Traditionally Higher Education institutions have two primary functions, the creation of new knowledge and understanding and the dissemination of existing and new knowledge. The former function is the realm of research and RDI and the second is achieved by publication and by teaching.
In a Finnish UAS it can be argued that the primary function is the teaching of professional and vocational qualifications, with the RDI function focussed on an applied approach to knowledge creation and implementation. There is often a chasm between the work of RDI and the teaching and learning of students and the day to day experiences of students as they work towards obtaining qualifications for the work environment. Thus, there is a need to try to find ways to cross this chasm, to bridge the apparent gap and make RDI work accessible and relevant to the learning needs of students in their own contexts.
In this presentation we will examine an attempt to build a bridge between students studying on the MBA in Educational Leadership (MEL) and the work of the research group Critical Applied Research of Digitalization in Education (CARDE). By linking work in several courses of the MEL program and challenges and developments in the students own employment contexts to the research work of CARDE, students have been able to cross this gap and experience working and writing in a research group, publishing and presenting at conferences, blogging while also making impactful changes to their own working environments. This group of students and alumni, affectionately known as “The WildCARDEs” have demonstrated that with the right design and encouragement it is possible to integrate the RDI and teaching functions of a Finnish UAS.
The presentation is here.