Study Modes and Assessment

The learning environment of vocational teacher education is composed of, in addition to the Teacher Education College, mainly vocational higher and secondary education, surrounding working life, peer groups and the online environment. Seminars, learning circles and online working are the basic working methods of teacher education.

Seminars are for group tuition and are conducted by teacher educators. During the seminars work towards learning assignments is supported. Also experiences and outcomes of assignments are shared between students. The seminars are basically organised in Jyväskylä according to a published time schedule.

Learning circles are small groups of trainees that maintain contact between the seminars. A central task of learning circles is to work cooperatively on assignments. The group members will agree upon the meeting times and places for co-operation. Online collaboration tools e.g. Office 365, Skype and Optima learning environment can be used to support learning circle working.

Online learning and guidance is mainly carried out through the Teacher Education College’s Optima learning environment as well as Adobe Connect web conferencing system and other interactive tools. This means that you have to have sufficient access to the necessary ICT equipment (running either at least Windows XP or Mac, broadband internet connection, a headset with USB, and a web camera).

A student can study either on a full- or part-time basis. A full-time student is eligible for financial aid. Full-time studying requires students to create their own personal learning plan (PLP) in such a way that studies will be completed within a year. The PLP needs to be accepted by the Financial Aid Committee of JAMK University of Applied Sciences.

Assessment of Learning and Competence

At the Vocational Teacher Education College facilitating learning and assessment is a constructive, open and continuous dialog between the trainees and the teacher educators.

Assessment of learning within competence areas is competence-related; assessment takes place in relation to the set aims of different courses. Assessment is criteria-related; assessment decisions (pass/failed) are made from the basis of criteria of required competence which is described in the context of each course. Passing a course requires that the criteria of competence is fulfilled. Assessment is based on assignments, observations, discussions and other qualitative data, and thus, it is qualitative.

The aims set for each competence area also form the basis of facilitating the learning process. Tutoring during the learning process, different types of feedback and other assessments are based on both the defined aims of each competence area and learning aims set by trainee teachers themselves. Thereby, the aim of assessment is to be constructive.  Trainee teachers’ self-assessment has an important role at all stages of the studies. A self-assessment task is included in each assignment.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

At the Teacher Education College you have the possibility to transfer credits from your prior learning. Transferring credits or recognition of prior learning of competences gained elsewhere and  relevant work experience can be accepted as a part of your teacher education studies.

 

Figure 2. Credit Transfer at Teacher Education College

Substitution means that you can transfer the credits from equivalent studies in the same field. The following courses can be credited using substitution:

The method for applying for substitution is included in the description of the relevant course.

Inclusion means that studies completed in other educational institutions can be recognised as part of teacher education studies. A suitable alternative to the optional study module offered as part of the teacher education programme can be included in your studies providing that the alternative meets the criteria for the module and supports your personal learning goals. The Teacher Education College will decide on the validity of all applications for inclusion.

Recognition of prior learning and competences is based on the competence goals set by the Teacher Education College’s curriculum which you may have acquired anywhere, anytime and by diverse means. Recognition of prior learning requires you to evaluate, describe and produce evidence of gained competences in accordance with the instructions for application.

The following courses in the teacher education programme can be credited by recognition of competences:

The method for applying for recognition is included in the description of the relevant course. The forms for applying for inclusion, recognition or credit transfer and further instructions (will be published in August 2016).