Pilot case

Aalto Climate.Now course development with educational games

Developing and redesigning the Aalto Climate.now course to enable more flexible online learning and to increase the student engagement by using climate change educational games.
Aalto Climate.Now course development with educational games

Pilot leader

Sanna-Liisa Sihto-Nissilä
Meeri Karvinen


School of Arts Design and Architecture, School of Business, School of Chemical Engineering, School of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering, School of Science


100-150 students


Sept 2019 – May 2020


Aalto Climate.now course is Aalto-version of the Climate.now MOOC-course which is a general course on climate change available for use in all universities in Finland. The online MOOC-material Ilmasto.nyt / Climate.now was developed in collaboration of several universities and Sitra, and it was published in 2016. The Aalto Climate.now course has been open for all Aalto students. It has attracted students from all schools with about 100 enrolled students each year. The course has proven to be interesting and accessible for students regardless their study background.

The main learning purposes of the course are to 1) learn the basics of climate change, 2) reflect how climate change is related to the students own field of study and 3) discuss and learn with other students in multidisciplinary groups. The multidisciplinarity as such and especially in the context of climate change is the main learning outcome: the course makes it clear that all fields are needed in solving the climate change crisis, and effective mitigation needs co-operation between different fields and multidisciplinary thinking.

In the pilot, we develop further the course by implementing an online returning system for assignments and learning diary. This makes possible to run the course with larger student amounts and also as a fully online version. We will also introduce climate change educational games to the course.

Goal state after the pilot:

  • the course can host 200 or more students with reasonable amount of teacher and assistant work
  • students will get feedback on their assignments and project works
  • assignments evaluated partly by peer-evaluation
  • fully online implementation of the course is possible, this could also be offered as Aalto MOOC outside the university
  • games increase student motivation and deepen their understanding of the climate change problematic as a complex problem that needs systemic thinking and collaboration for the best solutions.

Platforms and tools

We will use the MyCourses online environment. Games are ordered from a Swedish educational games company Snowflake Education.

Pedagogical methods

The course material is an online textbook Climate.now / Ilmasto.nyt. Currently, the Aalto Climate.now course involves self-study with the online text book, videos, assignments, learning diary, and project work in small groups.

In this pilot, we are adding the following pedagogical methods to the course:

  • assignments in an online environment with feedback
  • peer-review
  • games including flipped learning and group reflection
  • remote group work via online platform

Involved courses

PHYS-E0580 – Special Course in Advanced Energy Technologies V / Climate.Now. Basics of climate change and implications on technology and business (5 ECTS)


Sanna-Liisa Sihto-Nissilä
School of Science, Department of Applied Physics
Pilot leader

Meeri Karvinen
School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment
Pilot leader

John Millar
School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation 

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