Key researchers

Project Leader (PI), Work Package 4 leader

Professor Laura Hirsto

Project manager

Post-doctoral researcher Sanna Väisänen

Work Package 1 leader

Professor Matti Turtiainen

Work Package 2 leader

Assistant professor,  Erkko Sointu

Work Package 3 leader

Associate professor Teemu Valtonen


Senior researcher Mohammed Saqr
Project researcher Susanne Hallberg
Project researcher Jenni Kankaanpää
Project researcher Ville Tuominen
Project researcher Riina Kleimola

Researcher bios

Laura Hirsto is a full professor of educational science (especially research on general education) at the School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education at the University of Eastern Finland. Hirsto is leading various research and development projects related to academic and educational development, student learning and teacher learning in various contexts. Her interests are in higher education students’, teacher students’ as well as primary and secondary students’ learning and motivational processes, and also in variations of effective teaching and learning environments. Prof. Hirsto is the leader of the OAHOT-project, and she has been working as a member of Ameba-team in developing higher education teaching and learning environments through Flipped Classroom- and Flipped Learning approach.

Erkko Sointu (PhD, education) is a tenure track assistant professor of learning and novel teaching methods development at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). His research interests lie in the utilization and students’ perceptions of flipped classroom/learning (FC/L), technology in education, strength-based approaches, and most recently research on analytics for learning. Erkko’s task are working as a research coordinator of Team Ameba and an expert of FC/L education, leading UEF Digisociety research community Pedagogical practices for 21st century research lake, teaching quantitative research methods, conducting international collaboration and research on various topics. Additionally, Erkko is a work package leader of university context in the learning analytics OAHOT project. Erkko is also a trained teacher with experience of both comprehensive and higher education.

Matti Turtiainen is a director and a full professor in Law school, University of Eastern Finland. His research and teaching interest are in business law. Turtiainen is a leader of work package 1 (working life and learning in work).

Teemu Valtonen (PhD, Education) is a tenure track associate professor in the University of Eastern Finland. His research interests lie in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education, targeting especially on pre-service teachers’ skills and readiness to use ICT. Recently, research work has focused also on the use of Flipped Classroom model in higher education and for machine learning and analytics in education.  Additionally, Valtonen is the leader of the work package three in the learning analytics OAHOT project. Work package three focuses on using learning analytics in the elementary level education.

Sanna Väisänen (PhD, education), is a project manager of OAHOT project and a post-doctoral researcher in University of Eastern Finland, Applied educational sciences and teacher education. Additionally, in OAHOT project she is working as a researcher especially in a work package 3. Her research interests include work life skills, flipped learning, self-regulated learning, and study well-being. Her thesis defense was in August 2019. The theme of the thesis was student teachers’ study well-being and how is it regulated and constructed during studies in teacher education. Sanna is also a teacher. She has been teaching both in comprehensive school and university.

Susanne Hallberg (MA, Education) is a project researcher and a doctoral student at the School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, UEF. Her tasks at OAHOT project include Valamis-learning platform administration and content creation, mainly in working packages 2 and 3. Further, she provides technical assistance to teachers and students that use the learning platform during the project. Susanne’s research interests comprise pedagogical usability aspects of various physical and digital learning environments, and educational technology.

Jenni Kankaanpää (M.A., education) works as a project researcher at University of Eastern Finland. Jenni is a trained teacher and she has worked in various research projects related to both primary and higher education for several years. She has gained experience especially on projects regarding educational development in higher education and flipped classroom/learning. In her ongoing doctoral research, Jenni is interested in higher education teachers’ pedagogical development work in flipped and blended contexts. In OAHOT project, Jenni conducts research in work packages 2 and 3, on both higher and primary education.

Riina Kleimola (Lic. Education) works as a project researcher in OAHOT project at the University of Eastern Finland. Her previous work has focused on developing digital pedagogy and guidance as well as advancing the use of learning analytics. In addition, she has worked as a student counsellor in the university of applied sciences. Riina’s research interests include using learning analytics to support the development of future competences as well as facilitating meaningful guidance processes and interventions. In OAHOT project, Riina conducts research in the work package 1. The aim is to study what kind of insights learning analytics data provide into students’ learning paths and how this data can be used to support the students’ self-regulated learning.

Mohammed Saqr has a PhD in learning analytics from the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden. He works/ed at Paris Descartes University (France), Stockholm University (Sweden) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden). Currently he is a senior researcher at the University of Eastern Finland. He works on all issues regarding analytics and big data in education, network science and scientometrics. His research in learning analytics focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence, social and temporal networks, process and sequence mining and temporal processes in general. He is also an active member of several scientific organizations and acts as an academic editor in leading academic publications.