EduSci part 5 and course plans for VOC theme 11-15

This blog post covers two online sessions: final EduSci-session and first online session for VOC Themes 11-15.

EduSci Part 5

The last EduSci-session was mainly about two group debates about computer-supported collaborative learning and measuring learning on vocational education level. Unfortunately I missed the very beginning of the debate, but it seemed that Eeva handled the debated from her part being against Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning and she was well prepared with slideshows and great comments. Although she didn’t have teammates to back her up, still she had collected enough evidence to justify her point of view. The opposing part also did their best to give their opinions for CSCL, and they also had slides with their speech (if I remember it correctly).

The CSCL seems to be familiar subject to all of us EduLAB-students, as we’ve been using that methodology with all of our collaborative studies. The only time when we didn’t use CSCL was in the very beginning of our studies, with the kick-off days. But after that, all of our study sessions as well as organizing our group work has been carried out by using computers and online tools.

The second EduSci-debate was about whether “all learning at the vocational education level can and should have a measurable outcome” or not. I was in a same team with Charles debating for the measurable outcome, and Elina and Emmy was debating against us. On the contrary with the first debate, we didn’t have a slideshow backing up our side of the debate, but when we thought about the topic from the Vocational Education viewpoint, it was pretty obvious that for assessing someone’s vocational competence, it has and should be measured somehow. The topic itself didn’t say that is the “measurable outcome” e.g. time, or points, or a piece of work, or whatsoever but for my understanding it’s not possible to assess someone’s competence without something to measure or assess. The counter-team asked that is it possible to assess someone’s creativity. I think for the sake of debate and later reflecting with the topic the creativity probably can’t be assessed but it should be measured e.g. in terms of pass/fail -scale. So in a way, if someone participates to a hypothetical course of “creativity”, the outcome of the course can be measured by a portfolio of assignments, or time used for enhancing his/her creativity.

But nonetheless, the topics created good discussion and also were “light” enough for contemplating and reasoning with a common sense. Although as debates went forward the discussion went slightly off-topic but usually that’s when the most important discussion begins. Great debates and entertaining session!

Voc 11-15

The first session of VOC Themes 11-15 was mostly about our smaller group’s topics and releasing our lesson plans. Our team’s topic was about Vocational Special Needs Education and our lesson was planned to be done using slightly modified learning jigsaw -method, hence going deeper into the “meta-level”, as with this one-credit lesson we (me, Charles and Maria) are the teachers of the lesson, and we distributed the topic into four sub-topics and let them teach the sub-topic to us by using whatever method they feel it should be taught. That actually went pretty well, but that will be covered with next blog posting. The VOC-topics as per each of the groups were:

VOC Theme 11: Global and Multicultural Activities
Core content:
– How to create suitable conditions for learning with a multicultural student group?
– What are the ways that a vocational school participates in international activities?

VOC Theme 12: Entrepreneurship Education
Core content:
– What are the teaching and assessment methods that will enhance development of the student’s intrapreneurship?
– How to teach entrepreneurship and its goals in the best and most effective manner in vocational education?

VOC Theme 13: Interaction with the Working Community
Core content:
– What are working-life oriented learning environments?
– How is working-life oriented learning guided?

VOC Theme 14: Sustainable development
Core content:
– What does the term ”sustainable development” mean?
– How to teach and guide sustainable development in schools?

VOC Theme 15: Special Needs Education
Core content:
– How is the special needs education carried out specifically in the vocational education and upper secondary level?




Micro Lesson 4 (Eeva)

Lesson plan for 21st century Healthcare Innovations

At first maybe it would be wise to go through how the technology has changed the nature of healthcare innovations, and also in terms of innovation categories and how the trends have affected on the innovation due to their respective categories, e.g. medicine, monitoring a patient, predicting a health risk… Also not to forget activating the students, try to ask what of these aforementioned innovations are familiar to them. That takes around 15 minutes or so.

Then it would also interesting to think about the Gartner Hype Curve, and how the current innovations can be positioned to the hype cycle, or is it over all possible. And that might take some 15 minutes.

I also think, that this type of lesson needs heaps of creativity, and how it can be quickly raised into ideas and discussion. So perhaps it could work to create e.g. idea cards of the innovation categories, types of devices and their affect on the patient, or something relevant, and randomly give the idea cards to smaller teams and they should try to innovate something out of that by combining the “factors” by themselves and present their findings. That might take easily 15 minutes.

And with relevant discussion, and also giving time for the students to introduce themselves, I guess that’s how I would imagine running the lecture.

VOC 10 – Pecha Kucha’s and vocational competence


For this Voc 10 – Pecha Kucha -session the aim was to think about how to describe the development of one’s competence using a portfolio. The topic itself felt bit overwhelming in the beginning, but after a while it all made sense – as we’ve been writing out thoughts and reflective posts throughout the whole autumn to our blogs, now it’s time to actually connect the dots and to think about how WE have been developed our competence and how to look back to our progress.

I guess I still feel, that my personal competence isn’t enough to do the actual teaching work yet, but when thinking back my own personal blog posting with all the varying themes and theories, possibly it’s not that far away at all. But instead of pasting my whole Pecha Kucha here with all the slides, perhaps it would work to write some of the notes and findings here.

In the beginning, there were lots of uncertainties with everyone of how the portfolio can help developing a vocational competence. Mostly my feels were about the “lines in the sand”-example, that something new that I learn, will most probably disappear after a while. But maybe having the diary might help thinking about something previously learned again in order to memorize things better. Some new technologies might be difficult to use at first, but they also have lots of potential to help developing new skills and fresh viewpoints.

After a while, when it started to get easier, writing also became faster, and maybe it was easier to actually reflect something. I feel, that writing isn’t that close to my personality, but some time later it became way easier. But with the writing and studying in general, I had some difficulties and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one from our class, but I thought that these “obstacles” are probably the best opportunities to learn something new, and also to work way out of the dead end. There will be lots of obstacles and mishaps with every teacher’s career, but in the end it’s up to how to deal with the problems by improvisation, or to embrace the change.

With the portfolio it’s also possible to assess the progress, and also to see the big picture of the learning, which happens in the background. For my personal experience, writing this type of online-diary, it also has big boost for motivation, as “someone might even read this” and perhaps because of the visibility and social aspect as well. I also thought, that with this online portfolio it is possible to think about the learning in a meta-level, so that it’s possible to learn from own learning, and also do some peer-assessment when needed (as we did few weeks ago).

But altogether, as the future is NOW, it’s is possible to use our online portfolios as time machines to look back where we were at this period of time, and also quickly check e.g. some theory of method that we might wonder upon later.

Take care!