Academy Members 2013


Professor Maija Aksela has had a long and distinguished career as a teacher, researcher and research director at the Department of Chemistry, especially in its teacher education programme. She was one of the founders of Finland's Science Education Centre LUMA and has led its day-to-day operations from the beginning.

Aksela is a highly versatile and skilful teacher, supervisor and developer of teaching, who engages in publishing and other activities in an international setting as well. Her major projects in the field of education include not only the LUMA Centre and ChemistryLab Gadolin, but also multifaceted, research-based development work. She has completed a wide range of pedagogical training and is an efficient organiser and director of teaching. She has published a multitude of textbooks and other material related to teaching. Aksela's broad and successful collaboration is consistently based on the principles of learning together. In her teaching, Maija Aksela applies the "heart philosophy", which means that the student is at the heart of her teaching. Her mottos are "You can learn from every moment – and from children as well!" and "Together we are more!".

Maija Aksela in the TUHAT research database




University Lecturer Lotta Aunio is an original, active and inspiring teacher, who has solid expertise in her field, research on the Bantu languages and African studies. She is also an innovative and collegial developer of teaching.  Aunio embraces a modern conception of language learning, which is student oriented and takes diverse learners into account. She emphasises in her teaching that each language learner plans his or her own learning process. The goal is for students to acquire practical language skills through the use of various stimuli and learning methods in collaboration with the teacher. According to Aunio’s students, she uses a wide range of learning material and stimuli and continuously provides constructive feedback to students. The students also applaud the fact that they genuinely learn Swahili and achieve excellent learning results in Aunio’s courses.

Aunio has enhanced her own competence by completing training in university pedagogy, and she applies pedagogical research information in practice in the classroom. Aunio has written several textbooks in her field, including a basic textbook in Swahili for Finnish speakers. Lotta Aunio is a team player and both promotes collegiality in her unit in a range of ways and collaborates with the representatives of other disciplines.

Lotta Aunio in the TUHAT research database




Kristiina Brunila is a Postdoctoral Researcher of Educational Sciences, specialized in Education and Social sciences. Considering the rather early stage of her career (PhD 2009, docent 2012), Kristiina Brunila's merits are extensive. She has received two academic educator awards, she has been active in fund-raising for teaching-related research projects, being successful with both national and EU-based funding bodies. She has been a visiting scholar in three different countries and supervised or is supervising several doctoral and master's theses. She is/has been also an active actor in many academic organizations or meetings, and her recent education-related publishing activity is excellent. Taken together, she is an energetic and highly productive teacher and researcher.

Brunila combines student feedback and research as a basis of development and creating a supportive atmosphere for learning. Her ideas about concepts such as decentring the classroom and the relationship between knowledge and power are fresh and inspiring. To this end, she emphasizes and uses discussions extensively in her teaching, and furthermore, she puts effort on diluting the distance between students and the teacher. She guides her students to self-awareness and critical thinking. Brunila uses all kinds of teaching materials in her own teaching, including not only web-based materials and platforms and written study materials but also a range of materials from political documents to magazines, tv, etc. Considering participation in collaborative development of teaching, Brunila has not only been active in existing networks and in opening discussions, but she is one of the two coordinators of "Rhizome", a newly established research network with participants from UH and other universities.

Kristiina Brunila in the TUHAT research database




Johan Bärlund, Professor of Nordic Law has had a long and varied career as a teacher and researcher of law. In the last ten years he has developed professionally thanks to pedagogical studies and his own pedagogical research, which have provided a solid basis for the development of his teaching skills. Bärlund's teaching methods show that he continues to innovative, and he has played a major role in the collaborative development of teaching at the Faculty of Law. Consequently, his active efforts to establish good teaching practices have benefited not only his own teaching, but also the faculty as a whole.

