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HOW CAN WE DEVELOP AND UTILIZE THE WORK PLACEMENT LEARNING AND SHARING THROUGH STUDENT'S PLACEMENT BLOGS AND PODCASTS?

C. Tigerstedt1, S. Fabricius2

1Arcada UAS/Åbo Akademi University (FINLAND)
2Arcada UAS (FINLAND)
Arcada is part of the national project Toteemi (http://www.amktoteemi.fi/) which focuses on skills validation and more generally on work life skills. As part of the project Arcada has decided to develop the work placement learning for students, co-workers, degree programs and the work life partners. Placements are important and a mandatory part of the studies in the university. However, the learnings and the possibilities are not always fully utilized. There could be more sharing and learning and work placements can bring information that helps developing the education per se. It can be a two way learning process.
This article is about discussing how we can develop and utilize the work place learning through student' work placement blogs and podcasts. It is a discussion of the current status of the placement learning and a comparative insight into the newly developed and piloted model using blogging and podcast.
At Arcada the aim with the project initiative was among other things to replace the traditional, written placement reports with blogging and creation of podcasts for, in firsthand, the business students. The traditional report has not been shared and the new form for reporting would enable the shared learning for students, staff and other stakeholders. The pilot started with a few students in January and will be tested full scale in April when the placements start. The students are 2nd and 3rd year business students. Every student has two mandatory work placement periods of ten weeks each (fulltime work).
The article builds on the ideas of a changed work life where more cooperation between higher education and work life is a necessity (OKM, 2018). Support and insight found in SITRA’s studies on work life skills and the future of work (www.sitra.fi). Models for work life skill development and ways of cooperation are discussed.
The main method used in this development project and study is participant observation by coaching teachers which here includes an analysis of the students’ contributions in the online environment. On top of this teacher's reflections (interview) on previous methods and procedures related to placements are analyzed.
This study will result in an evaluative insight into the current and new mode of work placement sharing and will offer concrete learning and best practices for developing the work placement procedure further. It will be useful for anyone wanting to develop work placement processes in higher education. The project and this research are still continuing.