The Assurance of Learning process
One of the key successes in the enhancement of Hanken’s activities is the Assurance of Learning (AoL) process that is focused on what the students learn rather than on what is taught. The AoL process is a data driven continuous improvement process that aims to improve students’ learning. To measure how well the students fulfil the programme specific goals, the students’ performance is compared to the expectations. When the competency goals and the basis for assessment are clear to the students, they know what is expected of them.
The building blocks of the AoL process are the Hanken mission, the competency goals for each programme, intended learning outcomes, assessment rubrics, data collection and analyses, recognising development needs within the programme, curriculum planning, and repeating to assess whether the measures taken had the desired effect.
Since many learning outcomes are measured in the theses, standardised assessment rubrics have been developed for theses assessment. These are available to the students in advance, and the completed matrix together with a verbal assessment is sent to the student after assessment, thus enhancing transparency regarding the expectations and assessment grounds.
Hanken Teaching Lab
Hanken Teaching Lab coordinates and offers pedagogical training for Hanken’s teachers and doctoral students, and regularly organises workshops to support the effective use of tools such as Moodle, Teams, Wooclap and Exam etc. The Teaching Lab helps teachers, be they new or experienced, when they need help with digitalising teaching, planning courses, using Moodle, managing students in Sisu, creating e-exams with Exam, etc. The Teaching Lab provides information, facts, and guidelines for teachers regarding not only course design, pedagogy, and digitalisation but also about Assurance of Learning (AoL) and its continuous measurement process that aims to improve students’ learning. The Teaching Lab was also active in preparing the Digital Learning Policy adopted in 2017. Thanks to this, Hanken made a lot of progress in the digitalisation of teaching and learning already before the pandemic, and the targets set for 2017-2020 were reached. An updated Hanken Digital Learning Policy with new targets was prepared by the Teaching Lab and adopted by the rector in May 2022.
The effects of the Teaching Lab’s services offered have been praised by the teachers, who find that they receive knowledgeable and service-oriented help. Teaching Lab also offers them forums for knowledge and best practice sharing. Hanken received good feedback on the online teaching offered during the pandemic, and much of what was done was supported by the Teaching Lab. Recently a Teaching Portfolio template has been drafted, and the services offered are continuously developed (see chapter 5 about benchlearning). Staff within the Teaching Lab have experience as teachers themselves, which is an important factor in the unit being able to offer the support that is needed.
The principles and processes concerning how teachers accommodate students that need individual arrangements have recently been reviewed. The purpose is to promote student equality and accessibility in studies, to better inform students of their rights and opportunities, support uniform application throughout Hanken, and facilitate the teachers in deciding on individual cases. Individual arrangements relate to different practical support measures to promote the accessibility in studies for students with special needs, and how the teachers accommodate students with needs for individual arrangements in their teaching.
The arrangements are practical solutions, which do not compromise the objectives of a degree or the learning outcomes of individual courses but are intended to help the student reach the goals. The goal is for the student to receive the individual arrangements that they need while ensuring that the objectives required for the degree are met. Reasonable individual arrangements are not merely the individual responsibility of the teacher, but a question of what kind of practical arrangements the degree programme or the university can offer. The clear instructions now make life easier for all concerned.
During the pandemic Hanken introduced additional well-being services for students, namely discussions with a study coach and a psychotherapist. Hanken also began to carry out short well-being surveys that the students answer by phone asking how their studies are progressing and how they are feeling. In connection with the well-being surveys, the students are asked whether they are interested in making an appointment with the study coach. The concept of the survey was in the spring 2022 used by the Association of Business Schools Finland to follow up on all Finnish business students’ well-being.