Turku University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 6347-6351
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Well-educated labor force is one of the critical success factors when European Union wants to make sure that the European research area is the most distinguished knowledge economy in the world. One of the important tasks in the changing world and requirements is to make it possible to monitor the change and present methods used in the universities so that present students are educated to be future innovative professionals. In their future professions they have to be able to participate in the development of working life processes in an innovation enhancing way. This also calls for finding new ways to bring research and teaching & learning closer. We have to explore the most efficient methods when aiming to the desired results.

Education in the different universities in Europe becomes crucial when wanting to achieve any kind of changes. Students graduating from any European university should possess such kind of knowledge, skills and attitudes that they can contribute to the creation of the best knowledge economy in the world. The aim can only be reached by making sure that the graduating students are able to participate in the different innovation processes in their future working life positions and bring added value to these processes.

The European way of building curricula is competence based. However, there is no or very little information available about the innovation competencies in the literature. We need reliable information about the key competence areas leading to innovative professional knowledge. It becomes essential to find the innovation competencies which will be made as one of the aims for any educational processes.

The key question is to define the innovation competencies and a measuring tool, the innovation competence barometer, ICB, for assessing them. Also the best methods which should be used when aiming to the development of these competencies should be found. The innovation competence barometer ICB as well as the research hatchery (REHA) method, both investigated in the INCODE project and financed by European Union Erasmus LLL Programme, are both value adding methods when moving towards the European Union aims.

In our paper we describe the aims and the development process of ICB, and how by using the ICB and testing the results of different teaching and learning methods universities get up to date information about the usefulness of these methods and can make decisions how to implement them to wider use. Teaching staff has to be educated to use methods which enhance the achievement of innovation competencies. The information can also be used for informing and motivating students to participate in these study units carried out in a different way compared to the old more purely lecture based ones. Ultimately it is the local working life that benefits from the newly educated professionals who will possess better qualifications and who will be better prepared to act in the diverse innovation processes in the working life.
Innovation competence, innovation pedagogy, Higher Education, assessment.