Bärlund emphasises that not only his own teaching, but all teaching offered in Swedish at the Faculty of Law, is open to Finnish-speaking students.
As proof of the high esteem Bärlund enjoys among the Finnish-speaking students as well, he was granted the Teacher of the Year award by the association of Finnish-speaking law students in 2006. In recent years, he has actively participated in the development of bilingual degrees both on the University and faculty levels. Bärlund has also participated in the production of traditional textbooks, which are also used as course literature at other institutions. For more than a decade, he has also used web-based resources in his teaching. He uses the online environment to distribute course outlines, assignments and information about his teaching and to collect feedback. As far as the collaborative development of teaching is concerned, Bärlund has been a true pioneer in the faculty. Many of the teaching reforms carried out at the Faculty of Law have, in fact, been based on his initiatives.

Johan Bärlund in the TUHAT research database




Szabolcs Galambosi is a university lecturer at the Department of Physics. He has significantly contributed to the enhancement of the Department's basic-level teaching by steering it in a student-oriented direction. In the development of teaching, he systematically relies on learning results and student feedback. He has developed an array of methods for collecting student feedback and analyses this feedback using various time series.

Galambosi has a research-oriented approach to teaching innovations, such as problem-based learning, mixed-mode instruction, the use of educational technology and new assessment practices. The course feedback he receives is, without exception, excellent. He uses video recordings, among other things, to analyse his teaching. He has published his teaching innovations and presented them at seminars and conferences. Galambosi engages in cooperative teaching development both inside his own department and in the faculty. His excellence in teaching has been recognised by the University of Helsinki Student Union, which granted him the Magister Bonus award.

Szabolcs Galambosi in the TUHAT research database




Jaana Hallamaa, Professor of Social Ethics, has long experience as a researcher, teacher and head of the Department of Systematic Theology. She has received several awards, such as the University's Eino Kaila Teaching Award, for her merits in teaching and the production of learning material. She has also held and continues to hold numerous elected positions on various national ethics committees.

Hallamaa has solid and extensive experience in teaching and supervision as well as a strong track record as a developer of teaching. She has systematically and innovatively developed her teaching. Her teaching and teaching philosophy emphasise mutual and reciprocal learning and development with students. Hallamaa sees students as resources. She experiments with new teaching methods in a target-driven manner, collects feedback from students and evaluates and further develops her teaching with them. Her use and production of learning material is diverse and promotes student learning. She participates widely in the further development of teaching in her unit, her faculty and the University as a whole.

Jaana Hallamaa in the TUHAT research database




University Lecturer Heikki Hervonen has played an important role in planning teaching, reforming degrees and teaching methods, and enhancing the quality of teaching in the Faculty of Medicine. One major innovation carried out in the Faculty was the introduction of problem-based learning, and Hervonen participated in the process from the very beginning. He has also participated in the development of medical teaching in several national committees and has received recognition for his teaching merits in the form of the University's Eino Kaila Teaching Award and medical teaching awards.

In addition to engaging in the collaborative development of teaching, Hervonen has continuously refined his own teaching skills (through training, systematic feedback, seminars and teaching innovations) and produced PBL learning material, which he also shares with other teachers. Hervonen is interested in the research-driven development of teaching and has published numerous articles on the development of teaching.

Heikki Hervonen in the TUHAT research database




University Lecturer Riitta Jyrhämä is an inspiring and engaging teacher with a long and successful career as a teacher trainer at the University of Helsinki. She has worked actively in various capacities, such as deputy head, researcher and lecturer of subject didactics at the Department of Teacher Education. Jyrhämä has extensive experience in and knowledge of education and training, from early childhood education to higher education. Her efforts to improve her teaching skills focus on the use of student feedback and critical reflection. Jyrhämä has considerable merits in the production of learning material.

Jyrhämä also actively comments on social issues in scientific and popular publications. In addition to producing learning material intended specifically for class teacher education, she has led and continues to lead several research projects. She has supervised more than 300 final theses, including doctoral dissertations and Master's theses written by prospective teachers. Having received the Eino Kaila Teaching Award in 2011, Jyrhämä is likely to engage in a wide variety of continuously evolving expert assignments.

Riitta Jyrhämä in the TUHAT research database




Terhi Karaharju-Suvanto, Clinical Instructor and Coordinating University Lecturer, is a versatile developer of dental teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. From the beginning to the end, her teaching is based on constructive alignment. According to her, "students must understand what the objective of teaching is and how learning is assessed. First of all, clear outcomes must be defined for learning; second, the right things must be taught to achieve the set outcomes; and third, the right things must be assessed in order to determine whether the outcomes were reached. "

Karaharju-Suvanto continuously enhances her own teaching expertise by drawing from the pedagogical training and research on teaching that she has completed. She shares her good teaching practices in pedagogical seminars and various publications and participates in the collaborative development of teaching at the local, national, European and global levels.

