Meet the Aalto Online Learning team!

Aalto Online Learning
Aalto Online Learning Team

Our core team has grown and changed, and we think it’s time for you to get to know the Aalto Online Learning team!

Aalto Online Learning team

From left to right: Anna, Silva, Tomi, Sara, Jennifer, and Maria / photo: kind Väre info desk worker, edit by Silva Saulio

At this moment, we’re lucky to have two Master’s students working on their theses in our team. First, let’s meet Jennifer Greb, who is building a dome underground. Yep, you heard correct.

Prior to my current studies at Aalto University, I worked as a researcher and digital artist in the United States, helping create films for cultural institutions and exhibitions internationally. This position imbued me with a passion for immersive storytelling.

For my thesis, I am creating a short film, which will be projected in a 360 degree fulldome media environment. This project allows me to explore my diverse interests in filmmaking, educational pedagogies, and projection technologies. Studying these emerging technological methodologies has encouraged me to examine the ways in which these mediums can revolutionize traditional educational and museological models. Come find me in the experimental studio and talk to me about cultural heritage, immersive storytelling, the future of education, nature simulations, and all things domes. ”

Maria Lindqvist is also doing her Master’s thesis in our team about information visualization and personalized learning pathways. If you can dream it, she can execute it!

“Last year I participated Tomi’s course Explorative Information Visualization, and there I got a strong feeling that this is what I want to do: processing and visualising data in order to deliver a message, tell a story, or even solve a problem. After the course, I got a chance to continue to my MSc thesis, and now I’m applying information visualization making Aalto course recommendations.

Students are facing challenges when looking for meaningful and useful courses to take from the Aalto course catalog. Maybe also future students or professionals could search Aalto study material in a way that they can explore and discover new courses? In principals it’s just matching supply and demand in the world of lifelong learning. At the moment, I’m in a very happy place being a student again.”

You might have heard of our brand new Learning Experience Design Clinics, and the brains behind them is Sara Gottschalk.

“I joined Aalto Online Learning early this year and my role is to bring the field of Learning Experience Design (LXD) to Aalto Online Learning. I offer the LXD Clinic (currently via Zoom) every Thursday and Friday, where our pilot people can discuss and improve their pilot ideas and concepts from a learning experience perspective, for their students and for themselves as well.

Otherwise, if I had to summarize what often keeps me awake at night, I would say it’s anything related to understanding human nature and how we can improve as humans, and how to live in harmony again with this beautiful blue planet. Oh, and I also love hugging trees, being with animals and soaking in beautiful views!”

“Design as well as technology are mostly tools for a bigger goal for me: to contribute to creating more sustainable societies” – Sara Gottschalk

Silva Saulio believes in continuous learning, and you can see the results above of her latest deep-dive into the mystery of unknown: photo editing.

“A wide community and massive development work requires coordination and communication, and that’s what I’m here for. You could call me a general facilitator! Me and Anna can often be found together at the Learning Centre, planning the upcoming Call for Idea Proposals marketing, or designing the weekly newsletter.

I joined the team last August, and half of my work time goes in coordinating Aalto Thesis programme. According to my teammates, I’m famous for my laughter and dancing skills, yet not so much of my passion for classical piano. If you hear some Debussy emanating from the secret Väre grand piano room, come and say hi!”

In order to ideas to become concrete, there should be one Anna Pallonen for each team. Meet Anna – the Senior.

“I enjoy organising, and communication serves as the foundation to all planning and actions. That is why the subject fascinates me, and it is the reason why I ended up studying communication & marketing from administrative as well as design perspective.

Today, my work is focused on communications and project marketing together with my colleague Silva. You can often find us from the CS building, where our Aalto Online Learning headquarters and home base is located. I also participate in organising our events with the team and other strategy initiatives, as well as update and manage our pilot data. So, if you have any questions about basically anything regarding Aalto Online Learning, you can contact me 😀

Last, but definitely not least, we have Tomi Kauppinen, who you most likely have met by a caffè macchiato!

“When I started as a project leader of Aalto Online Learning in the early days of 2016 I wrote in my red notebook that we need to focus on two things I am super passionate about:  1) community-building, and 2) media production. I strongly argue that we need both to create online learning materials and designs, that truly help learners to learn in this rapidly changing world facing grand challenges.

I wish my experience from a wide range of design and research teams, and teaching information visualisation and usability can inspire and serve the learners, the university and the society. The key is that I simply love teaching and learning, and working in teams, and trying to create a better understanding of the world via studies and research. This is timely: now more than ever organisations are looking for solutions for remote instruction and online learning. I  think of leadership as an inspiring service to help others grow to be exceptional leaders themselves. Open discussions with leaders and experts of today and tomorrow are crucial, for that I co-host the Cloud Reachers podcast – conversations on the future of learning. And yes, I love to do sports, especially playing games that have a ball (like squash or tennis), and doing own weight exercises and running :)”

Just relax and smile, you’re in good hands!