Mariam Icar katsoo kohti kameraa.

Have lessons been learned?

Testing learning is part of the best practices of a digital learning environment. Now, the opportunity for testing is also being developed for the ForestBioFacts learning environment.

When skills can be tested, it motivates both learners and organisations to actively use digital materials. The opportunity to test for yourself whether you have learned something encourages continuing on to further training, for example. In companies, the opportunity for testing helps in instruction during orientation and checking skills,” says Antti Lindqvist, Managing Director of the Finnish Forest Products Engineers’ Association. 

For her Master’s thesis, Mariam Icar is starting the development of a learning testing feature for the ForestBioFacts learning environment. Icar is completing her thesis for the Master’s programme at the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems at Aalto University. 

“In my work, I am looking into how skills in a digital learning environment can be evaluated and tested, how many and what kinds of questions would be good to have in the evaluation, what kinds of questions promote learning and increase knowledge of the subject in question,” Icar says. 

The results will be used to create a pilot, which will be tested on students and experts at Aalto University. Based on the pilot, the testing will be replicated across each ForestBioFacts theme, for which the experts of each theme will create questions to measure skills on the subject.

Over the summer of 2023, Icar has been in a key role in developing the ForestBioFacts learning environment’s new learning path A, which already includes some questions for evaluating learning. 

“I can now make use of the experiences I have gained from this work in my research.”

The learning evaluation testing is being developed in cooperation with Aalto University. “The University also has a large interest in developing digital learning materials and digital learning. There is, among other things, a course based entirely on ForestBioFacts learning materials in the works, meaning that the cooperation between the University and the Finnish Forest Products Engineers’ Association will be concrete,” says Lindqvist. 

For Icar, ForestBioFacts first became familiar when she was working on her Bachelor’s thesis. 

“Since I previously used the digital learning environment as a student, it is now interesting to get to design and develop it myself.”

New elements added to the ForestBioFacts learning environment in autumn 2023:

– Audiobook: an audiobook produced using AI, available in English, Finnish, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese.
– Learning Path A: a learning path aimed at new employees.
Paper Physics content: over 70 new articles produced by Professor Jouni Paltakari for the Natural Fibre Products theme.
– New search function for the Papermaking Science and Technology series: opportunity to search for information from all of the books in the series at once.