University of Turku mentor Terhi Heino in the Manchester session of the intensive course

The Finnish view: “IDEATE course developed team working skills in international context”

May 13, 2015 - students / teachers

Posted originally on www.utu.fi

The IDEATE pilot course organized on the spring term 2015 was a new experience to the students of the Biomedicine from Turku and to their mentor. The course that was carried out as a cooperation of four European universities and the main focus of the course was on learning entrepreneurial behaviour as well as team working skills.

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University of Turku Project Manager of the IDEATE project Vesa Hautala, students Sofia Kalinen, Pasi Soidinsalo, Ulla Rahijärvi, Anni Suominen and University Lecturer Terhi Heino in a group picture.

The international and multidisciplinary IDEATE pilot course is founded by the EU and it aims at promoting entrepreneurship and the development of students’ enterprising and innovative thinking. The course included five-day workshops in Manchester, the U.K. and in Nova Gorica, Slovenia as well as working in an online environment. The students were challenged to develop solutions for healthier nutrition.

– The purpose of the course was to make the students use totally new perspectives and approaches to solve the problem and at the same time learn enterpreneurial thinking and entrepreneurial ways of action. The Biomedicine students from the University of Turku contributed the course with their scientific-medical perspectives, tells University Lecturer Terhi Heino.

Other participants on the course were Art and Media students from the University of Nova Goricasta, Slovenia, IT students from the Staffordshire University, the U.K., and Business students from the Vilnius Business College, Lithuania.

Mentoring was an enriching experience

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Mentors at the IDEATE course: (from left) Dalia Rimkūnienė of Vilnius Nusiness College, Peter Purg of University of Nova Gorica School of Arts, Lesley Drumm of Staffordshire University and Terhi Heino of University of Turku

The course was carried out as cooperation of the four universities and there was a faculty member from each university acting as a mentor and guiding the students’ working during the course. University Lecturer Heino was the mentor of the University of Turku.

– In the mentoring work I followed the students’ project work both in the online working stage and in the intensive workshop working stage in Manchester and in Nova Gorica. My duty was to guide, help and support them at different stages of the project. Mentoring was a new working method for me because my teaching is typically very substance specific and it isn’t very applicable for this kind of working methods so I rarely have possibilities to work like this, says Heino.

The course was successful and it met Heino’s expectatios.

– I learned to work in an international project in which both the teachers and the students represented different cultures and different field of study. My readiness and capabilities for mentoring improved for sure. It was rewarding to notice that I was able to help and support the students with my positive attitude and my work experience as well as with my life experience. The fact that I was forced away from my comfort zone at times developed me considerably as a teacher, Heino continues.

The students got inspired

Also the students were satisfied with the pilot course and they saw that that they benefited greatly from it.

– The course had different studying techniques for example key note presentations. The studying was fun and showed us what it really was to work in a team and in a project, student Sofia Kalinen reports.

Also another student from Turku, Pasi Soidinsalo commends the course.

– The course was extremely good. It is my objective to work abroad after the graduation and this course gave me the opportunity to try working in an international team. I also got friends from the course and I hope that we stay in contact and visit them in the future, tells Soidinsalo.

The objective of the IDEATE (Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurial Application for Transforming Education in High Technologies) project is to change university education by developing innovative and multidisciplinary learning methods. The project includes a teacher training and an international IDEATE course. In Finland the project is coordinated by Development Services at Brahea Centre of the University of Turku, and the medical faculty of the University of Turku.

Text by SE, KN, VH
Photos by Tina Smrekar
Posted originally on www.utu.fi
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