WORK-ORIENTED PROJECT LEARNING IN THE CONTEXT OF MASTER’S LEVEL SERVICE DESIGN EDUCATION
Laurea University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The increasing importance of services in the global economy highlights service innovation that is seen vital in the creation of new services, service business models, and service processes in the different sectors of society. In order to identify new opportunities and design service innovations, new capacity building is needed in a rapidly changing service business environment. Hence, there is also a need for the development of novel pedagogical approaches and learning methods in higher education in the context of service design. Work-oriented project learning is a widely adopted pedagogical approach, which seems to be an appropriate method for accumulating new competencies and working life experiences.
The purpose of this paper is to deepen understanding of work-oriented project learning at university of applied sciences, which represent the form of higher education, where working life cooperation and regional development is expected. Thus, the starting point for planning and developing education, as well as for choosing pedagogical approaches, is responding to the future challenges of society and working life. These expectations have also challenged Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Laurea) to find new conceptual and pedagogical solutions. This paper aims at presenting an updated pedagogical model of work-oriented project learning in the context of master’s level service design education that is based on synthesis of the project learning approach and pedagogic Learning by Developing (LbD) model by Laurea. Both approaches consider that expertise and experiences are shared between teachers and multidisciplinary students, as well as project partners and other stakeholders. Moreover, the teacher members of the project team take part by providing their expertise to steer the progress of the work and, at the same time, the progress of the learning. The LbD model describes the theoretical pedagogical framework. However, as such, LbD does not provide (conceptual) tools or operational models for planning and analysing project learning. The project learning approach could provide conceptual tools for modelling project learning in higher education in the context of service design.
The development of the pedagogical model of work-oriented project learning in the context of master’s level service design education was conducted as a part of a project called The Finnish Design Academy (FDA) that is a joint project of Finnish higher education institutions operating in the field of design. Its goal is to boost the role of higher education in design in the national innovation ecosystem and to develop competence related to design education. Action research was chosen as the research strategy for this development work due to its practical and hands-on nature. Action research aims at changing things, not only at contributing to the academic discussion. It is relevant that the researchers participate in the development process that proceeds in cycles. A cycle of action research consists of four phases: planning, acting, observing and reflecting. This study consists of three cycles. Based on the action research, a new pedagogical model of work-oriented project learning in the context of master’s level service design education was created and piloted. The main contribution of this paper is a project-based learning model that is highly suited to integrating the three tasks of universities of applied sciences – education, R&D and regional development.
Keywords: Work-oriented project learning, Service design, Co-creation, Higher education.