Promoting students’ reflections in organisational improvisation arrangement between higher education and workplaces


  • Tiina Rautkorpi University of Tampere, Finland
  • Laura-Maija Hero Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland



Vocational pedagogy, triple helix, reflection, organisational improvisation, experimentation, activity theory


This article focuses on how experimentation-based pedagogy has been pursued by one Finnish university of applied sciences (UAS) in working life environments in the context of the Triple Helix. This article focuses on efforts to combine together situated learning, organisational improvisation and cultural-historical activity theory. In this higher education organisation, the students’ multidisciplinary innovation projects are used to improve the students’ skills in performing experiments with variations. The article demonstrates how pilot trainings were organised for teachers and their networks to equip them to project facilitators in a new mode of activity. It also reports on the undergraduates’ group demonstrations and evaluations based on a recent sample of their subsequent innovation projects. The small-scale content analysis was conducted to identify areas for further development. According to the activity theory, the crucial learning outcome of the UAS educational projects should be a collective reflection on practices. In addition, the two essentials of reflection and learning are the tools available for mirroring and continuous concept formation. According to the findings, there were prominent achievements in ethnographic fieldwork but more supportive arrangements and training is needed to promote especially the concept formation.


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How to Cite

Rautkorpi, T., & Hero, L.-M. (2016). Promoting students’ reflections in organisational improvisation arrangement between higher education and workplaces. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 7(1), 1–22.



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