entire learning ecosystem, it is, by its nature, applied, practice-based research which utilises many different methodological approaches.

Publishing and disseminating the research results is essential at Jamk and is achieved using varied channels and forums aimed at reaching those who will use and apply the information. Our research activities are implemented in close cooperation with national and international higher education organisations, research centres and business-related networks. Thus, it realises the Competence for Competitiveness mission included in Jamk’s strategy and research-based higher education teaching and learning.

Research in various networks

Research is carried out in close cooperation with other research actors, education and business partners from various networks. The EduFutura-network in Central Finland offers possibility to conduct RDI-collaboration with secondary schools and the University of Jyväskylä. The research group between the five Finnish Schools of Professional Teacher Education on working life-orientated vocational learning, pedagogy, and education, broadens the network nation-wide.  International partners and networks such as Jamk’s RISEN-network extends the research collaboration globally.

Focus areas in research

1. Learning and teaching in digital learning environments

Digital learning environments transform methods and places of professional teaching, learning and guidance practices. Our research explores amongst other things, pedagogical design for vocational and higher education environments, development of accessible digital tools and learning environments as well as their impact on learning, teaching and guidance. 

Research and projects

Here are some examples of our projects on this focus area: 

2. Emerging technologies and vocational pedagogy

The development of technologies and faster Internet connections offers many new opportunities for professional learning as well as teaching, guidance and special education.
The utilization of emerging technologies requires experimentation and research as well as rethinking pedagogical processes. For example, VR, AR and AI technologies with fast Internet connections offer learners opportunities to practice their skills at any time and place. 

Research and projects

Here are some examples of projects on this focus area: 

3. Vocational pedagogy and learning ecosystems

  • Vocational learning and education are closely and, in many ways, intertwined with working life and its learning environments. Learners are not only students but also teachers, supervisors and other professionals.
  • When the cooperation between educational organizations and workplaces is effortless, it serves all parties and supports working life and its competitiveness.
  • The focus of our research is on working-life learning and training ecosystems, i.e. solutions for cooperation between education and working life, which make continuous learning a reality, strengthen the effectiveness of education and support competence development and transforms in workplaces.

Research and projects

Examples of our projects on this focus area: 

4. Evolving vocational teacher

  • Vocational teachers, study counsellors and special needs education teachers are seen as experts both in their own subject and professional field as well as in pedagogy and competence development. They are multi-talented, network weavers, developers and researchers of teaching and guidance on their own field.
  • Due to changes in teachers’ work and role, they have become experts in learning and competence development. Experts who utilize their competence in different environments also outside their teaching profession.
  • Our research focuses on roles of teachers in different environments: at vocational (VET) education, university of applied sciences, workplaces and teacher education (including study counsellor and special needs teacher education).

 

Research and projects

Here are some projects on this focus area: 

5. Competence in life-long guidance and counselling

  • A study counsellor is a professional in guidance and interaction in different  educational institutions and other guidance and counselling environments. The counsellor is a multi-skilled professional in both multi-channel lifelong guidance, continuous development of professional skills, and systemic development.
  • The work of study and career counsellors is studied in many ways. Our special research topics are counsellors’ multi-channel guidance and interaction skills, capabilities to support lifelong career planning, multidisciplinary and multi-professional cooperation, and the professional identity of a study counsellor.

6. Competence in special needs pedagogy as a learner’s support

  • Vocational special education and preparatory education support the implementation of equal education and enable the participation of all learners in studies and working life. The core competence of a vocational special needs education (SEN) teacher is taking the student's learning challenges into account, building individual study paths and having a multi-professional and cross-disciplinary competence.
  • Vocational special need education is studied by examining pedagogical methods and their effectiveness for learning, work and studying the education for special education needs teachers.
  • Our special research topics are adults needing special support, questions related to well-being and intensive special needs support in vocational education.

Recent research projects:

YHDESSÄ - Verkkovälitteiseksi yhteisöksi liikunnanohjaustyötä tekevät

Implementation time: 1.8.2022 - 31.12.2023

Unit: School of Professional Teacher Education

Financing program: Finnish Work Environment Fund

Vuorovaikutus verkossa – hyvinvointia oppilaitokseen (HyPe)

Implementation time: 1.6.2022 - 31.3.2023

Unit: School of Professional Teacher Education

Financing program: Other funding

Opettajan koulutuksen tutkimusperustainen kehittäminen

Implementation time: 1.9.2021 - 31.12.2022

Unit: School of Professional Teacher Education

Financing program: Other funding

Researchers

Find out more about our research team in Innovative Learning. 

Researcher descriptions

News 

A  national research group between the Schools of Professional Teacher Education on working life-orientated vocational learning, pedagogy, and education

In February 2021, all five schools of professional teacher education outlined a vision for and to build a Research programme on working life-orientated vocational learning, pedagogy, and education.

Researcher team

Sirpa Laitinen-Väänänen

Johtava tutkija, Principal Researcher
AOKK T&K, Research, Development & Innovations (RDI)
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358408658496

Minna Silvennoinen

Vanhempi tutkija, Senior Researcher
AOKK T&K, Research, Development & Innovations (RDI)
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358505360330

Eila Burns

Vanhempi tutkija, Senior Researcher
AOKK T&K, Research, Development & Innovations (RDI)
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358405323126

Riia Palmqvist

Tutkija, Researcher
AOKK T&K, Research, Development & Innovations (RDI)
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358505219256

Ilona Laakkonen

Asiantuntija, Specialist
AOKK T&K, Research, Development & Innovations (RDI)
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358406207177

Susanna Kanninen

Tutkimusassistentti, Research Assistant
AOKK T&K, Research, Development & Innovations (RDI)
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358505633770

Heini Ikäheimo

Koordinaattori, Coordinator
Kehittämispalvelut, Research and Development
Korkeakoulupalvelut, University Services
+358505359801

Principal Lecturers

Kaisa Räty

Yliopettaja, Principal Lecturer
Jatkokoulutukset, Further Education
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358503470131

Siru Lehto

Yliopettaja, Principal Lecturer
Opettajankoulutus, Teacher Education
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358406341231

Pasi Savonmäki

Yliopettaja, Principal Lecturer
Jatkokoulutukset, Further Education
Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, Professional Teacher Education
+358504790573

Research

Research is an important part of Jamk's RDI activities. It relies, in particular, on our focus areas, and the main focus is on solving practical problems and finding solutions. Learn more about research themes and researchers!