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Case: Demonstration Days


Theme(s): Competence and its assessment


The aim of the demonstration days is to speed up the progress of studies and to maintain the student’s study motivation by preventing a situation in which a student, who already has relevant practical competence, becomes frustrated already at the beginning of the studies. If the demonstration day provides students with an opportunity to start studies in which they can apply their existing competence while learning something new, they will also graduate faster and acquire new competence to continue their entrepreneurial career or work. 

Demonstration days are widely used in universities of applied sciences. For example, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences uses them to present entrepreneurship competence (see an example below).

Implementation method 

During the demonstration day, students have the opportunity to demonstrate their competence related to several courses in one day. For example, it is possible to complete the Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Activities (5 ECTS cr) course on a demonstration day. Demonstration days are usually arranged six times a year and they take place on Saturdays. 

Process of recognising (prior) learning / accrediting learning demonstrated in some other manner 

Students receive instructions for the recognition of (prior) learning and accreditation of learning demonstrated in some other manner during the orientation week at the beginning of their studies. Students enrol in the demonstration and receive instructions for an advance assignment implemented through Moodle. Students familiarise themselves with the learning objectives of the course, if necessary, revise the related knowledge base they already have of the topic in question.

In the advance assignment, the students prepare a business model of a company they are familiar with (using Business Model Canvas), a cover letter and a resume to be reviewed by the recipient of the demonstration. The demonstration day starts with a brief written test on the related knowledge base. The participants are then divided into small groups of approximately four members in each. The group is led by a teacher and supported by a representative of the world of work, usually an alumnus or alumna. In accordance with the structure provided, the group conducts discussions based on the business models prepared by the participants. 


The assessment of the demonstration day aims to implement a so-called four-base assessment model as far as possible. In this model, an assessment provided by a representative of the world of work (such as an alumnus or alumna) plays a key role in addition to the assessment given by the teacher, self-assessment completed by the students, and peer review. 

The assessment is carried out on a scale of 1–5. 

Student experiences