BUKA Project – the long-awaited European Tour

People stand outside TAMK campus.
BUKA Project partners outside TAMK main campus / Photo: Ursula Helsky

The travel for the BUKA Project partners to meet in person been on hold for a few years. During autumn 2022, all the partners were finally able to visit TAMK, in Finland, on 26.-30.9. and Dublin City College (DCU), in Ireland, on 3.-7.10.

The aim of the BUKA project is to promote equity and access to higher education in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines through the use of inclusive instructional design (ID) and learning analytics (LA) in online and blended learning, especially in the context of Open and Distance Learning (ODL).

The project begun in early 2020 and will continue until the end of 2023. The partners are Universitas Negeri Padang (Indonesia), Universitas Terbuka (Indonesia), Open University Malaysia (Malaysia), Wawasan Open University (Malaysia), Mindana State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (Philippines), University of the Philippines Open University (Philippines), Dublin City University (Ireland), with TAMK coordinating.

Visit at TAMK was insightful

The week at TAMK saw a lot of work, as the BUKA Project is entering its final year and the focus of the project is shifting from the individual pilot projects to evaluation and dissemination. The partners took part in workshopping the final joint project outcomes: the handbook and the final conference to be held in Malaysia in 2023. Despite having some partners attend remotely, a lot of progress was made. Many of the items in the agenda were left for further consideration for the week in Dublin. There was also a personal visit from an external project evaluator, who gave valuable insights into what could still be improved and what is already progressing well.

In addition, the partners (and locals!) were able to visit, explore and discuss different learning environments of the TUNI consortium, including TAMK’s Virtual Lab for Social and Health Care, Tampere Centre for Skills Training and Simulation, and the brand new Paidia – Living Lab of Play, in Tampere’s brand new Nokia Arena.

People working together.
BUKA Project partners during their visit at TAMK / Photo: Marianna Leikomaa

Finalising the tasks in Dublin

The following week most of the partners travelled to Dublin, where the intensive work continued. Dividing the work into starting in one place and continuing in the next enabled being able to crystallize some of the final plans. Strong progress was made, especially regarding the handbook and the conference. While some aspects still need finalising, regarding for example dates, the project meeting could very well be called a success. The comments from the external evaluators were also notified. It was possible to work on with many of the development suggestions already at this stage.

There were also several interesting presentations made by the DCU educational experts, regarding Challenge Based Learning, as well as Academic Integrity at DCU. There was also much discussion about accessibility in learning, which is a key concern at DCU. Finally, on Thursday afternoon, the experts from DCU Studio explained the model of collaboration between the disciplinary expert and the learning and media design staff, which has already within one year resulted in more pedagogically sound and audio visually more effective online courses at DCU. This model is something that could be further beneficial for TAMK as well.

Although the project has been progressing very well fully online, the consensus was that meeting each other face-to-face did result in much more productivity, let alone establishing better personal connections – and even having a bit of fun at the same time!

Relevant links:
BUKA Project
BUKA Project blog
BUKA Project news & events

Our own pages for BUKA Project: https://projects.tuni.fi/buka/
Virtual Lab for Social and Health Care: https://sites.tuni.fi/vlabforhealth/
Tampere Centre for Skills Training and Simulation: https://sites.tuni.fi/taitokeskus-en/
Paidia – Living Lab of Play: https://www.tuni.fi/en/about-us/paidia-living-lab-play

Challenge Based Learning: https://www.eciu.org/for-learners/about#cycle
Academic Integrity: www.dcu.ie/teu/academic-integrity


Text: Marianna Leikomaa, Senior Lecturer, & Hanna Teräs, Principal Lecturer, in TAMK Pedagogic Innovation and Culture

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