Digital Mentor activities in the development of personnel’s digital pedagogic competence
Metropolia has organised digital mentor activities for a long time. The work has been systematic and centralised since 2016 when digitalization became a focal point in the strategy. The objective has been to support and train teachers and personnel in the use of digital tools. Digitally inclined users have formed a team that has developed digitalization-related practices and solutions. Currently, there are ten digital mentors who form smaller digitalization teams on each campus. The mentors are managed by the Development Director. All work is supervised by the coordinator of the mentors. The digital mentors…
- provide digital pedagogic support for colleagues in the schools
- organise training
- share their views on the pedagogic use of various digital applications at Metropolia
- test new digital environments and applications
- actively follow professional discussion on digital pedagogy related to teaching and learning
During the pandemic, Metropolia had to rethink the provision of digital support directed to its personnel. The support was organised through a ‘Digital Clinic’ set up on Microsoft Teams. Metropolia’s Digital Clinic is a workspace available for all employees, teachers, and other personnel. The objective of the Digital Clinic is to offer services related to the development of digital competence in a low-threshold, communal online working environment. Everyone can ask questions and offer their solutions to issues. The provision and development of the Digital Clinic services is the responsibility of a steering group which, in addition to the digital mentors, consists of representatives of Education, Information Management Services and student activities. The Digital Clinic was received well. Currently, there are more than 600 members. The number of daily users is between 100–300.
The digital mentors have developed the Digiope 1–2–3 training concept for teachers’ digital competence. The Digiope 1 level focuses on the basic skills needed in online teaching. The Digiope 2 level offers tools for developing the quality of online teaching. It also helps in making teaching more varied with the help of different tools. The Digiope 3 level does not consist of actual training. It is rather a sparring level that supports innovative experiments related to teaching.
Using artificial intelligence in assessing the degree programme’s relevance to the business world
The curriculum work in Metropolia’s ICT degree programme has utilized artificial intelligence in assessing how the content of the studies aligns with the competence expectations of the business world and how relevant the content is to the business world. The key to using artificial intelligence is background data and its availability. In the curricula, the background data is readily available. The curricula include keywords of contents in different formats and various words that describe learning. In addition, artificial intelligence can be taught the variations found in the description of language and different terms used to describe the same thing.
In the autumn of 2021, two workshops took place. The contents of the curricula implemented in the ICT degree programme were compared to the available data regarding the labour market and competence. The outcome was quantitative data that describes the similarities between contents, labour market data and forecast data on competence needs. The results can be applied further by improving the quality and concepts of describing curricula to better meet the needs of the business world. It is important to find a common language for the UAS and the business world, by using the same competence descriptions that are used at workplaces, for instance. This will also allow teaching contents to be better aligned with the needs of the business world.
Artificial intelligence will be utilised in Metropolia’s curriculum work. This means that when a new curriculum is published, the labour market eligibility of the curriculum’s quality verification is ensured by e.g. comparing the courses included in the curriculum and their content descriptions with labour market data. Subsequently, a statement regarding the quality of the alignment shall be made. This is a positive addition to the qualitative work carried out on the curricula where the advisory boards of degree programmes provide their views on the labour market eligibility of the curricula.
Towards learner- and demand-oriented educational offering
Metropolia has tested and developed operating models and methods for a learner-oriented educational offering. Developing the educational offering is based on identifying various customer groups and defining and profiling their needs. Added value provided by the studies that meets the needs of the business world should also be identified. Thus, the planning of study programmes has moved from a product-orientation to taking the perspectives of the customer and demand into consideration. The operating practice will be refined further in the Metropolia Match® model. It includes the enhancement of both studies and guidance and counselling.
A good example of the practice is SIMHE services designed for customers with an immigrant background. The development of the services started with meeting asylum seekers in reception centres. Customer-oriented services were created based on the received information. These operating models have been expanded and developed further in cooperation with local government trials on employment in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, with regional networks and with representatives of the business world.
Another example is the AMKoodari programmer project where labour market data and artificial intelligence were applied in the preparation of the educational offering. Study programmes related to programming competence were identified in the educational offering by means of machine reading. Labour market data provided a real-time view of the sector’s competence demand on national and regional level. A learner-oriented offering was prepared based on the information received. The learner starts the selection of courses by completing an electronic competence profile that identifies their specific competence. The competence was compared with the regional competence need of the labour force by means of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence identified gaps between the person’s competence and the competence need and proposed courses from the educational offering.
Continued dialogue with companies and associations is also important in the development of a learner-oriented educational offering. One example is cooperation with the city of Vantaa. The city’s competence management includes competence development workshops. In them, experts from Metropolia and the city jointly define competence needs now and in the future. Metropolia uses this as the basis for building an educational offering for the city of Vantaa.