Back to Tampere University of Applied Sciences for the third time, representing Windesheim University of Netherlands during IWBAS 2016 was Igor Ter Halle, Lecturer in Online Communication. Igor hosted two lectures on ‘Content Marketing: how to get content right’ aiming to teach students how to develop a content strategy that works.
The interest rate in his lectures was impressive and overcame his expectations; a number of fifty Finnish and exchange students showed up to listen to his knowledge. “I’m very satisfied with the overall result. All students spoke English very well and they were not afraid of making errors. We make errors all the time in life.”, he said. Though Dutch people are more perfectionists and stressed about getting things done properly, Igor sees the laid-back Finnish way rather relaxing and ascribes it to the self-confidence of having a great educational system: “You can’t go anywhere else in the world for a better system. Finland is famous for that. We even have TV documentaries on the Finnish education.”
Another differentiating aspect between TAMK and Windesheim University is the number of degree programmes in English. TAMK provides its students with more options. Igor is currently developing a business semester in English, starting in September and hoping to encourage Dutch students to cross their boundaries and dare improving their cultural skills, along with Erasmus students.
There are, of course, similarities between the two universities. Both use innovative practices and focus on coaching instead of traditional teaching in order to create and deliver experiences and not just knowledge. Since students don’t respond to traditional lectures anymore, teachers and educators are challenged to find new ways of getting their attention. This is done through combining lectures, workshops and projects in an entrepreneurial manner. “Thinking outside the box” is the solution Igor believes in.
Igor’s career path took an interesting turn during the years, starting as a Journalist and currently being a Lecturer in Online Communication. The education field offers the freedom of creating your own job, however, this comes with responsibilities and obligations too. “What I like most about working in education is that I never did the same thing twice”, he states.
“I’d like my students to stop trying controlling everything and sometimes, just let it happen. To stick to themselves and find out first what motivates them. There are lots of people who are not doing the job they are trained for. They can do a lot more than they think, if they would only try.”
Text & photo: Andruta Ilie