JAMK University of Applied Sciences
JAMK is an internationally recognised reformer of learning and developer of competitiveness that actively cooperates with the working life and operates in a vast international network. There are over 8,000 students and around 600 members of staff in JAMK.
The Ministry of Education was a strong supporter of the development of online learning in 2003. The funding of the project made it possible to improve teacher’s online pedagogy skills and to make different national cooperative productions such as online material for the Finnish Online UAS. Even back then, teaching about online pedagogy and researching it was far advanced at JAMK’s Teacher Education College. Teacher Education College has actually been the first to try out different online pedagogy solutions and applications to this very day.
Mari Varonen, JAMK’s Online Pedagogy Designer
“I believe that from the beginning we have been able to anticipate the upcoming and we’ve seen that online learning is a crucial part of learning and teaching.” Mari Varonen, JAMK’s Online Pedagogy Designer and Jari Virtanen from JAMK’s ICT services explain.
Their previously used online learning platform left the market so JAMK organised a competitive tendering to find a new platform, which Discendum won. The positive feedback regarding Optima’s user experience from their colleagues at University of Jyväskylä supported their choice.
They hoped that the new platform would include for example versatile tools and flexible interfaces. The aim was also that the new platform would offer easy and approachable ways to make online productions for fledgling online teachers, but that it would also serve more experienced users.
Present and Future
They took a big step forward related to the quality of old online implementations when the study modules were built again with Optima’s tools. Gradually, online learning became a natural part of teaching and learning. The interaction between students outside face-to-face teaching also grew because of Optima.
JAMK’s students know how to demand their teachers to set up a workspace in Optima top get materials and a return folder for assignments. Nearly all study modules now include a workspace in Optima. In its simplest form, Optima is being utilised as a material storage for face-to-face teaching. On the other end, it is being used for implementations done completely online where the teacher meets the students through video if at all. It is possible to study a lot of JAMK’s degrees almost completely online.
JAMK describes Optima to be a secure and reliable system that is scalable even to large user numbers. Discendum’s strengths as a service provider are flexibility, the ability to listen to the customer and to react to different situations fast. JAMK especially thanks that not only does Discendum listen what their customers have to say, they also take development ideas with concern. The service from helpdesk has also been excellent.