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Implementing the thesis


The implementation of the thesis progresses as the student’s independent work as detailed in the assignment and the approved thesis plan. The instructing teachers instruct and support the progression of the work. The communications teacher guides in matters related to linguistic form. The student reports regularly and independently the progression of work to the instructing teachers and the customer when needed.

Research thesis

In a research thesis, answers are searched for working life questions or problems by performing tests, measurements, surveys or interviews. It can involve, for example, mapping something, researching, development ideas for improving working life practices or developing a new operations model.

In qualitative research, the aim is to understand reality through the collection and analysis of qualitative material. The qualitative method refers to research that uses material produced by people themselves either in writing or orally or in a written format that is based on the researcher’s observations of people’s behaviour. The information-collection methods of qualitative research include participatory observation, open interviews and video recording. You can use, for example, interview recordings, video tapes, essays, diaries, letters, photographs or notes made in the field as your material. The qualitative analysis of the research material is a contents analysis based on logic deduction and interpretation with the purpose of turning scattered data into a meaningful, clear, concise and unified entity of data describing the phenomenon being researched.

In quantitative research numeric material is analysed making statistical programmes an essential aid in analysing the material. The purpose of statistical methods is to describe numeric material, for example, with the help of different distributions and key figures as well as to test set statistical hypotheses. Statistics can be used to explain and forecast different phenomena. In testing statistical hypotheses, it is estimated how reliably the facts discovered in the sample, such as differences between groups, can be generalised to the whole population.


Operational thesis

An operational thesis can be defined as an option to a research thesis.

A project-type thesis can be completed alone or in a group as working life collaboration either in a multidisciplinary manner or just within your own field. Design and development projects can at their best support, for example, the development of operations and work practices of a work unit. The project parties are committed to a shared goal and the agreed schedule and resources are applied to reach that goal. Making a project plan and sticking to the plan are an essential evaluation criteria of managing the project process. Thesis projects involving students from different degree programmes are especially recommended. The reporting of a thesis implemented as team work must indicate the individual share of each participating student at the different phases of the project.

In a product development project the focus is on designing and developing a new product or the further development of an existing product. These products can include IT applications and equipment, videos for patient guidance, orientation material for new employees, different aids developed for the disabled and food products. The written output focuses on describing the development work detailing all the phases of the development process. The report should describe, for example, the purpose of the project, material selection, production method, possible product testing, such as sensory tests and laboratory tests, etc.

The thesis can also describe the student’s own professional growth in the form of a portfolio. The portfolio is a folder that contains work samples that have been gathered versatility and purposefully from among work covering a predetermined theme. The folder must include a reflective text section and documents that demonstrate the ability to apply information and skills to professional problems as is required from a professional in the field. The introduction of the text section describes the portfolio’s goals, situation, where and why it has been done and who has made it as well as the folder contents. The analysis section includes the references to the selected work samples, their presentation and reasons for selecting them in view of the degree programme’s goals and the professional framework. A learning diary should also be included in the portfolio describing the progress of the process. The reflective section is formed by self-evaluation that comprises the analysis of gained results, examination of personal professional qualifications and specialisation in view of the set goals.

An expressive work can be, for example, the end result of design and artistic work: an exhibition, play, radio play, dance or a video. The thesis can, also in this case, be divided into a production section and a written section. For example, work descriptions, performance pictures, models, choreography or manuscript can be appended to the written report. In addition, the student must also justify the starting point and solutions. The written report is also a document, a permanent display of the work that was done.