Terhi Karaharju-Suvanto in the TUHAT research database




Leena Karlsson, University Lecturer in English, is based at the Language Centre. She is a systematic developer of teaching with solid, all-round skills in her field. Karlsson has put in sustained efforts to study diverse learners and their language learning and to provide and further develop student supervision.

Karlsson’s vision of teaching is based on the idea of language proficiency as a multifaceted, evolving, context-dependant part of the learner’s identity, not just as a cognitive ability that can be tested. In her research, Karlsson has also analysed the subjective and emotional experiences related to language learning situations. She is a research-oriented language teacher and educational developer. Her research is relevant to language teaching and learning, and she has published various research papers. Karlsson has broad experience in a wide range of teaching duties. Most of her teaching relates to the development and implementation of Autonomous Learning Modules (ALMS) as well as courses in English for academic and professional purposes. Karlsson has participated in creating key web-based learning material in English for independent learners. She has made long-term and systematic efforts to support collegiality at the Language Centre. Moreover, she is networked with national and international communities and has imported their research-based ideas into language teaching at the University of Helsinki.

Leena Karlsson in the TUHAT research database



Nely Keinänen is a university lecturer of English philology, specialized in Shakespeare. She is a dedicated teacher with a flaming passion into teaching and learning. In her teaching activities she brings Shakespeare's literary work to life together with her students. Keinänen teaches a wide range of topics, ranging from Shakespeare to modern British and American drama, Modernist British literature, Children's literature, ecocriticism to translation. Her teaching covers different levels and she supervises MA students and examines MA theses. Keinänen is very active in the world of theatre, translating Finnish drama and bringing drama into her teaching and student learning in many ways. She actively uses drama pedagogy as a language learning method, makes visits to theatre as part of student learning process and organizes yearly a Shakespeare trip to Great Britain so that students visit Stratford-upon-Avon and Globe theatre and share the passion for Shakespearean theatre together with their devoted teacher. Keinänen has also dedicated time for supervision and academic writing, giving constant constructive feedback on students' writing, so that their writing processes improve.

Keinänen is a devoted teacher who engages her time and effort in studentcentered learning. She is an enthusiastic teacher who develops her scholarship in many ways, in taking courses of university pedagogy, but also in participating in the world of drama in many ways. She collaborates with local secondary schools by organizing Shakespeare workshop for their students and translates modern Finnish drama in English.

Nely Keinänen in the TUHAT research database



Harri Kettunen, Professor in Latin American Studies is a student-centred and interactive teacher, who has enhanced his teaching competence through pedagogical training. Kettunen’s method and style of teaching takes students into account and highlights the importance of motivating students. He collects student feedback systematically and underlines the significance of peer feedback and collaborative teaching. His teaching and assessment methods adhere to the principles of constructive alignment.

Kettunen promotes students’ thinking and creativity as well as the opportunities provided by different disciplines in imparting teaching.  He has produced both pedagogical material and plenty of online resources and learning material in his field, which are also widely used internationally. He engages in extensive teaching collaboration within his department, with other Finnish and international universities and with his students. He strives to develop teaching not only in his own unit, but also internationally.

Harri Kettunen in the TUHAT research database



Hanna-Riitta Kymäläinen is a university lecturer in the discipline of environmental engineering in agriculture. She has had a long career as a university instructor, marked by determined professional development right from the beginning and by the devoted promotion of collaborative and collegial development of teaching in her field.

Kymäläinen’s teaching and assessment methods are solidly based on her pedagogical expertise. She connects assessment to the learning situation and uses problem-based essays and research analyses, among others, to substitute for examinations. She has supervised numerous Master’s and other theses and dissertations and also has extensive experience in the production of diverse learning material. Kymäläinen shares her teaching-related expertise and good practices extensively, for example, in pedagogical publications and international conferences.

