Studying at a university of applied sciences in Finland is more varied than just attending lectures and taking exams. Studying consists of contact learning, distance learning, blended learning, e-learning, projects, company visits and practical training.
Contact learning refers to a situation where there is a teacher, who teaches a certain number of students, who are all gathered in the same physical space. The physical space, depending on the field of studies, can be a classroom with modern teaching assistance technology or a laboratory of technology or a gym or a hospital environment built in a classroom with interactive patient dummies. Contact learning in Finland does not mean that only the teacher will be speaking, discussion and questions from the students are always welcomed. There is also a lot of pair and group work. The aim is that the student is an active part of the learning process and will get to practice their practical skills as much as possible already during their studies.
Distance learning means that the student is not required to be present at campus in order to be able to study. Distance learning does not mean that the student receives a set of tasks and is left alone to get them done. There is a teacher in charge of distance learning classes just as well as contact learning classes. Lectures will be given online and interaction between students and lecturers is possible. The teacher is available to guide and assist the students in doing their assignments. A sufficiently efficient internet connection and device are required to be able to study through distance learning. Currently we have two bachelor level degrees (Industrial Management and Logistics) that can be finished through distance learning. Distance learning is an excellent opportunity for a student, whose daily life is hectic due to work or family situation. Distance learning requires self-discipline and determination but, in the end,, it pays off!
Blended learning means that most of the studies can be done through distance learning and student’s presence is required only on a limited number of days per academic year. A sufficiently efficient internet connection and device are required in order to be able to study through blended learning. Though most of the studies are done through distance learning, students can communicate with their teachers and will get assistance and further guidance from their teachers online. Even in blended learning student is part of a class and interaction is possible and even encouraged. Blended learning is an amazing opportunity especially if your everyday life is hectic due to work or family or if you live far away or even abroad. You can study at your own pace, make your own schedules and reach your goals just as efficiently as in contact learning. It requires determination and effort but it is an investment that pays off.
E-learning refers to all learning through electronic devices. This usually means same as distance learning. There is a teacher that is in control of teaching e-based courses and students will receive the assignments and materials or a list of required reading online. HILL is an e-learning environment developed by SAMK and is used for eg. giving online lectures. HILL also enables interaction between the lecturer and the students, which makes e-learning an interactive process.
Students are encouraged to be active and most importantly interactive and they get a chance to learn and practice practical skills required in their future work already during their studies.
Projects are a part of all studying at SAMK. As much as possible students will do their projects in cooperation with local companies, which gives the students an opportunity to start networking and getting familiar with working life.
Practical training is a part of all degrees in a university of applied sciences in Finland. This means that all students must find a traineeship of their own field in an institution or a company either here in Finland or abroad. The duration and place of the practical training depends on the degree.