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Eight teachers recognised with the 2023 Excellent Teaching Practitioner Award

The University of Eastern Finland presented awards to accomplished teachers in the university’s Learning Environment Seminar on Tuesday, 22 August. This year was the second time awards were announced in two categories: for individual teachers, and for teacher pairs and teacher teams.

In the category of individual teachers, the recipients of the 2023 Excellent Teaching Practitioner Award are University Lecturer Johanna Rämö of the Department of Physics and Mathematics, and University Lecturer Lasse Eronen of the Department of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education.

In the category of teacher pairs and teacher teams, the recipients of the 2023 Excellent Teaching Practitioner Award are a pair formed by Professor Anu Puusa and University Teacher Sanna Saastamoinen of the Business School, and a team formed by Associate Professor Moritz Albrecht, University Lecturer Jani Karhu, Associate Professor Olli Lehtonen and Postdoctoral Researcher Maija Halonen of the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies.

Award statements:

Johanna Rämö: Student-centred pedagogy, especially when using peer-assisted learning, is highlighted in Rämö’s teaching. She is currently collaborating with other academic subjects to expand her model for teaching, which considers generic transferable skills and also includes them in student assessment. Student feedback plays an important role in the development of Rämö’s teaching, and she has also developed new solutions for self-assessment, including those utilising automated feedback. She engages in active international collaboration to share her teaching practices.

Lasse Eronen: Eronen has years of experience in research-based development of teaching both in collaboration with his closest colleagues and across faculty boundaries. Eronen uses learning analytics to develop his teaching, and he has been in charge of developing self-assessment on the Arviointimaa (Reflection Landscape) platform. Besides utilising student feedback, he also involves students through Master’s theses dealing with the development of teaching. Research-based activities and sharing of practices are highlighted in Eronen’s teaching, and they also constitute part of transferable skills development.

Anu Puusa and Sanna Saastamoinen: Puusa and Saastamoinen have been developing a course that involves strong participation of actors from real-life cooperatives. Students taking the course interact with working life actors, and transferable skills constitute an integral part of teaching. The course content is student-centred, consisting especially of panel discussions and empirical studies conducted by students. The teacher pair makes use of student feedback, and changes implemented based on it have been positively received. Teaching practices have been shared nationally through business networks established as a result of collaboration, and the topic has also attracted international interest. 

Moritz Albrecht, Jani Karhu, Olli Lehtonen and Maija Halonen: Albrecht, Karhu, Lehtonen and Halonen form a team that has developed a course emphasising working life relevance. External collaborators are involved in formulating learning assignments and giving feedback in accordance with the Team Based Challenge teaching method. Student feedback praises the team especially for its idea of implementing teaching. The course developed by the team is also well suited for replicating in other contexts. The team works across discipline boundaries and has shared its experiences nationally in conferences. 

Already 33 teachers in the network of Excellent Teaching Practitioners

The awardees form, together with previous award recipients, a network of Excellent Teaching Practitioners, which now includes 33 teachers. The purpose of the network is to promote appreciation for, and the development of teaching, at the University of Eastern Finland. The criteria of the Excellent Teaching Practitioner Award include collaborative development of teaching, diverse use of teaching methods, and student-centredness. All of the award recipients collaborate with various parties and make use of student feedback in order to develop their own teaching.

For further information, please contact:
Kari Korhonen, Director of Learning Environment, University of Eastern Finland,, tel. +358 50 432 3826