Research projects 33

The designation of protected areas and of regions of special conservation interest has gained due relevance across the globe, particularly in the past three decades. Territories covered by protected areas are steadily expanding. Within this framework, numerous international strategies define the importance of Capacity Building and Training as the key challenge of the 21st century. The Training Masters in Ecosystem Services Management in Protected Areas (ECOSERVE) aims at developing an innovative practice-oriented MSc programme according to Bologna criteria in the field of protected areas management, and at meeting sustainable development and labour market needs through networking activities. ECOSERVE will be a qualitatively new MSc programme implemented in higher education institutions of the Russian Federation and Mongolia, strengthening their educational partnership with non-academic partners in the field of protected areas management and responding to demands for professionals of public services, private service providers and tourism businesses. It will contribute to adapt land management strategies to the actual changing natural drivers, such as climate, in alignment with global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The program knowledge base, materials and courses in Russian, Mongolian and English, will be continuously updated and disseminated through a network of resources centres of protected areas in Partner country HEIs, promoting inter-regional cooperation in environmental protection, nature and biodiversity conservation issues, and management.

Team

Cristina Vega

MAKUTANO - means "gathering" in Swahili. The MAKUTANO research project aims to develop appropriate and new methodological and theoretical approaches for environmental collaboration and conflict resolution to be used in Tanzania and elsewhere. The action research approach will be used to find out if urban forest owners influence forest governance, and induce local conflicts over resource utilization. The project provides skills on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution to a group of small- and medium-scale forest owners and local community members in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, and traces how these skills are transformed and used in the future actions of these forest owners and the surrounding communities. The project is funded by the Develop Academy Programme (2019-2022), which is a programme jointly prepared by the Academy of Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. In many developing countries, there has been a transfer of public and open access land to private use. In the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, the promotion of small-scale private plantation forestry has attracted domestic investors to capture this new resource frontier to meet the increasing demand for timber. This has further increased land value and consequently also land related disputes. The main objective of MAKUTANO research project is to study skills on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution methods among a group of forest owners and local community members in Southern Highlands, and to trace how these skills are transformed and used in the future actions of these forest owners and the surrounding communities. The research idea has emerged from Tanzanian small scale forest owners. The project outcomes may influence Tanzanian-Finnish collaboration by promoting social safeguards to mitigate unexpected impacts of plantation forestry. The research collaboration involves international partners from Tanzania, Kenya, Mexico and Denmark.

Team

Irmeli Mustalahti, Antti Erkkilä, Ida Herdieckerhoff, Aristarik H. Maro, Ubaldus J. Tumaini, Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba, Mara I. Hernández Estrada

This study focuses on how to teach basics of machine learning (ML) in K-12 settings. Since ML can be considered as a vital part of future computational skills, it is justified to be included as part of the computational thinking teaching agenda in K-12 level. The outcome of the study will help to understand the existing system in teaching ML and its algorithm, identify strategies and pedagogical frameworks for teaching ML in K-12 education. The research outcome will further motivate young learners to learn and practice machine learning algorithm and as well encourage/build teachers’ capacity in teaching ML.

Team

Prof. Markku Tukiainen, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen, Dr. Solomon Oyelere, Dr. Henriikka Vartiainen

The CRECE project, coordinated by the Finland Futures Research Centre, supports Cuba in the provision of regionally relevant multidisciplinary education in sustainable energy engineering and renewable energy development. This is done in order to ensure that Cuban higher education institutions (HEIs) are better equipped and able to provide high-quality experts for the ever-growing societal and energy sector development needs. The Cuban energy sector is undergoing a state-led transformation. So far, this “Energy Revolution” has improved energy efficiency but harnessing renewable energy (RE) resources is still lagging far behind. In order to attract investors, meet the government's RE targets, and reduce CO2 emissions and environmental pollution from fossil fuels, Cuba needs national expertise and experts in RE development. CRECE answers this call by training skilled experts and enabling cross-sectoral and regional cooperation possibilities. Cuban partners will be better equipped to conduct international-level energy related research and provide sustainable energy experts to the growing labour market needs.

Team

Noora Vähäkari, Mika Korkeakoski, Osku Haapasaari, Jyrki Luukkanen

Teacher Preparation Programme through ODL Mode for Enhancing Quality in Education (TPP-Nepal Project) is a capacity development project between Tribhuvan University, Nepal and JAMK University of Applied Sciences together with HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The partnership has been established during a previous project, Training of Trainers for the Teacher Qualification Upgrading Programme in Nepal (ToT Nepal), that ended in 2015.

Team

Seija Koskela PhD

This research focuses on designing a smart learning environment (SLE) using virtual reality mini games to support students' computational thinking skills. Aside from enhancing the teaching and learning of CT, this research aims to support first-year students and novices of computer science with the opportunity to gain CT skills through an experiential learning approach. The goal of the research is to design and develop VR mini games through a rigorous process of the design science research methodology in order to provide artefact that allows students to learn CT concepts such as algorithmic thinking, recursive thinking, pattern recognition, and abstraction of problems. This research will measure students' learning achievement and cognitive benefits through a field experiment with first-year university students in Nigeria and Finland. Currently, we have developed a VR mini games application in the VR EdTech Lab located at the School of Computing, University of Eastern Finland. The mini games were co-designed with students from within Finland and abroad in order to achieve a student-centered learning environment. The research has produced over seven research papers published in ranked journals and conferences as shown in the link (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=mSqmwdgAAAAJ&hl=en). The research is being supervised by professors from the School of Computing, University of Finland, and Luleå University of Technology (LTU) Sweden. The professors are specialists in VR technology, educational games, and ICT4D.

Team

Professor Markku Tukiainen, Dr. Jarkko Suhonen, Dr. Solomon Oyelere, MSc. Friday Joseph Agbo

Emerging technologies such as affordable smart phones with 4G access, broadband internet, and interactive interfaces employing gestures or speech, are revolutionizing the ways we access information, learn new skills and interact with the world around us. However, developing world communities - who stand to benefit from such technologies - were, until recently, largely neglected. Interactive technologies provide a means to address learning challenges such as functional illiteracy and information access barriers, and can improve learning and education, health and wellbeing, and agricultural practices.

Team

Markku Turunen, Jaakko Hakulinen, Mikko Ruohonen, Sumita Sharma, Pekka Kallioniemi, Juhani Linna

LEAP4FNSSA is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) whose main objective is to provide a tool for European and African institutions to engage in a Sustainable Partnership Platform for research and innovation on Food and Nutrition Security, and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA).

Team

Melissa Plath

The Strengthening Problem-Based Education in East African Universities project (PBL East Africa) is a joint initiative of Nairobi University (Kenya), Makerere University (Uganda), Dar es Salaam University (Tanzania), and Aalto University (Finland). PBL East Africa aims to establish best practices in problem-based learning (PBL) for innovation, engaging several disciplines, empowering students and developing an approach to critically address societal challenges in facilitated real-world situations.

Team

Riina Subra, Amelia Buriyo, Venny Nakazibwe, Tonny K. Omwansa

SCALA is a project implemented by a cooperation of Finnish companies and Brazilian players towards the following end goals: 1. Develop scarce innovation skills and research into emerging markets 2. Study mobile learning in the Brazilian context 3. Pilot and develop the contents of mobile learning in basic education, university and vocational training in Brazil 4. create a market strategy for mobile learning products on the scalable market in Brazil including buyer profiles and purchase and decision processes.

Team

Annica Isacsson