Laurea’s Massidea team organised and hosted a kickoff-event for Massidea partners from Universities of Applied Sciences from all over Finland.
The event was started with a welcome speech by the creator of Massidea: Teemu Santonen. The speech was followed by a Skype-conference with Massidea’s Indian partners who told about their current project Nimbus 2011. A group for the Nimbus 2011 – project has been created to Massidea.org and everyone is encouraged to contribute. The Skype – conference ended with a Questions and Answers-section where the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions from the Indian partners.
After the conference, each Massidea partner gave a presentation on their past and future activities related to the implementation and use of Massidea.org in UAS courses and other projects. The audience was eager to comment and ask questions after each presentation and the last few presentations were given after the participants had had lunch at Laurea’s student run restaurant Flow.
The presentations were followed by Learning Cafe-styled workshops where the participants were divided into three groups. Each group had a chairman whose job was to lead the discussion on a beforehand given topic. The topics were:
1) Massidea.org and UAS Courses
2) Massidea.org and Projects and Internships
3) Massidea.org and Theses
The participants were encouraged to write down their thoughts, ideas, suggestions and comments on a paper table cloth, so that the next group would be able to see what has been discussed previously. After spending 15-20 minutes on one table, every participant apart from the chairman moved on to the next table. After every participant had contributed to every topic, the chairmen presented the results to everyone.
Massidea.org and UAS Courses
The purpose of this workshop was to discuss and find methods for implementing Massidea.org to different UAS courses. The Learning Cafe participants concentrated on two key areas: marketing Massidea.org to teachers and educational facilities, and on the actual implementation.
The participants thought that Massidea.org should be marketed as a new pedagogical tool, a new type of solution for teachers and educators, and as a revolutionary learning environment for both students and teachers alike. Massidea.org’s visibility on other websites, especially social media websites, was also discussed by the participants. Changing people’s attitudes was seen as a challenge to Massidea.org’s marketing i.e. having people embrace this new service as an innovative learning tool.
It was agreed that case examples of how Massidea.org has already been used by different UAS is a good way to do this. In addition the participants suggested that a dedicated group for teachers could be created within the Massidea service. The group should be seen as a forum where teachers can share knowledge and experiences related to the use of Massidea.org. A list of contacts should also be provided, so anyone interested could contact teachers who have already used Massidea.org in their courses. The dedicated group could also serve as a platform for solving problems and issues related to using and/or implementing Massidea.org to courses or UAS projects.
When discussing the actual implementation, the participants saw that implementing Massidea.org should be considered at early stages of curriculum planning. Massidea.org was seen as a strong and practical platform for e-courses especially. It was agreed that it would be beneficial to involve communications teachers to any course applying Massidea.org to provide students with a theoretical background on critical reading and quality writing.
Massidea.org and Projects and Internships
The discussion on Massidea.org and Projects and Internships stimulated comments, ideas and suggestions as well. The participants saw Massidea.org as a good project tool. Especially the group and campaign features could be used for e.g. gaining visibility and transparency which in return allow the project to gain new interns and/or partners. It was agreed that internships reports could be done by using Massidea.org which would support the vision of Massidea.org being a portfolio or a new type of CV for its users. Another advantage seen for Massidea.org being used as a project tool was getting comments and feedback from parties outside the project’s organisational boundaries. For example, from companies or students from other educational facilities using Massidea.org.
Massidea.org and Theses
Massidea.org and Theses workshop concentrated on discussing how Massidea.org could be used in each stage of the thesis process. The participants saw that students who are still looking for an interesting topic for their thesis could find it from Massidea.org once different organisations start using Massidea.org as a project tool or when companies start posting topics for thesis on Massidea.org. Also, other students could publish interesting topics as well.
The possibility of finding a partner for the thesis process through Massidea.org, from either different domestic educational facilities or from a foreign university, was also considered to be possible.
Massidea.org’s content feature was seen as a good way for students writing their theses to publish (as Challenges) their research problem for other parties e.g. other students to give feedback on. In addition the students in the middle of their thesis process could also find references from Massidea.org’s existing content.
Once a student has finished their thesis, they could submit a summary of results to Massidea.org as an idea which they could link to their previously written challenge. This task could replace the traditional maturity test since it serves a similar purpose. By publishing their results in Massidea.org, the students could get more visibility for the work they’ve done for their thesis and possibly more feedback than through the traditionally used publishing methods.
In conclusion, the workshops proved to be a good method to bring Massidea.org partner from different UAS together to discuss currently relevant topics. Each workshop was able to produce new ideas, point-of-views and suggestions.
Laurea’s Massidea team would like to give a big thank you to everyone who participated to the Kickoff-event. We are looking forward to collaborating with you in the future projects regarding Massidea.org.