Pilot case

Bridging cognition with communication

Bridging Cognition with Communication: a SPOC/MOOC course for learning and professional development.
Bridging cognition with communication

Pilot leader

Pekka Pälli


School of Business


2017 – 2018


The Horizon 2020 Report1 (i.e. the EU assessment report of future trends) states that there is a need for education that equips students with high order learning skills that will allow them to adjust to the everchanging global (business) environment. This project aims to meet those needs by creating a new course that builds on a socio-cognitive approach to learning. More specifically, the course is designed to deal with ways in which thinking processes and patterns can be developed to achieve success in learning and professional development.

The course aims to equip students with skills necessary to become effective and efficient communicators across cultures, organizations/institutions, and disciplines (i.e. the scientific and professional fields of business, technology, and arts). These skills help to remove mind level constructions which block people from being accomplished speakers, listeners, presenters, and writers. This is important as such skills unlock true potential of any individual who strives to be successful in his/her field of study and professional activity. Thus, not only are these skills important to learners, but they are equally important to researchers, executives/managers, and other professionals. The course builds on solid theoretical and practical background from the fields of behavioral science, psychology, linguistics and neuroscience.

Pilot target audience:

  • Bachelor, Master, PhD level students at Aalto
  • prospective undergraduate and graduate students of Aalto
  • Aalto researchers and staff,
  • Aalto EE

Platforms and tools

My Courses, Moovly, Adobe Pro, Adobe Creative Cloud

Pedagogical methods

This 3-credit core module is offered in an online format, namely a SPOC/MOOC design. (Short) video-recorded lectures, documentaries, and interviews as well as readings and self-reflective writing will enhance students’ understanding of their own and others thinking processes and patterns. Participation will be assessed (pass) in the following manner: reflection papers, learning journal, and online small group discussions.

The course is offered in SPOC (i.e. Small Private Online Course) format and follows the emerging flipped pedagogy model that allows adjusting the course to different modes of teaching (i.e. fully online/blended). The overall aim of the core module is 1) to challenge students to identify (some of) their own thinking processes and patterns, 2) to make them consider how these thinking processes and patterns influence their learning, and 3) to provide them with socio-cognitive tools that can help them expand their thinking, and thus enhance their learning and add to their professional development.


Pekka Pälli
School of Business, Department of Management Studies
Pilot leader

Alona Chmilewsky
Hanken School of Economics and Aalto Open University
Lecturer in Business Communication

Taija Townsen

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