It was a pleasure to welcome 11 experts from the five Tanzania universities to Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) on Tuesday 1st of June 2022. The workshop in TUAS was part of a two-week visit with one aim to explore further the Multi Competence Learning (MCL) pedagogical approach. Our goal for the day was to concretize the mentor’s tasks and skills when delivering the (MCL) pedagogical approach. The questions were about how to provide a pragmatic and progressive learning experience to improve student knowledge excellence and what you need to do as a mentor to make the learning process run as planned.
For to catch the theme for the day we heard the first two presentations. Rector Vesa Taatila told what TUAS’s slogan ‘Excellence in Action’ means in practice – how TUAS RDI-projects (200 per year) are executed in collaboration with working life and how the university is acting towards societal impact. Susanna Saari, Head of Innopeda Training Center reflected with us the many years process for intaking Innopeda pedagogical approach in education transformation in TUAS.
After these inspiring speeches, it was time to divide into three groups to reflect on how to apply this thinking in MCL as we realized that Innopeda and MCL have the same pedagogical roots. As a result of the group discussions, we wrote a concrete list of teacher’s diverse roles and tasks in delivering the MCL. One exciting theme arised in the discussion was the key principle of students being our partners, not the clients. It was strongly underlined from both Finnish and Tanzanian side that being a part of solving societal problems is itself rewarding. International collaboration, meeting new colleagues and learning together, as well as the possibility for doing research and publishing articles were also mentioned as drivers to keep oneself on track in this demanding education transformation process.
For closing the workshop, we proudly presented our modern TUAS campus. The facilities are designed to support Innopeda learning and teaching. TUAS has defined in its strategy that class-based theory teaching should be abandoned. The facilities are therefore designed to be flexible so that different and different-sized Innopeda project studies can be directed and implemented in both open and closed learning spaces. The choice of loose furniture has also been aimed at a flexible and changing operating environment. Each group workspace can be reserved for both staff and students’ own or supervised project activities.
Our first mutual rehearsal to put the MCL ideas into practice – to educate the change makers and problem solvers for tomorrow starts in August in five Tanzanian universities. I wish us good luck!
Eeva Timonen-Kallio, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Research Group Leader, TUAS