Kumpula Learning Together Colloquium: new insights into teaching and learning

Kumpula Learning Together Colloquium started on 29th January in Kumpula Campus. The events of colloquium series invite participants to ponder how we teach and learn in future. What are the needs of the future working life and society for education? What happens when studying and learning are never-ending processes?

Jaakko Kurhila, Chief Digital Officer in the University of Helsinki, discussed in his colloquium talk ”Tensions Rising for the Eternal Ivory Tower: Education as a Service” the position of university in the modern world. 

- University focus on advancing top-level science, but at the same time university should connect with the outside society. The academia have to develop along the developing society, and one of the biggest challenges for universities is their present reluctance to take any risk to create new, Kurhila said. Recording of the talk is in Unitube

Teemu Roos, Professor of Computer Science in the University of Helsinki, spoke on “Same but different – Making online education scalable but personal”. Roos used Elements of AI online course as his example. 

- From the very beginning, this course teaching basics of artificial intelligence was planned to become a MOOC course for everyone, Roos told. He named as an inspiration the Tietoisku announcements from Finnish television YLE TV 2, since they were addressed to each and every Finnish person. Recording of the talk is in Unitube

Roos also set a very high goal for how attractive a great online course could be:  

- What if a student would stop thinking “I’ll watch a bit more Netflix and postpone studying” and start to think “I’ll study a bit more and postpone watching Netflix”? 

Kumpula Colloquium is not about giving answers but it rather aims to raise questions and ideas regarding how we teach and learn. After both talks, there was a vivid conversation. Kurhila had proposed that academia is formed as a pyramid, where only top researchers can be called successors, and audience questioned if such a pyramid even exists or how it could be modernised. After Roos’ the talk, audience had questions on practical level related to how to design a successful online course. 

During the spring term, there will be seven colloquia with a wide range of speakers and topics. The main language of events is English, but Finnish can also be used in discussions. All the talks are taking a look into future: what else can teaching and learning be than just sitting in a lecture hall. 

In the next event Monday 24th February at 15, Kristiina Mäkelä, professor of International Business in the Aalto University, speaks on “Changing Nature of Work”. Lecture can be watched online here and the recording will later available in Unitube.  

Other speakers in spring term are Veli-Pekka Luoma (Nokia SW Digital Intelligence), Oona Ylänkö & Oleksii Martynovskyi, (Hive Helsinki), Göte Nyman, (Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Helsinki) and Teemu Leinonen (Associate Professor of New Media Design and Learning, Aalto University). More information can be found on Colloquium website, and there you can also register for the events or watch the lectures online. 

The Kumpula Learning Together Colloquium series is organised by the Faculty of Science as part of its Networked Learning project. The project looks at new ways of supporting lifelong/continuous learning. Further information can be obtained from project planner Aino Haavisto, aino.r.haavisto@helsinki.fi