Master’s thesis: Putting students at the heart of design


​Three  Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences have banned together to pilot a new approach to higher education designed to engage, motivate and prepare students of today for the jobs of tomorrow.

The pilot program is called the Digital Wellbeing Sprint. It matches students with real projects from businesses, municipalities or third-sector organizations for an intense six-days. Teams of 5 or 6 follow the Service Innovation process, they do research out in the world to truly understand their user and their challenge before developing a solution. Through it they learn about teamwork, open innovation, co-creation and rapid prototyping: Skills that are in high-demand in our changing world. A focus on critical skills is essential as the primary goal is to support the school to work transition.

The Sprint is one element of a Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) project led by an alliance of Laurea, Metropolia and Haaga-Helia Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. Alongside the researchers, the UAS’s are engaging Masters students to focus on specific development areas within the Sprint. One such student is Ann Padley who has recently completed a thesis focusing on the design of the Sprint as a student-centered learning experience.

The thesis, titled “Designing a student-centered learning experience: The Digital Wellbeing Sprint,” studies students’ expectations and perception of value regarding their experiences in higher education. The study looks beyond the specific skills students want to learn and seeks to understand where they want to go and why they’ve picked the Sprint to help them get there. The idea is by helping students make progress towards their goals, the Sprint—and similar educational opportunities—can support a faster and smoother transition to working life and offer increasing value in this ever-changing world.

Further information:

Ann Padley
Master’s Degree Programme Service Innovation and Design
annpadley@me.com
Tel +44 739 730 8600


Modified 6/5/2017 3:52 PM