MaTE-Project combines puzzle method with team- and project-based learning
HAMK and its international partners are developing teaching of marketing and advancing students’ and teachers’ mobility.
Häme University of applied sciences and especially its research unit HAMK EDU is involved in the Erasmus+ funded Marketing Through Europe project (MaTE). The project is coordinated by the Finnish vocational education provider Winnova and also includes the Dutch Graafschap College from Doetinchem, the Portuguese INETE from Lisbon and the Hungarian Andrassy College from Eger.
The project develops marketing teaching in secondary level education and promotes the mobility of students and teachers. The role of HAMK EDU is to be responsible for the functionality of pedagogical solutions and to spar teachers to develop their own pedagogical skills. Key goal is to increase the business students’ marketing skills and especially so-called soft skills by using team learning, project learning and learning in authentic learning environments.
The project started with a survey in which the aim was to specify what kind of competence the cooperative companies of the participating educational institutions expect from people with a secondary level degree in business administration. The results showed, as expected, that both marketing skills and soft skills are highly valued in companies. Based on the results, an article was written, which you can read from the link below the text.
The project utilizes a model with both team learning and project learning. Elements from the co-operative learning method have also been taken into the model. In the model, four students from each educational institution are selected for the project and they form a country team. Students acquire information about one chosen company in their own areas of operation and deepen their understanding of its marketing. They are preparing a presentation about the company for the mobility week of the project.
The students get to know the participating students from other countries for the first time in a joint meeting organized via online connection. Physically, the students meet during the mobility week. The program of the first day of the mobility week includes, in addition to familiarization rituals, the students’ presentations of the companies in each country. In the following days, the students will be divided into new groups so that each new group has one representative from each participating educational institution/country. The new groups receive various learning tasks related to marketing given by the cooperative companies. The groups’ outputs are discussed at the end of each day and the students receive feedback from the teachers about their progress.
After returning to their home countries, students continue to work in their original groups. They evaluate the project and reflect on their own learning. Both the students and the teachers gather in a joint online meeting to review feedback and discuss what was successful and what could still be improved. The learning process developed in the project is described in Figure 1.
One of the main goals of the project is to develop and find successful ways to develop students’ soft skills, such as empathy, resilience, problem-solving ability, self-esteem, self-confidence and reliability. In the project, a questionnaire was developed, with which the students who participated in the project evaluated their own soft skills twice. The first self-evaluation of the soft skills was during the start-up phase of the project and the second after returning from the mobility week. In Figure 1, self-evaluation is located at the extremes on the left and right. The results of the self-evaluation are described in separate blog articles, to which there are links below the text.
HAMK EDU also has the task of training the teachers participating in the project and encouraging and supporting them to develop their own pedagogical skills. The teachers’ project meeting held in Hämeenlinna in December 2021 discussed the teaching and guidance methods used by the teachers, assessment methods and the learning environments they use. Efforts were also made to reach a consensus on the didactic and pedagogical solutions to be used in the project. During the mobility period in Eger in May 2022, the training continued and then the results achieved up to that point were evaluated and development needs were discussed. There are links to the presentation materials used in these events below this text.
Read more from the project page