We develop: Research activities make diverse learning environments possible

13.4.2022Jonna HuuhkaWe develop

One of the missions of universities of applied sciences is to produce important research knowledge. The Center for Tourism Business Development is an excellent example of this, producing new knowledge and new solutions for tourism. Tourism operators are the primary beneficiaries of this knowledge, but very often also students. Best of all, students also have the opportunity to be involved in producing this knowledge.

Hands of six people on top of each other, a table with papers and a laptop on the background.

Research activities integrated into teaching provide the opportunity for a learning environment that is interesting and relevant students. Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) projects are interdisciplinary and offer students the opportunity to collaborate and learn in a variety of ways. Students can do their thesis for a project of the Center for Tourism Business Development, participate in courses to provide valuable information for projects, do their practical training within a project or learn on lectures about project work and about the knowledge that the projects currently provide.

For example, the basics of project activities can be taught to students by presenting the project plans of the ongoing projects of the Center for Tourism Business Development, explaining project objectives, indicators, and timetables. Examples of the projects will make the concepts more concrete for students. In 2021, the Skills4CMT project's project plan, meeting invitations, scheduling, and communication, among other things, were introduced to the first-year International Tourism Management students.

Once one has mastered the basics of project management, what could be better for a student than implementing an actual a project! For example, in 2021, SAMK’s third-year tourism students carried out projects that provided important information for the #GastroSatakunta project. The project promotes the importance of local food and is a part of the Satakunta Tourism Growth Project. The students' tasks included designing a food tourism product located in Satakunta, developing a social media marketing plan, and studying the visitor profiles of food tourists.

Often, projects also offer the opportunity to get involved in practical activities such as events and workshops. For example, students are needed to prepare instructions on how to travel to Pori, guide visitors at the event venue and manage day-to-day operations on the day of the event. This allows students to get involved in the events themselves and gain valuable practical experience. In spring 2022, the first-year tourism students have been involved in planning a day for the international COST Action DAMOCLES project, and in the autumn, they will take the bull by the horns at the project's workshop day in Pori.

Through projects, students also get in touch with the working life. Projects often involve representatives from companies and working with them gives students a good taste of how to operate in the working life. This is a good opportunity to experience working life and learn how to, for example, contact different actors.

In the projects, interesting learning modules that benefit students are also developed. The Skills4CMT project will design teaching resources for the development of maritime tourism, which will also be made available for students. This project is a model example of how the Center for Tourism Business Development and education work hand in hand.

Linking RDI activities to the teaching of universities of applied sciences offers an excellent opportunity to build more diverse learning environments that benefit all parties involved.

Did you know?

  • Students are actively involved in the development, research and innovation activities of working life.
  • RDI integration is an activity that promotes student learning and makes use of a variety of learning environments.
  • RDI integration increases cooperation with the working life.
  • RDI integration is seen to improve the quality of teaching.


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