Team Ameba

E-mail for a team member: firstname.lastname(at)


Erkko Sointu

Erkko Sointu (PhD, education) is a Postdoctoral Researcher (tenure track) of learning and novel teaching methods at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). His research interests lie in the utilisation and students’ perceptions of flipped classroom/learning (FC/L), technology in education and strength-based approaches. Erkko is the research coordinator of Team Ameba with responsibility for conducting FC/L education and student research. Additionally, Erkko is the academic lead of the Flipped Learning in Higher Education project funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Erkko is also a trained teacher with experience of both comprehensive and higher education. Erkko also flips his teaching of the Quantitative Research Methods 2 course for international students.


Laura Hirsto

Laura Hirsto (PhD, educational psychology, Docent (University of Helsinki)) is a Professor of Educational Science, especially teacher education in the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). Her interests lie in the contextual learning and motivational processes and educational/ academic development in the university context. Laura has consulted various universities in university pedagogical themes, and she is an editorial board member of the scientific journals of Journal of University Pedagogy (Yliopistopedagogiikka) and Educational Research Review. In Team Ameba, Laura works with perspectives of university teacher learning and competence and the relations with university students’ learning and motivation. Laura’s responsibilities in Team Ameba lie in the research on university teacher learning. Additionally, Laura is the academic lead of the UEF sub-project of teachers’ peer-mentoring and the national leader of the university teachers’ peer-mentoring project ( funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture (2017-2020). Laura is also a trained teacher, and she has worked in academic positions with responsibilities of developing teacher education and of research based educational/academic development in the University of Helsinki and Aalto University before her professorship in the University of Eastern Finland. Laura also flips actively her teaching.


Jyri Manninen

Professor, School of Educational Sciences and Psychology


Kati Mäkitalo

PhD Kati Mäkitalo is the Dean of  the Faculty of Education at University of Oulu. She is a consortium leader of the research project entitled PREP21 – Preparing teacher students for 21st century learning practices: Ways of thinking and working funded by the Academy of Finland (TULOS programme, 2014-2017). In the EU Horizon 2020 project “eCraft2Learn – Making Computer-supported Artefacts from Scratch” she is in charge of pedagogical development (WP3 leader). Her research focuses on student teachers’ learning, especially attitudes towards using ICT in teaching and learning as well as technical, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK/TPB) of student teachers. Further, she is interested in collaborative knowledge and shared understanding building, inquiry-based learning approaches, help-seeking processes, designing supportive learning environments and innovative pedagogical practices using ICT at the different educational levels.

Päivi Atjonen

Päivi Atjonen is a Professor of Education at the University of Eastern Finland. She has utilised the principles of flipped classroom more than 20 years in her own instruction in two universities. She is an expert in assessment and evaluation. Her research interests focus on teachers’ assessment practices and experiences of academic staff concerning scientific peer review. From the perspective of developmental evaluation in particular, she has theoretically conceptualised assessment for learning and clarified elements of teacher’s assessment literacy. The latest openings in her research activities deal with assessment and evaluation of university students’ learning.



Teemu Valtonen

Teemu Valtonen (PhD, Education) is a tenure track Associate Professor in the University of Eastern Finland at the School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education. His research interests lie in the use of information and communication technology in education, targeting especially pre-service teachers’ skills and readiness to use ICT in education. In addition, current research focuses also on integration of the flipped classroom model into higher education teaching practices. Dr. Valtonen has received an Academy of Finland grant (2016-2021; Academy Research Fellow) for his longitudinal research work titled as Nature and development of pre-service teachers’ TPACK.



Lasse Heikkinen

Lasse Heikkinen (PhD) is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). His research background is in computational physics and especially in inverse problems. Since 2010, he has been in a teaching-focused position by teaching Bachelor's degree courses for applied physics students. In addition to this, he has worked with the department’s development of teaching. He has introduced the flipped classroom model in his own courses in 2015 and developed courses specifically for learning assessment and student guidance.


Anna Kaasinen

Anna Kaasinen (PhD) is a University Lecturer at the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). Her background is in applied mathematics and scientific computing. Her current research interests include developing computational methods for remote sensing of forests and for industrial process tomography. She teaches courses in mathematics and provides study guidance to undergraduate students. She also takes part in planning and developing teaching in general at the department. She has used flipped classroom in her courses and is a member of Team Ameba.


Virve Pekkarinen

Virve Pekkarinen (MA, adult education) is a Postgraduate Student at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Doctoral Programme in Educational Sciences. Her research interest lie in university teachers' pedagogical competency, and the development of and support for developing the pedagogical competency. Virve is conducting her research as a member of Team Ameba and she collects her data in the Flipped Classroom project in the University of Eastern Finland. In addition to her postgraduate studies at the University of Eastern Finland, Virve works as a university pedagogical specialist in Aalto University. Virve is an experienced teacher trainer and university pedagogist.



Antti Ronkainen

Antti Ronkainen (MA, Education) has worked as a university teacher and a project coordinator at the University of Eastern Finland. He is interested in ICT pedagogy, and is preparing a doctoral thesis about flipped learning in distance learning.






Jenni Kankaanpää

Jenni Kankaanpää works as a Project Researcher in the Flipped Learning project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In Team Ameba, she takes care of tasks supporting research and the use of flipped classroom at UEF. Jenni is a primary school teacher (Master of Arts, education) and she also has a Bachelor's degree in business.


Markku Saarelainen

Markku Saarelainen is a Senior Advisor of Team Ameba and university lecturer at the Department of Applied Physics. He has applied the flipped classroom method in his physics courses for several years. Markku has worked as Learning Environment Development Manager at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and developed learning environments that are based on student-oriented teaching and flipped classroom in particular. Markku is also a trained science and math teacher.