Peda-forum is a Finnish network of expertise in university pedagogy and academic development. The aim of the network is to improve the quality of university teaching, to share pedagogical expertise and to enhance cooperation between the universities, units, teachers and students.
The network is open for everybody interested in university pedagogical issues and academic development work. In addition to university teachers and lecturers, academic and staff developers, co-ordinators and other university staff members and students are welcome to join the network.
All university students are entitled to high quality teaching. One of the aims of academic development is to foster innovations and positive attitudes toward university teaching. The university at its best is an academic community whose members are able to cooperate, communicate and engage in scientific dialogue. An essential element of academic development is to involve the students in scientific exploration and engage them in academic thinking.
Peda-forum forms of operation
Propeda project 2007-2009
The aim of the Propeda project is to strengthen and further develop the already existing structures and practices of academic development. More
Peda-forum Days national conference for academic developers
During the annual Peda-forum Days, people that are interested in academic development at the Finnish universities gather together.
The network publishes the journal twice a year. The journal contains topical information on academic development as well as accounts and reports of university pedagogical experiments and development projects.
Peda memory is a web-based tool for sharing best practices and accounts and reports of university pedagogical experiments and development projects.
Peda Online is an email list for sharing information and discussing university pedagogical issues.
University pedagogical training and enhancing the competencies of academic developers
Some Peda-forum network members co-operate actively in developing university pedagogical training at the Finnish Universities (see the network of university pedagogical trainers and developers). Peda-forum also offers opportunities for academic developers to enhance their competencies (the Developing the Academic Developer workshops).
The network publishes occasionally books on university pedagogy.
Meetings for the Peda-forum contact persons
The network organises a few times a year meetings for the Peda-forum contact persons of the Finnish universities. In these meetings, the network activities are planned together as well as experiences of teaching development work at various universities and at the university that organises the meeting are shared.
Meetings for the vice-rectors
The network invites (in co-operation with the vice-rectors themselves) all the vice-rectors in charge of university teaching to an annual meeting.
Finnish Academic Developer Award
Peda-forum gives awards to academic developers who have distinguished themselves on the national level. The award is given to an academic developer who has enhanced the development of academic teaching or the spread of innovations at the Finnish universities.
Peda-forum was initiated by the Universities of Jyväskylä, Oulu and Joensuu with the objective of creating a national network of cooperation and expertise on university pedagogy. The network was established on 18 February 1994, and all the Finnish universities had representatives in this historic meeting in Jyväskylä.
Before the network, there was no national forum for spreading innovative practices that were developed and experimented at various universities, by its units and individual university teachers. The aim of the Peda-forum network was therefore from the very beginning to share the experiences of academic development and pedagogical expertise and to increase cooperation between the universities, units, university teachers, lecturers and students.
Peda-forum network coordination
The network is coordinated by the University of Oulu.
Merja Maikkola, network coordinator
The Teaching Development Unit
P.O. Box 8000
FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland
Tel. +358-8-553 4024, fax +358-8-553 4040
The Peda-forum network is a member of the International Consortium for Educational Development in Higher Education (ICED)
ICED contact person in Finland (2008-)
Matti Lappalainen, Head of Education Development
Educarium (Assistentinkatu 5), 4th floor
University of Turku
FIN-20014 Turku, Finland
Tel. +358-2-333 6608, Mobile: +358-40-582 8748