Aalto avp mobile logo

Yoop is a tool for students and teachers that supports students in taking advantage of the entrepreneurship competence acquired outside formal education and integrating it into their degrees. Johannes Kaira, one of AVP’s teachers, was involved in creating the tool and shares some thoughts on why it’s especially meaningful in our current environment.

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of pressure to come up with innovations in the educational field. The digital leap and Zoom-fatigue have challenged the conventional teaching formats.

The story of Yoop started way back before the pandemic in 2018. Entrepreneurial education has always studied better ways to emulate the real world, but ultimately the best way is the real world itself. However, especially universities are struggling to combine the academic structure to an organic and chaotic experience that is the world outside. To make a change, a consortium of entrepreneurial teachers around Finland started with a mission to find a digital solution to the complexity of crediting students´ prior learning, or extracurricular projects. The pandemic has however raised even more needs that Yoop could hopefully answer.

An illustration of how the Yoop-tool works

Yoop can help students gain credits from entrepreneurial competence acquired outside the classroom

Why is Yoop here?

Its goal is to help students to understand patterns and theories in the organic stream of working life. That´s the environment where most entrepreneurs operate. This will help the students to find their strengths, weak spots, optimize their behavior and in some cases, turn their prior experiences or upcoming projects into credits. That eventually creates the basis for life-wide learning.

Active and honest reflection is one of the core skills of entrepreneurial self-development. The whole idea of a more sustainable society is based on the idea of seeing changes in the circumstances and change behavioral patterns accordingly.

Students can’t do it all by themselves. Teachers need help too when crediting content out of the ordinary. And not only with the varying administrative protocols — digging academic learnings out of complex life experience can be a terrifying challenge especially if there’s no support available. In the end, the lack of appealing options discourages students to apply for credits from extracurricular learnings or projects.

Entrepreneurial education is based on learning from the reactions one creates. This has required exiting the boundaries of the institute before, but now specifically there’s a need for education formats that activate students outside the laptop.

Yoop doesn’t come with answers but with questions. It pushes the students to pay attention to a wide range of things in their lives. That is why it needs the users to be active — the more you put into it, the more it gives out. It also helps to have a context, a specific use case. It can be to figure out which courses are suitable or to create a document or a presentation for credits. It will be for example used in Solve the SDGs hackathon in May to create a reflective paper in order to earn credits.

As the days get warmer and longer, now it´s a good time to go outside and find new ways to live this life. It´s time to be experimental, to be entrepreneurial. And maybe get a couple of credits out of it too.

Yoop was developed in co-operation between Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences in the HOTIT OPIT project, which is a national higher education development project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. It is part of YYTO frame project that aims to enhance student entrepreneurship. Read more here: https://yoop.fi/en/info-en/