Hanna-Riitta Kymäläinen in the TUHAT research database



Juha Laakkonen, University Lecturer in Veterinary Anatomy, has determinedly enhanced his professional competence by observing the work of more experienced teachers, taking courses in university pedagogy, systematically collecting feedback on teaching and networking internationally. Laakkonen’s role involves extensive responsibility for the anatomy instruction of first-year veterinary students, for which he has received excellent feedback. He also received the Faculty’s teaching award in 2011, granted on the basis of feedback received during the entire academic year.

Laakkonen successfully combines his teaching methods with various pedagogical approaches. In addition to written examinations, Laakkonen uses oral interim assessments. He responds to student feedback via the learning platform or email, and informs students at the beginning of each course how he has previously used feedback to improve the course. He uses this feedback and other material in writing pedagogical articles and other analyses. Laakkonen is particularly interested in the development of teaching materials. He has developed and applied new learning materials, including image boards based on virtual models and high-resolution imaging models based on silicone casts in order to visualise macroscopic soft tissue.  In 2011 he introduced the first plastinated specimens in Finland.

Juha Laakkonen in the TUHAT research database





Pauliina Lankinen is a university lecturer in biotechnology at the Department of Food and Environmental Sciences. She has been exceptionally determined in developing her own teaching and supervision skills as well as in teaching in the department in general by engaging in training and encouraging her fellow teachers to follow suit. As she aptly says, “I chose to be a teacher, I did not end up being a teacher.”

Lankinen is a collegial, inspiring and motivating teacher. Her special strengths include the development of research-based teaching as well as the integration of theory and practice. She developed the idea of what is known as research teaching, where the specialist knowledge of research teams is integrated into course work. She uses a wide range of teaching methods and is interested in developing them. She systematically collects course feedback, also in the middle of courses, and then informs the students of the changes made in the course based on the feedback. She has also significantly contributed to the supervision of students, including international students. Lankinen has made a vital contribution to the development of the discipline and the department as well as teaching and learning in the entire faculty.

 Pauliina Lankinen in the TUHAT research database



Professor Kirsti Lonka is one of Finland’s best-known educational psychologists. She has a wide range of merits and experience in education. Lonka has established extensive international networks and worked as a visiting professor at several elite universities. As the coordinator of the discipline of educational psychology, she is responsible for developing the degree requirements and course programmes in the discipline.

Lonka has a long and impressive track record of developing teaching and has focused particularly on research-based development. She has focused especially on student-centred teaching methods and has innovatively applied ICT tools in teaching and research. Her latest innovation was Minervatori, an adaptable learning environment in the University’s Siltavuorenpenger facilities which adds functionality and supports the involvement of students and the use of technological resources in teaching. Lonka is also an industrious producer of learning material, and her publications are widely used for this purpose.  Students describe Lonka as a collegial, inspiring and motivating teacher and a popular supervisor of Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. She plays a key role in the development of teaching in her faculty, and her related efforts have been of crucial importance at the University as a whole.

 Kirsti Lonka in the TUHAT research database




Petri Luomanen, Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Culture and Literature, is known to be a motivated and inspiring teacher. He has extensive pedagogical training, and his teaching practices demonstrate his pedagogical skills and awareness as well as his interest in the dialogue between research and teaching. Luomanen has put systematic and sustained efforts into developing his teaching by, for example, collecting peer feedback. He especially highlights the atmosphere of the classroom and varied teaching methods. He engages students in defining the learning outcomes and in planning and imparting teaching. He actively provides students with feedback during the course, collects student feedback in a variety of ways and puts this feedback into use.

His teaching materials are innovative and produced to meet practical needs. He is an active developer of learning material and has also engaged others in producing such material. As Luomanen continuously collaborates with his colleagues not only in his department and faculty, but also internationally, he can be characterised as an active and engaging co-worker and partner.

Petri Luomanen in the TUHAT research database




University Lecturer Matti Luukkainen has worked in various roles at the Department of Computer Science, taught several courses and supervised numerous Master’s and other theses and dissertations. He has systematically increased student-oriented and student-centred features in his teaching, developed his assessment practices, and introduced a model of enhanced apprentice training. Luukkainen has developed student feedback practices and the methods for responding to feedback, and has adapted various online tools, such as IRC, for this purpose. These online feedback systems enable teaching to be flexibly developed and preliminary plans to be updated.

