OamkDigComp – Machines!

We believe that higher education in universities of applied sciences must be developed boldly and open mindedly to ensure availability and adequacy of competent workforce in the future. OamkDigComp – Machines! project is the initial stage of Oamk establishing the Digital Learning Centre of Competence-based Excellence. This project aims to further develop competence-based approach in higher education to support professional excellence in digital learning and more generally to meet the incremental changes in the global working life.

Due to these significant changes, it has become increasingly important to develop training that meets the requirements of digitalised working life. Such training must increase individuals’ capabilities using a sustainable form of competence-based education and training. To face the challenging economic situation in various sectors, we seek to engage the full power of digital transformation to enhance students’ agency, expertise and working life skills in ongoing learning and professional development, and finally accelerate their employment in future growth industries. Through this project Oamk seeks to specialize in competence-based approach to gain excellence that would help also other HE institutions in the recognised shift of the educational paradigm. Higher education in Finland is transitioning towards competence-based qualification requirements. This tendency does not outrule the research based approach, instead it emphasises the role of universities of applied sciences as RDI organisations that co-operate, co-create and co-produce new innovations needed in working life.

With our previous experience in development of competence-based approach we aim to build a more systematic approach from the beginning of the studies in making expected and achieved learning outcomes more visible, to help students who find it challenging to see the labour market relevance of the degrees and to identify their own competences. Hence, competence-based approach enables flexible study paths to meet the growing demand for personalised and customised professional development responding to local challenges and unique professional needs. Respectively we seek to study best practices for the integration of digital competences in the degree programmes and for systematic development of individual competences needed in working life. Furthermore we seek to answer the challenge of the weak appeal of higher education in technology as a national problem by building new solutions which support digital learning in technology-lead studies. It is highly important that we have the opportunity to develop special expertise and/in digital solutions to remotely access and operate e.g. laboratory machines and equipment needed in different disciplines, e.g. field of engineering, healthcare and culture. This is supported by our mission to develop procedures responding to future challenges and working life competence needs together with different business and industries. Although we underline the competence-based approach we will ensure that education is based not only on strong working life connections but also research. We also have noted that there is a serious research gap regarding the aspects of the remotely controlled machines and equipment in education. Particular attention should be paid on the study-phase to collecting sufficiently broad background material concerning remote-access and operation of machines and equipment needed in different disciplines to identify excessive technical challenges and key success factors of technical solutions to define the problem. The pedagogical RDI activities form an ongoing stream, but the first phase is to benchmark, study and define the most suitable competence-based approaches to plan digital pedagogical choices that could be piloted on cloud based remote control platforms and related learning resources.