ECOLHE successfully offered online 3-Days European Partners Staff Training besides COVID-19 pandemic

Recently, ECOLHE project has offered European partners staff training besides COVID-19 challenges. Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Finland) offered series of virtual 3-day staff training seminar and workshop to the partners of the ECOLHE-project. ECOLHE partners training represented diverse group of members and participants. Every participant greatly benefited from each other’s expertise and sharing best practices. The seminar consisted of three sequential days which were arranged in March, April, and May in 2021. The seminar was organized and coordinated by Laurea Finland’s team along with ECOLHE partners, mainly lead by seasoned professional experts and technocrats: Pasi Kämppi and Paresh Rathod.  

 

The first seminar day was focused on key development theme of ECOLHE project, “Towards Onlife education.” The day started with the welcome words and presentation about Laurea UAS. The day continued with Paresh Rathod and Pasi Kämppi, who presented a keynote on how higher education has been developed from the traditional classroom teaching towards ‘onlife’ learning where a student is a collaborative actor instead of a passive receiver. After the break Pasi Kämppi presented how the LEAN principles are applied to cybersecurity education in Laurea. The presentation based on the scientific work and publication by Pasi Kämppi and Paresh Rathod. After the lunch, the participants pondered together in the workshop on topic of academic integrity in distance learning. As an outcome the participants submitted A4-sized leaflets with the key points for mitigating academic cheating, unethical behavior, and malpractices in online environment.

 

The second seminar day focused on pedagogical practices, study offerings and student support system. The day started with the case study about the Business Information Technology degree program presented by Pasi Kämppi. The presentation elaborated how a degree program can be developed when it starts to suffer modern challenges and phenomena including long graduation times and student dropouts. The second presentation was delivered by Head of Student Affairs Mari Koski and Specialist Sanna Eronen. They shared how COVID-19 has affected the act of becoming employed and how they have mitigated the problem. Probably the most interesting presentation was offered by Student Psychologist Manne Pyykkö who shared very interesting examples and best practices how students can manage stress, loneliness, loss of motivation or depression during hard times like COVID-19. The fourth presentation covered the best practices for online tutoring. The presenter, Senior Lecturer Lassi Virtanen, show how he has deployed tools like Microsoft Teams and Calendly for online tutoring. The fifth presenter, Principal Lecturer Jyri Rajamäki along with Paresh Rathod, and shared interesting real-life examples about integrating teaching, learning, research, and innovation in international H2020 projects. The day was ended with the project updates.

 

The last day of the seminar had a clear focus around tools, techniques, and technologies in the online education. The morning session till lunch was planned and offered by Development Manager Mikael Uusi-Mäkelä and Principal Lecturer Anssi Mattila from Laurea dCell (digital cell) which is responsible of pedagogical and technical support for the teachers in digital era education at Laurea. They shared how Laurea has digitalized education with theoretical aspects and practical practices. As a case study, Anssi Mattila presented how the ABC-method was applied in Laurea for pedagogical development during new LMS (Canvas) rollout. The afternoon started with the initialization of the second project work package. The work package was initialized by Marc Romero from University of Catalonia. The last two presentations were given by Project Coordinator Stefania Capogna and Professional Coach Christopher Evatt. Stefania shared project updates and Christopher delivered presentation with many practical examples how teachers can steer learning processes for individual students and bigger student groups. The day was ended by a conclusion for the whole seminar.

 

The ECOLHE Staff Training covered wide variety of different topics and the presentation materials can be used for project dissemination, said Project Coordinator Stefania Capogna. The participants were satisfied, and everyone found some take outs from the covered topics. Especially presentations given by Student Psychologist Manne Pyykkö and Professional Coach Christopher Evatt were said for being very interesting, useful and inspiring. The organizers, Pasi Kämppi and Paresh Rathod, are also happy when they see how collaborative effort creates value for the whole community in international level. The main takeaway of the partners training- the educators and higher educations’ roles are very essential in the modern digital era to support our future generation’s growth and development.