He has reported on educational development projects at international conferences and has published articles in scientific journals. His teaching innovations have also been adopted outside Finland. Luukkainen has prepared course learning materials, online videos and web-based courses (MOOC). Some of his courses have been open to members of the public, such as general upper-secondary school students. He has participated in projects for the collaborative development of teaching both in his own work community and in international contexts.  Luukkainen has been granted the Magister Bonus award of the University of Helsinki Student Union for the development of teaching and the Teacher of the Year award of the Department of Computer Science.

Matti Luukkainen in the TUHAT research database





Katalin Miklóssy has held the positions of university lecturer at the Department of Political History and principal investigator at the Aleksanteri Institute. She is an enthusiastic developer of teaching and supervision at the personal, national and international levels. Her teaching philosophy is highly student oriented and is supported by self-developed innovative methods of teaching and supervision (including a debate course, role play and process writing). Miklóssyn regards the strengthening of the dimension of dialogue in learning as the backbone of her development efforts.

Miklóssy is an active developer and producer of learning materials in the international context as well, and plays a strong role in enhancing teaching in her own workplace. She makes efforts to share her expertise not only with her colleagues, but also with younger teachers who are about to transfer from research into teaching. Her strongest area is collaboration in the development of international teaching at the University.

Katalin Miklóssy in the TUHAT research database




Professor Anja Nygren is an internationally distinguished development studies scholar, who takes a strong interest in teaching.

In fact, her international teaching experience is extensive and valued. She has developed her teaching skills through pedagogical training and student feedback. Her teaching merits have been acknowledged with the faculty’s award for high-quality teaching and nominations for the University’s Eino Kaila Teaching Award. Nygren’s teaching and supervision practices are versatile and student oriented. The cornerstones of her teaching philosophy are problem-based and student-centred teaching and learning. She redirects her teaching on the basis of student feedback, and her supervision practices are clear, taking the needs of her students into account. She has produced learning material as well as scientific articles used as learning material both in Finland and abroad. Nygren has actively and enthusiastically developed teaching not only within her faculty, but also in international forums.

Anja Nygren in the TUHAT research database




Juha Oikkonen, Professor of Mathematics, has taught a wide variety of courses and reformed not only his own teaching, but also the teaching offered by his department and faculty. His merits include the development of the training of prospective mathematics teachers and the considerable increase in the number of graduate teachers in the field over the past decade.

Oikkonen has created student-centred teaching and learning innovations, revamped teaching at his department, and reported on innovations in both Finnish contexts and international scientific journals. He deserves particular praise for the comprehensive reform of teaching in first-year basic courses as well as of interaction and assessment practices. As a result of this reform, the number of students to complete the courses doubled! Oikkonen has also overhauled the physical learning environments in his department to better support student-centred learning. He collects student feedback in multiple and innovative ways and analyses it systematically. Oikkonen has received numerous awards and recognition for excellence in teaching, including the University’s Eino KailaTeaching Award and the Student Union’s Magister Bonus award.

Juha Oikkonen in the TUHAT research database




Kaisu Pitkälä, Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care, has had a long career as a medical specialist, university instructor and professor. She has developed her pedagogical skills systematically in a goal-oriented manner by participating in various kinds of training and courses both in Finland and abroad. She has received several awards for her qualifications, including for her pedagogical expertise and its enhancement.

Pitkälä’s development of teaching has been innovative and solidly based on pedagogical research. Since the early stages of her career, she has examined her own work and the feedback received for her teaching. Her teaching innovations include the introduction of standardised OSCE patient scenarios to testing in Finland and in the University of Helsinki Faculty of Medicine. Pitkälä invites students to discussion sessions where they can provide feedback and suggest changes for future courses. She is described as an empathetic but determined teacher.

Pitkälä has extensive merits in the production of learning materials, and textbooks, articles, treatment guides and various online learning environments and materials developed by her are widely used in and outside Finland. She has also published numerous scientific articles dealing with learning. Besides developing undergraduate and postgraduate education in her own faculty, Pitkälä has found energy and inspiration for engaging in cross-disciplinary activities within the University and between universities.

