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Students’ challenges and possibilities

 

Rethinking learning towards education 4.0 (part 4)

In Education 4.0, students are in the centre and their inspiration for learning is crucial. The reflections from Vietnamese partners show that they are currently facing several challenges such as in:

+ improving students’ participation and engagement in their own learning;

+ upgrading poor quality facilities;

+ providing new technologies and equipment for students’ learning and practising;

+ utilizing online learning resources; offering a better learning environment for big study groups;

+ managing with large class sizes in too hot and small classrooms;

+ renovating active learning methods and strategies;

+ enhancing their English proficiency,

+ developing learning skills and other soft skills.

As an example, it was mentioned that: “The spirit of self-study and creative thinking of our students is still low.”  The Vietnamese partners also mentioned that students’ learning awareness is missing. In the future world of work, it is crucial to be able and to be willing to learn continuously. The importance of transferable skills and learning skills, like communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving have been identified in many studies and policy papers (Ananiadou & Claro, 2009; European Commission, 2016; Trilling & Fadel, 2009; Voogt, Erstad, Dede, & Mishra, 2013; World Economic Forum, 2018). In Education 4.0, it is crucial to focus on pedagogical practices, which require students to practice these skills.

In the EMVITET project, we need to find solutions on how to inspire students to rethink their role in education. Learning is not just managing to accomplish school tasks and get degrees, learning is for individuals to cultivate relevant competencies. The biggest current and future challenge in building student engagement might be to help them to find their personal meaning in the unpredictable world (see Harari, 2017). Students need to learn to cope with constant changes and teachers are key actors facilitating life-long learning competencies.

However, Vietnamese partners already have good experiences in activating their students. For example, with good motivation policies, LHU students proactively love to take part in national and international competitions such as the annual ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest (ABU Robocon), IoT Hackathon, Energy-saving Shell-Eco Marathon, Digital race or Entrepreneurship. They learn a lot from their peers and their instructors and effectively capture the development trends in the technology market. Thus, they are usually employed by prestigious companies even before their graduation. Furthermore, many institutions have already used inspiring digital tools and applications in learning. Online learning has taken its first step. However, it seems that these kinds of practices do not fully cover all study groups or all the institutions. The nature of EMVITET is to share and develop good practices further in collaboration with the partners.

The process also offers possibilities to explore some Finnish and European experiences in improving student motivation with work-related learning and activating methods. Education in Finland is based on sociocultural and socio-constructivist approach (e.g. Lave & Wenger, 1991; Salomon & Perkins, 1998; Vygotsky, 1978), which highlights students’ ownership in their own learning. Learning is facilitated by social interaction and meaningful learning occurs with authentic tasks (Ruhalahti, 2019). Learning in Education 4.0 highlights common knowledge construction, innovation, open digital collaborative working and networking with different stakeholders. This kind of learning requires new, yet learnable, skills from students. To build engagement, students need to feel seen and heard. In our process, we need to listen and explore students’ needs, feelings and ideas regarding the best ways to learn. New pedagogical practices can be developed with the students, not just for them (Kunnari, 2018).

HAMK Unlimited Journal (https://bit.ly/2BZc4el)
Emvitet, 01/11/2019 - 08:57:02

EMVITET, Education 4.0


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