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Finnish language can be studied on an online course already before entering Aalto University

The Introductory Finnish online course provides international students and staff their first touch with the Finnish language.

During the four-week course, the basics of the Finnish language and culture are learned and networking will take place before the arrival in Finland. At the same time, the students will also familiarise with the tools used in Aalto University. The online course is one of the pilot projects of the Aalto Online Learning projects. More about online learning and teaching will be available at A!OLE Gala on 20th December.

– The idea about the course came from student feedback where the chance of learning Finnish language already before arriving in Finland was entertained. As a part of the Aalto Online Learning project, we were given the opportunity to realise the Introductory Finnish course with which to meet this demand. Anyone interested in learning Finnish can participate in the course. A pilot was organised in autumn 2016, and the actual course will be arranged four times next year, Aija Elg, a teacher of Finnish language, explains.

– On the web, there are mostly material banks of the Finnish language, but the Introductory Finnish course consists of videos, exercise and discussions, which form a pedagogically designed whole. The course progresses systematically, taking into account that the student can work independently and get feedback. No study credits can be obtained for the course yet, but it is intended that in future the credits would be available for those completing the course.

 Tools used at Aalto University

The course was produced on the Aalto Open Learning platform, which enables creation of open online courses and transfer of materials also to the MyCourses learning environment when needed. The teaching materials of the course are distributed with the Creative Commons 4.0 licence; thus, also other teachers of Finnish language can make use of them in their teaching.

– We need a technological learning platform which will allow the participation of students from outside Aalto University in the course and for use of which technical support will be available also in the future. Another reason we utilise tools provided by Aalto University is that we can give for them development ideas through the experiences in the project, explains designer Petri Myllynen, who has helped with the technical arrangements of the course.

The course is being developed through feedback

The students have shared development ideas about the contents, workload and the usefulness of the course and generally described their experiences about the course.

– The feedback alone so far strongly indicates that the course is challenging, inspiring and motivating. The students also value the carefully edited contents and appearance. From here on, the development of the course will proceed smoothly, Aija and Petri declare.

Additional information about the course schedule will be published on the Info pages of the Language Centre in January 2017.

Demos presented at A!OLE Gala

Gamification, online videos, virtual reality in teaching – come and find out more about these and other topics at the A!OLE Gala at the Learning Centre on Tuesday, 20 December!

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