Boost Site Portal, an e-learning environment for studying leadership and management of a forest service business is targeted to forest service and harvesting companies. Independent of time and place, busy professionals may now access several online courses covering topics from business models to operational productivity, and much more.

Digital education specialists and stakeholders shared information and experiences on digital platforms and learning at the FOBIA project’s Concluding Seminar on Digital Platforms, which was held in Vuokatti, Finland on 4 February 2020.

The event also marked the launch of Boost Site Portal, an e-learning platform targeted to forest service and harvesting companies, available in three different languages—English, Swedish and Finnish. The courses are updated constantly and intend to follow the latest trends of e-learning.

”Although some of the material is universal, certain courses remain country-, and thus, language-specific as for example legislation is unique in all countries,” says Arto Kettunen, Project Coordinator from TTS.

So far, Boost Site has been piloted in Scotland, where forest contractors and students tested certain study modules. “The results were encouraging but adjustments need to be made”, describes Euan Bowditch, Researcher from the University of Highlands and Islands.

Students seek flexibility

According to the event’s keynote speaker Päivi Rasi, Associate Professor of Education from the University of Lapland, the students of today want e-learning to be flexible, constructive, collaborative and individual. Modularized studies may suit professionals particularly well as finding time for studying is not always easy. According to Rasi, more e-learning would not mean less teachers—quite the contrary, as teachers would become designers of learning.

These findings were backed by the FOBIA Project.

“According to our experiences, there are situations when face-to-face teaching does not fit entrepreneurs’ schedule. Physical distance to classroom, travel time and price are all valid reasons, not to mention lack of free time. E-learning may help overcome these obstacles”, says Henna Hurttala, Research Manager from TTS.

“Having a digital learning strategy, in which student is always at the center of the process, is a must when the organization is dealing with e-learning”, conclude Joel Ronimus and Miia Mäentausta, both Development Managers from TTS.

Paula Mikkola from the Regional Council of Lapland stressed that the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, which has funded the FOBIA Project, has in general benefitted end-users.

The FOBIA project’s staff wishes that forest service and harvesting companies actively make use of all the material developed in the project.

The FOBIA project

The FOBIA project aims at enhancing business competitiveness of forestry service enterprises in the northern and peripheral regions of Finland, Sweden, Scotland and Ireland. The origin of the project lies in the need to improve the enterprises’ ability to meet increased service demands. These barriers will be decreased by introducing new business models, and by developing tools, available through digital platforms, to help forestry entrepreneurs improve their profitability, operational efficiency and management skills.

For more information

The FOBIA project

TTS Work Efficiency Institute:

Arto Kettunen, TTS, Coordinator
+358 50 045 4017