What is Aalto Online Learning?

Digitalisation is transforming higher education. Aalto University considered this a strategic challenge and launched in 2016 a 5 year project, Aalto Online Learning (A!OLE), to address it and reform its current educational culture. […] The goal is to develop, explore and evaluate novel advanced technical solutions and pedagogical models for online/blended learning, often best realized as inverted/flipped classroom (see e.g. Lage et al. 2000 and Mason Shuman, Cook 2013). The key results are both new online learning resources for students, and dissemination of identified best practices and models into wider use for teachers in all Aalto schools and units to facilitate a creation of engaging online/blended courses.[1]


Chair of the A!OLE coordination group, prof. Lauri Malmi (Aalto SCI))
lauri.malmi [at] aalto.fi

Project leader, docent dr. Tomi Kauppinen
tomi.kauppinen [at] aalto.fi

Follow @AaltoOLE for updates about the project

Please check the following publications for more information on A!OLE,  its actitivities and results:

[1] Tomi Kauppinen and Lauri Malmi. Aalto Online Learning – a pathway to reforming education at the Aalto University. In Proceedings of EUNIS 23rd Annual Congress (EUNIS2017) – Shaping the Digital Future of Universities, pp. 212–221. Münster, Germany.
[2] Yulia Guseva and Tomi Kauppinen. Learning in the Era of Online Videos: How to Improve Teachers’ Competencies of Producing Educational Videos. In proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd’18), Valencia, Spain, June 20-22, 2018. (in press)
[3] Tiina Tuulos, Tomi Kauppinen, Lucas Rafael Ivorra Peñafort, Diana Isabel Riveros Ospina. Around the world in 36 hours – understanding the dynamics of the global product design relay marathon. In Proceedings of 45th SEFI Annual Conference 2017 – Education Excellence For Sustainability, 2017.
[4] Ville Kivimäki, Joonas Pesonen, Jani Romanoff, Heikki Remes and Tomi Kauppinen. Supporting understanding of students’ learning via visual self-assessment, In Proceedings of EUNIS 2018 – Coming of Age in the Digital World, 2018.
[5] Lauri Malmi, Tomi Kauppinen, Kirsti Keltikangas, Päivi Kinnunen. Transforming the learning and educational culture at a university. In proceedings of the 46th SEFI Annual Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, September 17-21, 2018.


Core team

Tomi Kauppinen
Project leader, docent
tomi.kauppinen [at] aalto.fi
Lisa Staudinger
Information/visual designer
Melissa Linko
Research assistant
Jere Savolainen
Research assistant on 360 filming / Virtual Reality
Anna Pallonen
Research Assistant
Lauri Malmi
Project chair, professor
lauri.malmi [at] aalto.fi

History of A!OLE

In January 2016, Aalto launched a new strategic development project, Aalto Online Learning, A!OLE.  It is coordinated at the Aalto University School of Science by prof. Lauri Malmi and project leader, docent Tomi Kauppinen. In essence, A!OLE seeks to build pioneering online/blended learning experiences at Aalto University with improved learning results. The project started in 2016 with nine pilot courses from all over Aalto University and the Language Center and has by since grown to have tens of pilots. The goal is to develop, explore and evaluate novel advanced technical solutions and pedagogical models for online/blended learning and disseminate identified best practices and models into wider use in order to benefit students and teachers in all Aalto schools. Examples of such models could be combining excellent, interactive online materials with intensive face to face sessions in flipped classroom settings or sharing online platforms for creating not only learning contents but also for conducting analytics of learning results. The task of the project is to create a culture shift where digitalisation of teaching and learning is an asset to build on. However, this also includes taking a critical point of view on what may lost in the digitalisation of education. Face-to-face contact with students is one the best assets of universities, and that should not be lost. Instead human teaching resources should be used in tasks where they fit best. Many mundane tasks can be automated to save teachers’ time and creating rich interactive learning content that can support students’ self-study while joint sessions could be used for mentoring, feedback and constructive discussion. Aalto has many actors who have been forerunners in digitalisation. Aalto’s Computer Science department has a very long track of developing online learning tools and practices, which extend till early 1990’s and even further: programming educators have been developing automatic assessment and various educational visualisation tools since 1990. The first MOOC at Aalto University launched in 2014 was developed for programming education. MediaLab in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture has been actively developing and exploring novel educational technologies and environments. Virtual learning environments based on 3D-virtual community tools have been developed and applied in biotechnology, chemistry and in organisational development.