Turku University of Applied Sciences, innovation pedagogy

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A new learning culture

Innovation pedagogy

tuottaa innovaatiovalmiuksia Innovation pedagogy produces innovation competencies

Innovation pedagogy is learning together. It is mixed-mode, multidisciplinary, problem- and working life-oriented. It challenges you to develop. It’s the educational sector’s answer to the challenges of a changing world. Innovation pedagogy is built on: • learning methods which encourage the learner’s own activity, combining multidisciplinarity, working life orientation and internationality with entrepreneurial, curious thinking. • development of knowledge, skills and attitudes or, in other words, innovation competencies required to succeed in working life.

Acting in multiform and multidisciplinary learning environments improves the abilities required by work, both tomorrow and in the future. The goal for students is to develop the kind of working life skills which provide them with the opportunity for a successful working life. Success in work is a part of every person’s comprehensive well-being. The Excellence in Action strategic plan of TUAS emphasizes the importance of education in achieving a good life.

MINNA SCHEININ Head of Future Learning Design, TUAS:

Innovation pedagogy is an approach developed by TUAS for supporting students’ future versatile working life competences.

Success in future working life The innovation process of learning Development of innovation and field-specific competencies.

Methods and approaches of innovation pedagogy • activating learning and teaching methods • multidisciplinarity • working life orientation • applied RDI activities integrated into studies • flexible curriculum • internationalization • entrepreneurship • versatile, development oriented assessment • renewing teacher roles

A new learning culture

ADAM JAGIELLO-RUSILOWSKI PhD, Dean of International Programs and Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Gdansk

I highly recommend the Turku team of Innovation Pedagogy as project partners and great mentors of modern teaching at universities.

Predicting the future is getting more and more difficult. The world is changing drastically. Will robots come and take our jobs? Digitalization and new technologies shake our ideas of work. As population and environmental problems increase, new technologies and innovations are required to safeguard the prerequisites for a good life.

individual needs and requirements of society, and for students to acquire special competencies for the needs of working life.

The rapidly changing world is in dire need of innovation and producing innovations requires added competence. The old learning formulas are not adequate for this purpose. To educate the professionals of tomorrow, we need a new learning culture which strengthens our ability to act in innovative environments.

New learning is built on doing together and the role of the learner which emphasizes active production of knowledge. Promoting learning still remains at the core of teachers’ everyday work. Instead of memorizing, students are provided with abilities to acquire and apply the latest information and solve problems.

A new learning culture refers to change in both learners and teachers who act as the catalysts for learning. Curricula must yield according to the

The role of teachers is renewing in the direction of coaching. The task of the coach is to support, encourage and instruct so that learning, innovativeness,

combining different skills, utilizing feedback and team learning are enabled. Teachers’ roles are also renewed in online pedagogical solutions, which follow the approaches of innovation pedagogy. Students have the opportunity for joint, multidisciplinary construction of knowledge which is independent of time and place. The role of the teacher as an instructor and supporter of the learning process gives students the responsibility to act as knowledgeproducing members of their community. The international dimension is also easily achievable, and global working life and international actors can be strongly involved in everything we do.

Excellence in Action


At BusinessAcademy learning takes place in projects. Teachers act as learning coaches and support joint learning which takes place in teams. The teacher coaches are professionals in coachingoriented learning and teamwork, and they represent extensive and versatile professional competence in business. Learning is based on: • training, where we share information on projects, the status of the team, learning and general issues involving the team • reading circles, in which the theoretical foundation for the project activities is laid • project meetings, where a representa- tive of the commissioner can also be present • joint trainings with other teams, where activities are built in a community oriented manner and issues faced by the community are solved • reflection days, where we evaluate our own and others’ activities by means of dialogue.

At BusinessAcademy there are no predefined specialization paths, but students have the opportunity to revise the content of their degrees. The project content and roles in project teams define the content of the degree. The first year of studies (Business Start) comprises the basics of teamwork skills and business competence. From the second year onwards (BusinessAcademy) the students run a real enterprise, a cooperative which they own. Learning takes place through real entrepreneurship and customer projects. If necessary, TUAS-based cases and commissions are created to complement these.

An innovator’s way of thinking The learning methods based on innovation pedagogy strengthen innovative ways of thinking and acting and develop innovation competencies. Learners’ communication and sales skills, an entrepreneurial attitude and teamwork and networking skills improve. They will develop the courage to throw themselves, experiment and even fail. An important part of innovation pedagogy is the assessment of competence. Without indicators of innovation competencies, it is difficult to perceive the current state of competence and set goals for the developing knowledge and skills. Assessment according to innovation pedagogy guides the learner and encourages development. A consulting approach and evaluation discussions are utilized in the assessment. Selfevaluation is emphasized and the assessment aims at reinforcing the learner’s self-assessment skills.

