Working on a real-life case in the LET programme
Educational Technology Project
When I heard about the Educational Technology Project course for the first time, I got very excited. It was still a mystery, but knowing that we would get to do hands-on work was really appealing. It felt like a great opportunity to apply our knowledge to a real-life case
In our first class, we had a few guests over. They were workers in different companies or projects and were looking for our contribution to develop some of their work. We heard our guests speak about their projects and describe what they aimed to develop, and we all listened very closely - after all, by the end of the class, we would have to decide on which project we would like to work in!
My choice and task
One of the projects really caught my attention: it was organized by the Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, the Faculty of Medicine, and by the LET Research group in the Faculty of Education. In a brief summary, the project aims to develop hybrid teaching competencies for Health Science educators.
I chose that option as soon as I could, and we were placed in groups according to our interests. I was lucky to be in a group that was very willing to get to the action! We were really excited to contribute to a part of this project and, of course, to put our knowledge to use.
Our task was to develop a module for a course that would be part of this project. Our module consisted of 0.5 ECTS, and the topic we needed to tackle was how to promote social interaction in hybrid learning. Considering we had just experienced this learning mode extensively due to the pandemic, it was a very relevant case to work on. It was interesting to bring our perspectives as both students and educators, and designing a whole module seemed like a great chance to put our theoretical knowledge to use.
Our initial work consisted of meetings with the project coordinators, research, and brainstorming sessions! We got to work straight away - after all, we had a bit over two months to design the module, create the learning materials, and conduct a pilot session with voluntary Health Science educators.
Getting down to work
We had several meetings and spent a lot of time idealizing and constructing our module. My group mates and I had different backgrounds, so all of us were able to bring an interesting perspective to our work. We collaborated pretty well, so the process ended up being quite fun!
After understanding exactly what the project coordinators expected, we focused on doing a lot of research about hybrid learning and social interaction within this context. The topic seemed very fresh, and we ended up with a really good theoretical foundation to base our work on. After that, it was time to finally start developing the module!
Having all the theory in hand, we started to create our learning materials - which we wanted to be quite diverse and engaging. My favourite one was a video - one of my colleagues is a talented video editor with many creative ideas, so of course, we put that to use!
When we had all the learning materials ready, we decided on using an online platform as our main learning environment. It was nice to see that we were bringing back what we learned from the Learning Environments and Technologies course, which was also one of my favourites so far.
After our learning environment was ready with all our content, it was time to conduct our pilot session. We were really curious to see how it would go and to hear some feedback from the educators who kindly decided to join our session, conducted in hybrid mode. We were a little bit nervous in the beginning, but things went very smoothly. We were very proud of our project! In the end, we collected feedback from all participants, which was very positive. We were happy with the response, and it was now time to gather all the information about what we had done since we had to put together a presentation for our classmates.
In our last class, we presented our work to other groups and got to hear about theirs. Most of the project organizers were able to join the class as well, and they gave the groups some insightful feedback, so it was pretty valuable for all of us to join that session. I think it’s safe to say that we were all proud of our respective works, and it felt incredible to be part of actual projects that ended up being implemented in real-life. We gained very important skills that will contribute a lot to our work in the field later on. It was surely the course I enjoyed the most so far! :)
About the author
Beatriz Mello from Brazil is currently completing her master's degree in Learning, Education and Technology. She was an exchange student in Finland during her bachelor's, and she loved it so much that she decided to come back and experience more of it.