Kaisu Pitkälä in the TUHAT research database




Marja Raekallio is a university lecturer in veterinary pharmacology and toxicology. She has systematically honed her teaching and supervision skills, for example, through training in university pedagogy. In 2007 Raekallio’s team received the University’s Eino Kaila Teaching Award.

Raekallio thoroughly understands the importance of student-centred methods and applies them in a manner suitable for her discipline. She has developed classroom instruction by adopting engaging teaching methods; for example, student learning and its progress are monitored using electronic voting systems. The learning outcomes of her courses concentrate on seeking relevant information, using the tools of source criticism and assessing and applying research results. Raekallio has an outstanding ability to use and develop learning material. She was one of the editors and authors of the Eläinanestesiologia textbook on veterinary anaesthesiology (several editions as well as an online version, and translations into Swedish and Estonian). She has also edited online teaching resources, including a video on equine anaesthesia, and creates a separate folder for each of her courses on an electronic platform. For many years, Raekallio has participated in the broad-based collaborative development of teaching (e.g., as a member of her faculty’s curriculum design committee from 2002 to 2009).

Marja Raekallio in the TUHAT research database



Jouko Rikkinen, Professor of Botany, worked as a senior assistant in mycology and a lecturer in botany at the University of Helsinki before being appointed to his current position. Rikkinen estimates that his biggest personal contribution to educational development has been the construction of an online environment for the teaching of species identification. The development project of the learning environment known as Pinkka received the University of Helsinki Educational Technology Award in 2005. Today, the learning environment is widely used in universities, comprehensive schools and among nature enthusiasts. Rikkinen has also developed an impressive amount of other learning materials, and many of his textbooks are widely used outside the University as well.

Rikkinen is and has been extensively involved in the collaborative development of teaching in his own major subject, specialist option, department, faculty and campus as well as at the University as a whole. He has promoted the pedagogical “empowerment” of his close colleagues and partners in various collaboration projects. His latest challenge is to develop the teaching and research use of the University’s new research station established in the Taita Hills of Kenya.

Jouko Rikkinen in the TUHAT research database




Eero Salmenkivi, University Lecturer in the Didactics of Philosophy and Ethics, has long experience as a teacher at the University and elsewhere, and continues to be an active player in the field internationally as well. Salmenkivi has an innovative approach to researching the didactics of ethics. He uses his students as research subjects in order to build an objective foundation for honing his teaching practices. Besides research, he emphasises the importance of student feedback in the continuous development of professional skills.

Salmenkivi’s learning-focused teaching methods are genuinely student oriented. They are driven by sensitive observation of the students’ inner world. Salmenkivi has extensively produced written learning material, but finds – with good reason – his web-based ethics resources to be his most significant merit. These resources are also widely used outside the University of Helsinki. Salmenkivi is a resourceful and active developer of teaching in various communities. On the national level, his efforts in developing and launching subject teacher education in ethics and minority religions are of great significance. As for his international activities, his initiative was crucial to the University of Helsinki becoming a member of the International Human Rights Education Consortium (IHREC).

Eero Salmenkivi in the TUHAT research database




Kimmo Svinhufvud is a university instructor (Finnish language) at the Language Centre, where he teaches written communication and academic writing, particularly thesis and dissertation preparation and writing. He has studied supervision processes from the perspective of discourse analysis and is currently writing a doctoral dissertation on the topic. He studies what he teaches, and teaches what he studies. He is an inspiring and innovative university instructor, who also provides contact teaching. In addition, he has created new web-based learning materials to support learning and has made them available in blogs, discussion forums and social media, in other words, in online environments familiar to students. He encourages students to engage in mutual, collaborative learning and peer support not only through small group work in the classroom, but also through online communities.

Svinhufvud attaches great importance to the continuous development of his teaching and supervision expertise as well as to the research-based development of teaching. His work as a university instructor and developer of teaching epitomise a strong, internal pedagogical vision and its creative application in his work.

