I was invited to act as a visiting professor in CREMIT at the end of the 2019 academic year. In the beginning of my visit I met with the Research Centre on Media, Information and Technology Education (CREMIT) and Centre for Research in Media and Communications (OSSCOM) research groups. In our meeting I introduced our Media Education Hub (MEH), some of our ongoing research projects, our international Master’s Degree Program in Media Education, and got familiar with the current research and teaching carried out in CREMIT and OSSCOM. University of Lapland and Milan Catholic University have signed the Erasmus+ inter-institutional agreement (2019-2021) of mobility for learners and staff. In our meeting, in addition to research collaboration, we decided to start teaching between our Media Education Master’s Programs in 2020.
My visiting professorship consisted of lecturing in the Information Literacy and Web Languages course. The first teaching module was dealing with media education and multiliteracy. I described media education in Finnish basic and secondary education, and media and teacher education at the Finnish universities. Multiliteracy and ICT competence are two of the seven transversal competences in the Finnish National Core Curriculum for Basic Education. National Core curriculum for general upper secondary schools presents multiliteracy and the media, and technology and society as two of the cross-curricular themes. (FNBE 2014; 2015.) In Finland we have to Master’s Degree Programs in Media Education, the first one in University of Lapland and the second one in Tampere University.
The second teaching module was dealing with the playful learning pedagogy integrating play and games and creative use of digital tools. In Media Education Hub we have more than 15 years of research and development dealing with this topic. I introduced the pedagogical model for creative and playful learning, and a playful learning process, which is divided into orientation, creation, play and elaboration phases (Kangas 2010; Randolph, Kangas, Ruokamo & Hyvönen 2013). At the end of the module students created their own examples of playful learning processes in the groups and presented their creative group work.
The third teaching module was dealing with the simulation pedagogy. We have more than 10 years of research carried out dealing with in this topic in our Media Education Hub. I introduced what is simulation-based learning, described facilitating, training and learning (FTL) model and characteristics of meaningful learning. In the FTL model simulation-based learning process is divided into introduction, simulator briefing, scenarios, and debriefing phases. (Keskitalo, Ruokamo & Gaba 2014; Keskitalo 2015.) At the end of the teaching module students were able to create and present their own simulation-based learning process ideas is groups.
In addition to face to face meetings we recorded 10 minutes video introductions to all of these three teaching modules to be used by students in Black Board environment. The aim of the teaching modules was that students get familiarized themselves with Finnish media education and multiliteracy, theoretically well-grounded and empirically tested pedagogical models and plan how they can utilize them in practice.
During my visit I also had an opportunity to meet with Ph.D. students. I presented our research in Media Education Hub dealing with the theme of media in teaching and learning. I introduced our 20 years of research in the pedagogical models’ development. I focused my lecture on research methods what we have used in our playful and simulation-based learning research.
At the end of my visit I was invited to CREMIT Christmas party, where I met huge amount of friends and new colleagues, and enjoyed delicacies. Thank you CREMIT, it was my pleasure to visit you! Looking forward to meeting you soon again!
HELI RUOKAMO is a professor of education, specialty media education, at University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland. She is a research vice dean of the Faculty of Education and a director of the Media Education Hub. Ruokamo holds a title of adjunct professor of Media education in the faculty of behavioural sciences at University of Helsinki and a title of adjunct professor of Network-based Learning Environments in faculty of education at University of Turku, Finland. Professor Ruokamo has 20 years of experience in research and development of pedagogical models for online learning and educational use of ICT’s. Her research has focused on mobile and meaningful learning, playful, game-based, VR, and simulation-based learning environments. She has directed several research projects and published more than 100 peer reviewed scientific publications in these fields.