Learning by Developing – the future pedagogical operating model

Learning by Developing (LbD) operating model is working life oriented. It’s a practical method, recognized as ”a remarkable pedagogical innovation” here in Laurea. This means that students, academic staff, working life experts and clients (as end users) work together in real working life related research and development projects. The outcomes are seen as new innovations (products, services, processes, models and working life cultures) and new competences. I knew about this before but become especially interested in it after Encounters15 conference, when one of the topic was about seniori365.fi, a fruitful result of LbD approach between Laurea University, Omnia,  Aalto University’s Small Business Center and city of Espoo. The serivce received an international Best Practice 2015 award by the international Design for All Foundation.

In finding more about the application of LbD method in Leppavaara campus, I set up a meeting with Ms. Leena Saariko, my Finnish lecturer to ask her some questions about teachers’ teaching habit and assessment pattern. Right to what I was thinking, Optima seems to be an obslete system, it was not designed for out-of-classroom activities, so as a result, not an effective tool for this hands-on method. Not many teachers and students use as they find its exercises module not accessible. I did asked about the online service promentor.fi, which allows students to take different language courses with their UAS account. Ms. Leena mentioned the service was not that useful previously and she didn’t use it at all but her colleagues, who teaches intermediate Swedish course used it from time to time. So is there a gap here in providing a management tool for teachers to apply LbD into their teaching effectively?

What can be the future of education? I would say it is performance-based assessment, when students are assessed based on their true capabilities, not their efforts in memorizing exam materials. Furthermore, all of these activities should not be bound by 4 school walls, but are taken place in an open environment, where the learning process and application of new knowledges happen simultaneously. The changes need to be driven by combined efforts of schools and innovation companies. Smart technology utilization is the answer.

Helsinki 03.2015