TUAS has developed a tool for the assessment of students’ innovation competencies. Innovation competencies are knowledge and skills which are required in working life in addition to field-specific competence, and which establish a foundation for the creation of innovations. The assessment tool measures innovation competencies and their development. It also helps to assess the impact of different learning methods in the development of innovation competencies.

Excellence in Action

Art-based methods TUAS’ Arts Academy educates and develops competence and its application in the field of arts and media. The approaches of art open new ways of thinking, learning, influencing and cooperating. Art-based methods may tune, encourage and coach innovation competence in terms of a creative attitude, mind-body skills (e.g. flexible mind) and cooperation skills. Thinking and interaction can be set to a new, open position with art or by utilizing the approaches of art. Art-based work can take place with sound, music, movement, pictures, shapes, drama and other means of expression within art. It can take place with works of art or performances and processing them, or by applying the participants’ own expression. With the means of or through art, reality can be examined, observed and processed.

Everything can be seen and viewed in a new way. Experienced, wondered and thought. Art-based approaches provide many opportunities for diversifying the ways of learning and working together. Multiprofessional cooperation with the fields of art is a central and current theme in both the development of social and health care and creating experimental cultures and platforms for innovation activities in other fields.

Multidisciplinary environments encourage innovations An environment favourable for innovation is tolerant and multidisciplinary. When people with different backgrounds and perspectives encounter one another, a new kind of thinking and new solutions can come about. Innovations are often created at the interfaces of fields of competence. In innovation pedagogy, the learning environment consists of people who interact and have different competencies and abilities, thus enabling community-oriented learning. Also in working life, representatives from different fields are expected and required to cooperate efficiently.

Excellence in Action

Project Hatchery The Project Hatchery learning environment provides students at the beginning of their studies with an introduction to project work in a multidisciplinary team – a skill which is required in working life. In Project Hatchery studies, students who have just started their studies are directed in multidisciplinary teams, which are given authentic commissions. The team plans, organizes and implements a commission in cooperation with representatives of different fields. After initial confusion and even resistance, students learn, for example, project management, problem-solving skills, teamwork and interaction. The course, which at the beginning may evoke negative emotions, generates thanks once the studies progress, and the learned skills are constantly needed.

A partnership of working life and learning Innovation pedagogy combines studies with working life. It offers a working life-based foundation for learning and means to develop working life and innovation abilities. Innovation pedagogy combines learning with producing and applying new knowledge. Applied RDI activities have been combined with the studies so that students have the opportunity to complete their studies in projects.

Excellence in Action


The new methods of learning and innovation, such as innovation camps, enable SMEs to utilize the fresh ideas of students in the development of their business. Through cooperation, companies get concrete ideas to enhance their operations and students get muchneeded contacts with working life. At innovation camps, multidisciplinary groups of students have solved genuine commissions offered by companies,

related to the themes of, for example, resource efficiency and environmental business. At InnoCamp, the student teams seek the commissions themselves directly from the companies, a couple of weeks before the actual camp. For this purpose, the organizer agrees with the company on a time for the student visit. The task of the company is to open the problem or challenge to be developed with its background information, but not to give any ready solution alternatives.

ottaa innovaatiovalmiuksia

TUAS offers instruction, consulting and complete models of operation in innovation pedagogy Seminars and workshops Expert presentations Instruction and consulting of development processes in: • innovative learning and teaching methods (e.g. hatchery methods) • developing competence-based curricula • assessment and measuring competence (evaluation of competence development) • developing multidisciplinary learning environments • the development of working life-based project learning • online teaching and learning INNOPEDA® TRAINING is especially aimed at teachers, R&D personnel and executive management of higher education institutions. It includes the following stages: • Creating a development map – analysis of the current state (distance learning) • Innovation pedagogy in practice – intensive days at TUAS or the customer’s facilities • A change plan – a development plan for the participants’ work and organization (distance learning)

INNOPEDA® DEVELOPMENT PROCESS is a long-term development tool based on innovation pedagogy. In addition to the Innopeda® training, it includes more process consulting and change evaluation. It can also include staff exchange, field visits and instructed learning method work. The length of the process can be tailored according to the customer’s needs, from a couple of months to two years.

Interested? Please contact: • Taru Konst, tel. +358 44 907 4588, taru.konst@turkuamk.fi • Minna Scheinin, Head of Future Learning Design tel. +358 50 598 5375, minna.scheinin@turkuamk.fi

#ExcellenceInAction Turku University of Applied Sciences is a community of 10,000 experts – a technological university of the future and a developer of well-being. Our graduates are practice-oriented professionals with top competencies.


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