The right LMS as a centralized hub boosts teaching and learning
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“There was some resistance from teachers at the beginning, because of their poor experience with our previous LMS. But over time they have realized the value of having a centralized hub. The converts, the teachers who we struggled hardest to convince, have become the best advocates and messengers for the use of itslearning.”

Isto Hakala
Pedagogical Development Supervisor at Central Ostrobothnia Vocational College (KPEDU)

The Challenge: Finding the best LMS

Teachers did not like our previous LMS

The Federation of Education in Central Ostrobothnia, KPEDU, is a multidisciplinary educational and training institution in Finland. The federation provides vocational education, apprenticeship training and high school courses in 59 different course disciplines for students and adult learners. KPEDU also works closely with the region’s municipalities, business community and other education providers. They switched to itslearning in 2018.

Isto Hakala: “We had implemented a Moodle-based platform, but found that our teachers were not using it. They told us that they didn’t like it because they found it difficult to use. It was taking up too much time of their time, so they refused to use it.”

Right LMS improves adoption

He explains that Finland prides itself in having very strong pedagogical freedoms, and this makes it important for educational institutions to give teachers tools that they can and will use to help them in their every day. So, instead of trying to convince their teachers to use the LMS that they had, they worked on finding a better LMS, one that as Isto says was “easy to use but at the same time would meet all our current and also future needs. A ‘Swiss Army knife solution’ with multiple tools”.

 

KPEDU’s considerations

  • Accessible on mobile devices
  • Visualization
  • Communication and interaction tools
  • Data analytics
  • Collaboration tools
  • Integrated learning objectives
  • A connected ePortfolio
'One teacher told me that itslearning is so much more than just an LMS. The planner to her is also a ‘memory support’. She told me that it keeps her on track with her work, she can store her notes in the planner to help her prioritize and better manage her time. Teachers are seeing the value of using itslearning.'

Isto Hakala, Pedagogical Development Supervisor at Central Ostrobothnia Vocational College

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The Process: Involve teachers in decision making

“What was important was to involve teachers in our decision making and implementation process. We implemented the platform gradually, to give teachers time to get used to itslearning.”

KPEDU also set up an e-learning tutor program to help familiarize teachers and external tutors on how to use the itslearning platform. The same method is being piloted for students, so they too know the best practices and use itslearning in an optimal way. There is a teacher or student in each division who can help one another better use the platform and resolve their issues. All the teachers have now adopted the planner and actively use tools to personalize learning, such as learning paths. They know that it is better for students to have a centralized hub for all their learning materials.

Isto is also aware that no single learning platform can offer everything, so it was important for KPEDU that itslearning connects with all their other learning software. And because itslearning easily integrates with other software, they have the opportunity to offer their students and teachers a richer education experience.

KPEDU is the first itslearning customer to implement the Library of Open Educational Resources into their itslearning Library. This will provide a bank of open educational resources (OER) at all levels of education for teachers and students. The Library of Open Educational Resources is being developed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education, and its development is coordinated by CSC – IT Center for Science. It will be updated every week, and these updates will be directly available in their itslearning Library.

'Students find the system easy to use. Using a mobile app or subscribing to email messaging makes it easy for them to keep track of course events.'

Isto Hakala, Pedagogical Development Supervisor at Central Ostrobothnia Vocational College

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Successful Results

itslearning is now the cornerstone of the learning ecosystem at KPEDU which also includes the student information system and other apps and cloud services. Having course templates and the planner has also greatly reduced the workload, and teachers can now collaborate and share work via the library. Furthermore, all courses have the same format and structure which make it easier for students to access the materials and know what they need to do when.

They use 360° reports to refine their teaching methods. Teachers can see how students are engaging with the learning material, how much time they use and the results they get from tests and assignments.

 

Videos have replaced whiteboards. At KPEDU, teachers can download and share material from the school’s video channel or record instructional videos directly through the itslearning platform. With itslearning, teacher teams can also easily collaborate and compile ERP (enterprise resource planning) and learning process planning materials, guidance, teaching, assessment, and feedback in one place.

“The system offers unlimited opportunities to plan teaching, prepare and distribute materials, work collaboratively, and automate routine tasks, leaving teachers more time to focus on teaching and helping their students.

“We also feel secure using itslearning because of the commitment to GDPR and data security, so we know our data is safe and stored in Europe,” says Isto Hakala.

Visit website: KPEDU

  • Staff: 427
  • Students: 4,983
  • Location: 5 campuses
  • Implemented itslearning: 2018

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