The key to success in Finnish schools and universities lies in facilities that support innovative learning solutions, addressing the needs of the users. During our project we have carried out high-quality research on innovative learning environments in higher education, especially in teacher education, science, and engineering. Our results showed the importance of designing schools and universities into interactive learning environments, where socio-digital solutions are seamlessly integrated with high-quality teaching.
We were active in putting our ideas in practice by developing a popular Living Lab in teacher training (Minerva Plaza) and by producing a research-based design manual for schools in collaboration with a construction company. Our solutions help schools and universities to promote meaningful learning, interest and well-being of both students and teachers (or faculty).
21st Century learners: How to measure motivation, flow and academic emotions? How are they related to learning outcomes?
Our research shows that also mass lectures may promote engagement and interest, given that we apply student-activating learning methods. Our measurements showed that interest predicted self-study time, and further time invested in learning predicted learning outcomes. We have developed new solutions for making mass education more engaging. Contextual Activity Sampling System (CASS), developed together with our colleagues (Muukkonen et al.) and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (Salo et al.), is an important tool for measuring motivation and experiences of the users. We have further developed the new HTML version of this system during this project.
21st Century learning methods: How to train students in an innovative way?
To activate and motivate the 21st Century learners, we have refined engaging pedagogical scripts and designed our learning environments according to them. It is about creating new socio-digital practices! Engaging methods, blended learning and mobile solutions appear to attract students and motivate their studying.
21st Century learning environments: What is an engaging learning environment?
We transformed a traditional learning environment into an engaging and flexible living lab, Minerva Plaza (Engaging Learning Environment) at the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences. Our results will be implemented in various construction projects, i.e., the renovation process of teaching laboratories in chemistry. In science education, inquiry-based processes are important and the physical environment should simulate top expert communities. Our results show that reorganizing physical environment helps to organize best practices in learning. Socio-digital solutions bring added value for the new generation of students.
Kirsti Lonka, Elina Ketonen, Niclas Sandström, Kirsi Sjöblom and Lauri Vaara, University of Helsinki
NCC Construction Ltd
University of Helsinki
University proporties of Finland Ltd