Education support services develop Peppi ecosystem together with HAMK’s IT Services, other higher education institutions that belong to Peppi consortium and system providers. Developing this versatile entity requires matching national visions and interests in HAMK’s strategy to the availability of new digital solutions and users’ needs. Since HAMK started using Peppi, many slow paper-based processes have turned into ubiquitous digital services. We will continue this work bearing in mind that all digital services need renewing from time to time and that is an important part of their life-cycle management.
Digivision 2030 is a national joint project of Finnish higher education institutions, the aim of which is to open up national learning resources for the individual and society. According to Digivision, Finland will have an open and recognised learning ecosystem in 2030, which will support lifelong learning and enable the development and renewal of higher education pedagogy.
According to the goals of HAMK’s strategy, in 2022 we will have student services available regardless of time and place. Students in non-degree education are also increasingly taken into account in the development of student services, as this is the requirement of lifelong learning.
HAMK has undergone a large-scale and comprehensive curriculum overhaul during the 2020-2021 academic year. The new curricula will be implemented from the beginning of the academic year 2021-2022. The curriculum reform contributes to the goals of the national digivision, HAMK strategy and continuous learning.
Collecting enrolments and payments by using an E-form
The E-form is a browser-based software and platform for electronic services. It can be used to create and publish online forms with strong identification and online payment.
The E-form service was brought into use at HAMK in November 2020 to resolve the needs of the Open University of Applied Sciences. An ITU (Import of Enrolments) service was also included to the E-forms. With the help of the ITU, the student information can be transferred to Peppi more automatically. ITU creates a student’s right to study, adds them to the implementation, and creates an automatic expiration date of the right to study. HAMK’s open university’s enrolment systems have been in a need of renewal for a long time. Fees have been collected by invoicing and transferring students to Peppi has been manual work.
The E-form service can be used for many other purposes as well. The use has already been expanded, for example, to the copies of certificates (ordering and paying a copy fee), applying for specialisation studies, applying for individual arrangements for entrance examination, making student resignation notices, paying study right applications processing fees etc. The use of E-form in HAMK is increasing quickly.
The student’s mobile services are developing – Tuudo mobile app
We are launching a student mobile app, Tuudo, in April. The application replaces the HAMK App application previously used by HAMK students. The app is free and can be downloaded from Android, iOS, and Huawei AppGallery app stores. Tuudo is already in use in 24 higher education institutes and has tens of thousands of users. From Tuudo, we hope to be a real helper for students.
In the first phase, HAMK’s Tuudo includes the following functions:
- review of personal study plan
- enrollments for implementations
- monitoring of study credits
- group’s room reservations
- library services: digital library card, loan renewal, chat / chatbot
- campus maps
- restaurant menus
- public transport timetables
- news about various activities (student services, international services, library, student well-being, it-department)
- Häme University of Applied Sciences student union HAMKO channel.
Also, all important news concerning students will be announced in Tuudo’s news channels, where the agreed content producers will produce the necessary material. Tuudo’s admin in HAMK is Essi Ylönen and the content admin Maria Tams on strategic communications.
With the Tuudo mobile app, we can offer students a comprehensive and modern set of services at their fingertips. According to a survey of users of universities previously introduced by Tuudo (national survey for users of Tuudo 03/2019, number of respondents 2,700), the majority, more than 90% of students who use Tuudo, feel that it saves them several minutes a day. Our goal at HAMK is to achieve 100% adoption so that we get the full benefit of the application for students.
Publication of curricula, module selection and module maps on HAMK’s website
The search functions of the curriculum and the studies offered currently available on HAMK’s website will be discontinued in August 2021. To replace these, a functional entity is being developed that can move smoothly between curricula and studies offered, changing from the perspective of the entire degree to the offering of one academic year.
Following the completion of the revised search functionality for curricula and study selection in August 2021, the development of modular maps will begin. Instead of the current training-specific and static PDFs, an electronic solution is being developed, in which different search functionalities can be used to move between the modules offered by different degree programmes and to make a review at the level of the entire module offer. The purpose of the electronic module maps is to make it easier for the students and the instructors to build flexible study paths based on personal competence goals. The revised module maps are scheduled to become available in early 2022.
Spark introduces a new way to collect study feedback, transparent feedback reporting and teacher feedback as new HAMK practices
Spark is a course feedback service that HAMK has chosen as the new system for collecting course/module feedback. The decisive factor for selecting Spark was the possibility to collect feedback from a collection of implementations that supports the module structure of HAMK’s studies. Another important factor was the possibility to transfer data from Spark to Power BI.
