The year 2018 was characterised by renewal in our unit. We reformed our oganisation and formed eight teams of experts, which started in their new ompositions at the beginning of the new academic year. The reformed organisational structure helps our unit prepare, for its part, for the new forms of future education, in which continuous learning solutions will increase in importance. At the same time, we strengthened the role of the RDI activities by setting up a separate team of our RDI experts.
These changes gave our operations an additional boost, and we broke records in our academic performance, in particular. Naturally, well-functioning learning solutions, such as Softala and Newsroom, also contributed to this as lab platforms for learning in projects. As a result of the research, development and innovation activities and various projects, the number of publications was also higher than ever, amounting to 61.
We introduced the first, new kind of continuous learning solutions in our offering – the Digitekijä Fast Track (in partnership with Laurea University of Applied Sciences and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences) and the sports journalism specialisation programmes. A total of 50 students participated in the practice-oriented, multimodal Master’s level implementations, which combined theory, practice and working life projects. We also introduced an IT degree to be completed fully online in our study offering. It will help us meet the needs of working students even better.
We participate in a number of development projects with the help of the funding provided for spearhead projects by the Ministry of Education and Culture. New projects of this type include KiVAKO, coordinated by us, for the generation of new kind of language teaching offering nationally and regionally. In APOA, we develop learning analytics for online implementations. Our experts participate in the Yritystä uralle! project series funded by the Chamber of Commerce to build study paths from the upper secondary level to the university of applied sciences and to create models for helping students with immigrant backgrounds integrate with the working life. The projects launched earlier concern, for example, big data and using it in the creation of new business operations, forms of on-the-job learning and mobile authentication of competence, as well as science communication and media education.
Haaga-Helia’s students developed a completely new kind of system for monitoring the activity of the elderly. Named Carefree, the system is a tool for the person’s family members to ensure that the person can cope in their daily life. The system produces a graph analysis of the elderly person’s daily activities, creates graphs of the essential data and sends an alarm to the person’s family members in critical situations. At Haaga-Helia, the development of the system began in September 2018 and the system was completed in December 2018.
The Virtual Nature project carried out jointly by Haaga-Helia and three other higher education institutions is a pilot of digital solutions and examines the impact they have on travellers choosing Finland as their destination. The project studies the IoT, 360 videos and augmented reality, among other things. These studies are used as the basis of instructions drawn up for nature tourism entrepreneurs to use when marketing their services. During the year, the project included quick pilots, user surveys, prototypes and high-quality 360 videos, which were used as the basis of best practices and recommendations on using virtual components that were prepared for tourism enterprises (http://virtual.outdoorsfinland.com).
Haaga-Helia’s journalism students had the opportunity to ask questions from decision-makers at the SuomiAreena goes eduskunta (SuomiAreena goes Parliament) event organised by MTV News and the city of Pori. This was already the second time that the journalism degree programme participated in the building and implementation of the preliminary event of the Suomi Areena together with the Parliament and MTV News. The theme of the event was the safety of the young and it was named Irti mun profiilista! - nuoret ja turvallisuus (“Step away from my profile – the young and safety”). The discussions covered reasons for the young not feeling safe, safety on the streets, as well as the responsibility of the media and its audiences. The discussion panel included ministers, members of the Parliament, researchers, experts from associations and media representatives.