Increased flexibility in professional Master’s degree programmes

Objective

The objective of the project is to develop course formats for flexible Master’s degree programmes under IT University West. The project will experiment with and implement digital media in the teaching at professional Master’s degree level to make it possible for students to attend the teaching in various ways, for instance by increasing flexibility in relation to students’ optimal use of time and place, and improving opportunities for attending teaching.

The need for increased flexibility is particularly noticeable in professional Master’s degree programmes. In order to minimise the length of time participants are absent from their workplaces, professional Master’s degree programmes often consist of full-day seminars. So absences from any of these days may be problematic for participants. In addition, the intensive seminar activity means that participants are often very busy before and during these seminars, but not very busy in the intervening periods. Consequently, there is a need to distribute the participants’ work load evenly throughout the course.

Description

The project deals with developing flexible professional Master’s programmes in the following three sub-projects:

  1. Online activities
  2. Distance learning
  3. Digital teaching materials

The project includes the following four IT University West subject packages:

Sub-project 1: Online activities

One of the objectives of the project is to increase online activities in professional Master’s courses, while at the same time reducing the need for physical attendance at seminars. The perspective is to transform subject packages or single-subject courses into purely online processes, and the project will investigate the potential for doing this. The project will develop formats for various types of online activity. The project focuses in particular on increasing the level of study activity between seminars by means of knowledge sharing, dialogue and cooperation among participants, and by developing methods and techniques for ongoing feedback and supervision by the instructor.

Sub-project 2: Distance learning

The aim of this part of the project is to increase opportunities for distance learning using video recordings. The recordings are intended to compensate for not attending lessons, and may replace physical classes in certain cases. In addition, it will be beneficial for the participants to be able to review recorded lessons when preparing for exams. The project will test a number of scenarios for recording lessons, among other things (live) streaming and automatic archiving.

Sub-project 3: Digital teaching materials

The aim of this part of the project is to experiment with different types of digital teaching materials. The materials developed are to be used as replacements for or supplements to face-to-face lectures, and in connection with online activities.

The project will develop materials which are more sophisticated than raw recordings of lectures, for instance. Various edited formats, for example screencasts, videos, podcasts, shortened lectures etc., will be tested.

The project is financed by IT University West.