Spark will be integrated into Peppi desktops and adopting a new system means giving up on collecting feedback with HAMK App and other solutions. A project group has been formed to prepare the deployment of Spark at HAMK. It includes HAMK staff from different units: Jenni Liiti (AOKK), Toni Leander (HYOS), Heikki Peltoniemi (BIOS), Jari Mustajärvi (TEOS) ja Tapani Honkanen (YRLI). Pirjo Kuisma and Irina Aittomäki are involved in the process from Education Support Services. During this spring, we will pilot Spark with a couple of implementations and the system will be introduced to all degree programmes next autumn.
The new feedback service allows a more flexible way to gather feedback. We may continue to collect module feedback with HAMK’s common questions, and the teachers may add some questions from Spark’s question bank to the feedback form. The question bank will be created and updated together with staff members. Module feedback will continue to have a common timetable, but the teacher may stretch it from both ends; add more response time at the beginning or at the end. When the response time ends, it is the teacher’s turn to respond to the feedback. When we start using the new system, thesis feedback will not be collected via Spark. The heads of the degree programme may also leave some implementations outside the feedback collection.
Applying for graduation in VALO service
The graduation application process has been changed on 23 February 2021. Graduation will be applied though the VALO graduation service, which is located on the student’s Pakki desktop. The system includes instructions and it will guide the student through the different stages. Application process begins by answering to the graduate feedback questionnaire (AVOP). A new stage before sending the application is a discussion with the study counsellor. At the same time, the study counsellor will check that all studies are completed.
In order to complete all the stages related to graduation, we recommend that the student begins the graduation process, at the latest, six weeks before the desired graduation date. At this point it is not necessary that all credits are registered to Pakki. This way, both the student and the staff will have enough time to process the application, have a graduation discussion and prepare the certificate. All grades (incl. thesis) must be registered, at the latest, three weeks before the graduation date. If the assessments are not registered in time, the student’s graduation will be postponed to the next possible graduation date. Particular attention should be paid to the turn of the academic year, as a delay in graduation may result additional costs for the student, such as the loss of a student loan deduction or the payment of a YTHS fee.
Instructions and schedules related to graduation process can be found at: https://www.hamk.fi/planning-studies/graduation/?lang=en
Completion of studies at another university – Cross-study service
With the help of the cross-study service, the student receives up-to-date information about the study offerings of other universities and can register for studies through the service. After registration, the student’s information is transferred to the target university’s systems via the national cross-study service. The student’s assessment information is transferred back to the register of their university through the cross-study service, so the student no longer has to use the Puro service to apply for credits. The provision of CampusOnline studies, registration, and assessments will also be gradually integrated into the cross-study service.
The cross-study service has been under construction for several years in the National Cross-Institutional Study Service project. The project aims to support the cooperation of higher education institutions in teaching and learning by implementing a background-independent, nationwide cross-learning model and system. HAMK’s information management and education support services have been actively involved in defining and testing features that support cross-institutional learning in the Peppi system. The goal is to make the connection between various universities using Peppi system and the national cross-study service, operational during 2021. The time for the introduction of the service at HAMK will be agreed upon this spring.
New eRPL version – what’s new?
A group of university experts and system specialists has evaluated the current eRPL system and suggested improvements to the system based on development suggestions from the RPL users.
Some of the most important changes include:
- more versatile possibilities to apply for recognition of prior learning for courses and modules
- more flexible way to add information to the RPL application at different stages. For example, earlier you could add the place of performance only at the start of the application process. Now, you can also add it when you add the course completed in another institution.
- pre-RPL for agreeing that the competence the student is just about to acquire will be accredited and included in their degree -> pre-RPL application will be the basis of the actual RPL application, which is great for e.g. work-based learning
- accreditation bank adds transparency to the RPL process and improves equality between students
- attachment bank allows the student to reuse the attachment they have added to one application
- Coming soon: a simpler form of the RPL application, accreditation of a partial course.
Two-way calendar synchronisation
During this year, the goal is also to introduce two-way synchronisation of reservations between Peppi and Outlook. Currently, reservations made in Peppi are transferred to the Outlook calendar, but after installing two-way synchronisation, reservations made in Outlook are also transferred to Peppi.
Images: Pixabay and HAMK’s Content Can