Another successful joint teaching pilot with VID and Diak
At VID and Diak, the new year started with a joint 1-day teaching program with 110 students and five teachers. The program was integrated into the mental health courses for the social education degree programme at VID, and the social services degree programme at DIAK.
This pilot was one of many initiatives that came up as a result of the Erasmus+ Staff Exchange from VID to Diak in autumn 2021 when the international coordinator of social education visited DIAK in Helsinki https://www.3inalliance.eu/2021/11/22/visiting-colleagues-vid-on-erasmus-staff-mobility-to-finland/. One aim of this visit was to establish joint teaching in English for social education students at VID. In the meetings with colleagues at Diak, mental health was identified as one of the core topics in both institutions.
Joint teaching with many activities
The learning activities included both lectures and teamwork with mixed groups from VID and Diak. The program started with a short introduction to getting to know activities, and the day continued with a lecture with an introduction to the complexities associated with mental health. The following topics were touched upon:
- Determinants of mental health (with a focus on social determinants of mental health)
- A brief introduction to mental disorders (with a focus on early warning signs)
- Approach to recovery model
- Current issues in mental health
- Covid-19 and mental health
- Migration and mental health
- Racism and mental health
The day ended with teamwork across and with joint presentations and reflections in the plenary.
Positive feedback from participants
The feedback from the students was very positive. Many of the VID students said that they were a bit nervous in the beginning since they were not used to having the teaching in English, but they concluded that this was a very good opportunity to practice. Students learned about differences both in working and thinking. It was also reported that it would have been better to have more time to get to know each other to work as a transnational team.
The participating teachers regarded this pilot as very exciting and inspiring. They all agreed that this way of working together was very interesting.
This pilot project shows that knowledge does not necessarily have borders.
Towards the Blended Intensive Programmes
This pilot was regarded as a very useful experience in developing a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) together with DIAK and other partners. By participating in a joint BIP, students would also get to know each other and form transnational teams for the whole length of the course that combines collaborative online learning with an intensive programme in one of the partner institutions.