About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4385-4392
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

SUPPORTING TKK WOOD TECHNOLOGY STUDENTS THROUGH EDUCATIONAL CHANGE

P. Lahti, L. Hauhio

Helsinki University of Technology, TKK (FINLAND)
The Department of Forest Products Technology is the only one in Finland that offers university-level teaching and research on every aspect of forest products technology, i.e. the processing of wood from forest to construction materials, printed paper and board. Starting from a common ground in chemistry, physics, mathematics and process engineering, students can specialize in seven subjects, of which one is Wood Products Technology.

The courses are thought by two professor and 10 researchers. Everyone is responsible of his own course and the teacher can choose the teaching method and other practicalities of the course themselves.

In the earlier years the field of wood technology was not very popular among the students. There were only five to ten students who chose to start the studies in wood technology each year. Since 2002 the amount of the students has risen significantly. This has caused the support systems to fail. Earlier all of the students were known to the staff. It was very easy for both the students and the teachers to contact each other when there were any problems. A new support system had to be built to help the students in their educational needs.

Traditionally the academic freedom in Finland has been very highly appreciated. The students are let to do their studies in their own time. Almost no force has been put on the students to fasten their studies. The students are expected to study 60 credits every year, but the average is 40. The average study time in TKK has for a very long time been 7 years.

There has been a lot pedagogical training offered for the teachers. The training is optional, but almost half of the teaching staff has completed TKK Program on Higher Education Pedagogy (YOOP)-entity. This has raised the level of teaching and has helped the students to learn and to complete their studies. It has now been noticed that at the same time the students do complete their wood technology related studies, but are not able to complete the basic natural science courses. It is often mathematics, physics and chemistry that the students have most difficulties in completing with. Since students find these basic studies unmotivating and not linked with wood technology, there has been some effort on trying to chance this. One way has been introducing wood technology tutors. The tutor system is faculty level system where each student is given their own tutor. The student and the tutor meet a few times a year if studies are going on fine, and several times a year if there are problems in completing studies. The tutoring is fairly new to our faculty, but some experiences have already been gained.

One of the latest tools for supporting the students in education has been TKK’s learning psychology. TKK has had two learning psychologies for some years now. Some students may have used the help of the psychology, but only this fall the staff of Wood technology has understood to ask for help. This might be helpful in cases where there seems to be big problems in getting the studies done.

There are several new tools that have been developed to support the student in this new changed situation. In this paper I will introduce the tools and discuss the possible effect there has been.
@InProceedings{LAHTI2009SUP,
author = {Lahti, P. and Hauhio, L.},
title = {SUPPORTING TKK WOOD TECHNOLOGY STUDENTS THROUGH EDUCATIONAL CHANGE },
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4385-4392}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Lahti AU - L. Hauhio
TI - SUPPORTING TKK WOOD TECHNOLOGY STUDENTS THROUGH EDUCATIONAL CHANGE
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 4385
EP - 4392
ER -
P. Lahti, L. Hauhio (2009) SUPPORTING TKK WOOD TECHNOLOGY STUDENTS THROUGH EDUCATIONAL CHANGE , INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 4385-4392.
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