FINLAND: Customer projects in media studies
Collaborative team teaching and project-based learning are at the core of Luksia’s media studies learning environment where students work in small groups doing media projects for real internal and external customers.
Luksia, Municipal Education and Training Consortium in Western Uusimaa, Finland
What problem or issue has the innovative practice aimed to tackle?
Within the past four years, the collaborative media teacher team in Luksia has developed the media studies learning environment towards a more work-based and student-centred direction. When developing the learning environments, the team, consisting of three media teachers and one technical expert, considers both group and individual learning spaces and styles. Students work in real customer projects, often in small groups, both for Luksia’s internal projects as well as for external contacts in the industry.
Project-based teaching in cooperation with the working life strengthens the students’ communication skills, enhances their self-knowledge and builds up a strong professional basis for their future. Modern study materials and tools ensure that the students are offered vocational education and training of high quality. In addition to customer projects, media teachers lead intensive workshops for the students on the basics of different areas of media studies (e.g. photography, video).
What have been the achievements?
The media teachers’ own interests towards the media field and strong networks with the industry guarantee that students with very diverse backgrounds have the possibility to build their own, individual study paths. As the students develop more competence during their studies, they can take on more responsible roles in the customer projects. Competence demonstrations (the Finnish VET assessment method) can be organised flexibly, when the student is ready to show the competence they have developed in a specific area.
Around 50-150 customer projects are completed each year. Video projects are longer and larger entities, while photography and graphic design tend to be more focused sessions.
Who was involved and how?
Project-based teaching and learning requires that all media teachers work as a team. Teachers guide students by using different teaching methods. Weekly meetings between teachers and students are held to check the status of each customer project. The Moodle learning platform is integrated in the teaching, with all the theory materials available and shared by all the teachers in the field of media studies. Trello is used for managing the students’ customer projects.
Most customer projects are internal assignments: preparing photos, videos, logos and other media products for Luksia’s communication, projects, international affairs, management, or different fields of study. The customers also include several dozens of external companies and private people.