University of Jyväskylä

The study concerning Development Packages 2 of the Toteemi Project, ‘Competence from and to work’, by the Finnish Institute for Educational Research (FIER) at the University of Jyväskylä, consists of three different phases. The first phase, undertaken in 2017, comprises a review of the models of collaboration between education and work, and pedagogy concerning students’ learning at work (Tynjälä, Virolainen, Heikkinen, & Virtanen, 2018; also, Virolainen, Tynjälä, Virtanen, Heikkinen, & Laitinen-Väänänen, 2017).

The present phase, 2018, involves new research data relating to the collaboration between education and work and the pedagogical practices that support the learning of generic skills in different vocational fields of Universities of Applied Sciences. Currently, data from these pedagogical practices are being collected through interviews with teachers, students and representatives of working life. According to the preliminary findings (Tynjälä, Heikkinen, Virtanen, Virolainen, & Laitinen-Väänänen, 2018), these good pedagogical practices

  • are large practices, where several study modules can be connected to each other and carried out simultaneously,
  • are based on practising and learning together with others, also involving teachers stepping away from their desks to guide and support students’ learning, and
  • are often based on project-based learning and practices, which demand multidisciplinary know-how.

These qualitative analyses will be deepened and elaborated upon, and their findings will be reported in scientific research journals.

The third phase of the project, in 2019, will see the formulation of a questionnaire based upon these qualitative analyses, and new research data using this questionnaire will be gathered. Thus, the aim of this research project is the versatile and extensive review of models and practices between education and work, to share these findings with educational providers and to develop these models and practices further.


Tynjälä, P., Heikkinen, H. L. T., Virtanen, A., Virolainen, M., & Laitinen-Väänänen, S. (2018). Integrating Work and Learning in Finnish Higher Education. Paper presented at the Seminar on Research on Work and Learning. 4.6.2018. Finland, Jyväskylä.
Tynjälä, P., Virolainen, M., Heikkinen, H.L.T., & Virtanen, A. (2018). Promoting cooperation between educational institutions and workplaces: Models of integrative pedagogy and connectivity revisited. (In peer review process)
Virolainen M., & Heikkinen H. L.T. (2018). Vocational education and training institutions’ collaboration with the world of work from the perspective of actor networks and ecosystems of learning. Paper presented at the Stockholm International Conference on Vocational Education and Training. 7.5.2018. Sweden, Stockholm.

Virolainen M., Tynjälä P., Virtanen A., Heikkinen H. L.T., & Laitinen-Väänänen, S. (2017). Models of collaboration between higher education and work. Paper presented at the AMK- ja ammatillisen koulutuksen tutkimuspäivät. 29.11.–1.12.2017. Finland, Hämeenlinna.

Research group:

Professor Päivi Tynjälä,
Professor Hannu L. T. Heikkinen,
Post-doctoral Researcher Maarit Virolainen,
Senior Researcher Anne Virtanen,