Sotunki Distance Learning Centre

From POERUP - Policies for OER Uptake
Jump to: navigation, search

Sotunki Distance Learning Centre

The Distance Learning Center of Sotunki was founded in 1999 and has nowadays about 130 adult students and 250 single course students from other upper secondary schools. It is run by the Upper Secondary School of Sotunki, located in the City of Vantaa, Finland. The school is funded by the City of Vantaa. There are 18 teachers, principal, coordinator, student counselor, it-support and study secretary (=full time) working at the school.

Students come from the following groups:

  • employed or unemployed adults
  • “normal” upper secondary school students (16-19 yrs)
  • students at vocational institutions (16-19 yrs)
  • adults who wish to update and supplement their general education
  • young people and adults temporarily residing abroad

Distance high school student requirements

In order to successfully study in distance learning centre the student must have motivation and commitment, self-guidance, clear aim, realistic personal study plan (time schedule), sufficient ICT-skills and desire and readiness to work.

Distance learning in practice

Studying is free for the student. When starting, each student builds a personal study plan with the guidance counselor - this is done in face to face contact. Personal counselor is the student´s ”right hand” thru the education and students are encouraged to ask anything. The counselor supports the student in everyday matters.

Distance learning is flexible; one can study when he/she has the time and the computer. The student also has a possibility to change study plans according to his/her life situation.

School year is divided to five terms. Most courses require no teaching in classroom, but examinations are taken at school at the end of each the term. There are also some courses that offer classroom teaching every two weeks.

Teacher requirements

Regular training for all the teachers in virtual teaching is needed. Of course the teachers must have both good ICT-skills and motivation to learn new things. Training needs to be supported, so there has to be adequate ICT and pedagogical support.

What is the additional value of distance education for upper secondary school education?

In Sotunki it is seen that distance education increases and diversifies the use of ICT in teaching and learning. It also develops the working environment of school into more open and flexible direction, increases networking at regional level, co-operation and willingness for further development in educational institutions. The distance learning also supports the course supply.