Studifying, earning credits in workplace environments, starts with a discussion with the student. The main focus in in the competence based curriculum. The student needs to get carefully familiar with the curriculum. As important is that the student is able to recognize and describe own skills and competences, because first step is recognizing prior learning and analyzing the skills that already exist. This all needs a lot of commitment and activeness from the student. It is also useful if the employers can be involved in this phase, since they might see some different aspects of the employee than they do themselves.
After the first step, it is time to start “filling the gaps” – what are the things needed to be learnt and developed in order to be able to graduate as a mechanical engineer. This is the phase where we need the employer, because this might require modifying work tasks. In many workplaces, it is possible to learn new things by doing, and this is the new perspective of studifying: not just using the previous or current work and skills developed in there, but designing the work so that it offers a new platform for development and gaining new skills, learning new things.
The final part of planning the studifying is the second “filling the gaps” phase. This means identifying the kind of competences from the curriculum, which the student cannot achieve at the workplace but have to gain in other ways. In some cases, it is possible for the student to participate regular courses and lectures, but in some cases (mainly because of daytime working), there is a need for personalizing. In the beginning of Verkkovirta project we already came up with the idea of creating online material for independent studying. Currently, in some study modules we have this kind of option, but in most study modules not yet. We notice at this point, that this is a really demanding and big job, so we decided to start with one or two study modules.