Your learning environment consists of your fellow students, vocational higher education and/or secondary education and the working life related to them and the guidance and online environment offered by the Teacher Education College. Vocational teacher studying is multi-modal. Multi-modal studying combines learning circles, tutoring days, development of facilitating learning and assessment competences through practical activities, online studying and independent studies.

Learning circles are collaborative groups formed by 4 to 6 students. Your study group will meet and stay in touch throughout the studies. The essential purpose of the study groups is to work on the learning assignments related to various courses together. The members of a learning circle will agree on their methods and schedules together.

In order for your learning circle to function, it is important to discuss openly about how you plan to complete the assignments so that even in a bigger group you can remain realistic and fair when working together towards a mutual goal.

Tutoring days are for guidance meetings for whole student group or individual learning circles conducted by the teacher trainer. The tutoring days will focus on the learning assignments for the Developing the Teacher Identity and Facilitating Learning courses. Tutoring days will also be organised as webinars or other kinds of online meetings as agreed by the teacher trainer and the group.

Participation in these days is an essential part of the studies. During these days, you will have the opportunity to share the experiences and outcomes of the learning tasks with your peer group. Participating in the work during the tutoring days produces important assessment material for assessing students' interaction skills. That's why it's essential that student participates in the tutoring days as agreed by the student and the teacher trainer. 

The Facilitating Learning course will be done through practical activities, by facilitating a learning process either in an educational institution of your choice or another suitable learning environment of vocational learning.  Usually the students find their organisation of placement by themselves. However, the Teacher Education College can assist the student in finding an appropriate placement, if necessary. After having agreed the teaching practise placement tentatively, student of the Teacher Education College fills in a practical training plan in the ASIO student administration system > Practical training plan/contract.

During a practical training period the student is to act according to the common practices and rules of the work place and is subject to its’ work safety legislation. The indemnity liability is in compliance with the Act on indemnification (1423/91). An accident insurance regulated by law is in effect during a practical training period corresponding to the study programme's curriculum. If the student receives a salary for the training period, he is then considered to be “attached” to the organisation and subject to the workmen’s compensation insurance. See Additional information

To study online, you will need a computer and an internet connection. The operating system of your computer does not really matter as long as you know how to use it. We recommend that you have a fixed broadband internet connection. We have noticed that the reliability and speed of mobile-based connections can occasionally cause problems, for example in real-time online meetings.

You must also have headset with a microphone available (we recommend USB headset). This way you can ensure smooth participation in online meetings. A smart mobile device – a smartphone or a tablet – is a useful tool for a multi-modal student but will not be sufficient by itself.

On the significance of planning your own work

For the most part, multi-modal studying is based on independent work and work in a learning circle. Multi-modal studies require you to have an active approach to studying, motivation, and the desire to take responsibility for your own learning. Every learner is an active agent! Online-focused multi-modal studying also calls for rudimentary IT skills.

One of the best-liked features in multi-modal studying is its flexibility when it comes to timetables. However, multi-modal studying is not completely time or location-independent. Instead, you must occasionally be at a certain place at a certain time to attend tutoring days and learning circle group work.

When planning your studies and estimating the time they will take, remember to factor in the time required by independent study. Among other things, independent studying involves doing various learning assignments. Each course includes assignments, and these might be challenging.

Determining your own study resources and planning ahead are the keywords in time management. With the help of these, you can draw up a flexible and above all realistic timetable that you can easily commit to.

However, life is impossible to predict, and that is why sometimes we come face to face with unexpected events or situations that we cannot avoid. If such events or situations have a large-scale impact on your studies, or simply hinder you from handing in an individual assignment, you should contact your trainer immediately.

Your own role as a student is crucial for your learning: learning takes work and the main responsibility for your learning lies with you. At its best, learning is also fun, and the trainers will support and help you so that you can have the best possible conditions for studying.

(Blek, T., Haapakoski, M., Häkkinen, S., Nukari, E. & Seriola, L. Monimuoto-opiskelijan käsikirja. Avoimet oppimateriaalit. Jyväskylän ammattikorkeakoulu. CC BY NC SA)