Kimmo Svinhufvud in the TUHAT research database




Sari Timonen, University Lecturer in Microbiology, has solid theoretical and practical expertise in university pedagogy. She provides an excellent example of how pedagogical research can be put to use in the development of professional skills and teaching. Timonen shares her knowledge with the entire working community and disseminates her expertise and good practices related to teaching, learning and supervision across the boundaries of her own department.

The intended outcomes, content, teaching and learning methods, teaching material, and assessment are all appropriately aligned in her teaching. She integrates research information in microbiology into her teaching and supervision and encourages her students to follow developments in the field. In teaching, she employs various work and assessment methods that encourage students to think critically and apply their knowledge. Timonen develops up-to-date and innovative learning materials, such as the first Finnish-language textbook in mycology, which she edited.

Sari Timonen in the TUHAT research database




Kimmo Vehkalahti, University Lecturer in Statistics, teaches in a particularly multidisciplinary field. After all, statistical methods are applied in all walks of life. He has contributed commendably to the development of teaching at the University and inspired students to get excited about a field which has often been considered difficult and a “necessary evil”.

Vehkalahti’s development activities have been based on pedagogical training and student feedback as well as common sense and enthusiasm. He has received recognition for his teaching merits, including the Teacher of the Year award from his faculty and the Student Union’s Magister Bonus award.
Vehkalahti engages in continuous development of his work; he is an inspiring teacher who takes his students into account and uses a wide range of teaching and feedback methods. He emphasises the role of constructive alignment and feedback in his teaching and supervision. He redirects and enhances his courses on the basis of student feedback, uses advanced students as teacher’s aides in the classroom and employs various assessment methods, such as weekly reports, online posters and other practical assignments. Vehkalahti has also distinguished himself in the production of learning material, and he uses genuine research material in his teaching. He is also a resourceful and active participant in collaborative educational development.

Kimmo Vehkalahti in the TUHAT research database




Katariina Vuorensola is a university lecturer at the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, where she teaches basic, intermediate and advanced studies to students pursuing a Bachelor or Master of Science (Pharmacy) degree. She has also supervised numerous Master’s and other theses and dissertations.

Katariina Vuorensola demonstrates initiative and innovation in her development activities, which play a central role in the development of teaching at the faculty. She is aware of her strengths and development challenges as a teacher, and is capable of addressing the latter. She is a highly motivated teacher and developer of teaching, and her love of teaching is evident. She knows her limits and strives to perform better, knows what works in a given teaching situation and makes students think for themselves. She has clearly been able to use her pedagogical training in her teaching and has an innovative approach to teaching methods. For example, she has written lyrics for chemistry-related songs and was one of the visionaries and founders of the recycling centre of teaching and assessment methods (in Finnish, opetus- ja arviointimenetelmien kierrätyskeskus, or OAKK, which is a pedagogical training project based on collaboration and designed for university lecturers in the Faculty of Pharmacy). Currently Vuorensola is working on her first textbook together with teachers from her own department and from the University of Eastern Finland.

Katariina Vuorensola in the TUHAT research database




University Lecturer Risto Willamo has long and extensive teaching and supervision experience at the University of Helsinki. He has systematically honed his teaching and supervision skills, for example, through training in university pedagogy. He regularly collects student feedback, holds feedback discussions and adjusts his courses based on feedback and self-assessments. He has been recognised for his teaching merits with the University’s Eino Kaila Teaching Award and the Student Union’s Magister Bonus award. He has published articles on his pedagogical research and innovative solutions.

Willamo has systematically developed teaching and supervision practices that enhance student learning. He is a proponent of constructivism and cognitive learning theories. He divides the intended learning outcomes of his courses into three groups: content related, approach related and pedagogical outcomes. In his teaching, Willamo has abandoned traditional examinations and, instead, teaches his students to seek information, discuss and write essays.

Willamo has produced a large amount of teaching material, which he uses creatively. He was one the three authors to produce a basic textbook on environmental protection, which the Student Union recognised with an award in 1998. He also led the compilation of a series of 8,000 slides for teaching purposes, two computer-aided audiovisual presentations and a 100-specimen herbarium of indicator plants and lichen. Willamo is an enthusiastic participant in collaborative educational development and stresses the significance of student involvement in it.

Risto Willamo in the TUHAT research database