Digital Aalto

Learning Services – enabling success

Learning Services (LES) supports future-oriented learning and the smoothness of daily work.
Aalto University students photo by Unto Rautio

In line with the Aalto University strategy, we will take greater societal responsibility in degree education and continuous learning with elevated student experience.  Learning Services (LES) has a key role in making these goals possible. We develop our service offering in a future-led and user-oriented manner.

Learning Services activities structured into process areas

The activities of Learning Services are structured into different process areas, each of which has an assigned process owner. The process owners are members of the Learning Services Advisory Board (LESjory).

In the process owner model, each Learning Services process has a clearly defined process owner. Below/attached you will find LES' current process area descriptions and process owners. The owners are responsible for managing and developing the processes of their own process area in line with the strategy in cooperation with key stakeholders, such as students, teachers and other university service units. Process owners evaluate development processes and their progress and schedule future development projects in quarterly reviews.

The process owner model has been developed to support the organisation and development of the Learning Services operations.  The model is based on the OPI reference architecture (2015), which is a common reference framework for higher education institutions, used to structure the shared activities of higher education institutions.

The roadmap summarises Learning Services’ development work

The Learning Services development projects are compiled annually on a roadmap spanning four years at a time. The roadmap is created in cooperation between process owners in a review held at the beginning of each year, and it is evaluated throughout the year with checkpoints around May and September. The roadmap work includes the development needs arising from the process areas of each process owner, which fall into three categories: process development for services to be digitised; actual digitalisation development on the Service Platform, Sisu or elsewhere; and other development work. In addition, attention is paid on small-scale development in process areas. The development needs are prioritised with the help of development and digitalisation criteria.

When working on the roadmap, it is also ensured that there are sufficient resources and the organisation is able to manage the changes needed. Aalto IT Services (ITS) participates in the roadmap work, highlighting the perspective of platforms and IT resources in particular.

LeSG (Learning Steering Group) approves the roadmap presented by LESjory.

You will find the LES roadmap 2024-27 here.

The Leap for Learning project has ended

The Leap for Learning project (2018–2023) focussed on three major Learning Services (LES) projects:  the deployment and development of Sisu, the learning and study information system; LES process harmonisation and development; and the introduction of the Salesforce service platform to support the improved processes and digitalisation. As the name suggests, the project period was a leap for learning for both Aalto and Learning Services, and the lessons learned during the project period will continue to be applied to build a sustainable, user-friendly and future-oriented Aalto University in the future.
The project sought to build digital solutions for enriching the user and service experiences of students and staff. It also aimed to satisfy the needs of new user groups (such as life-wide learners) and to make more efficient use of data and analytics in our work.

The project had a joint steering group and a designated change organisation to support its work. Now that the project has come to a close, the activities of the steering group, as well as those of the sponsors and project leads, has ended. The tasks of the Leap for Learning steering group were mainly transferred to LeSG (Learning Steering Group).

What have we achieved so far?

Sisu came online in August 2021 and its development roadmap currently extends to the year 2024.

The LES process development began in 2018 with the identification of processes and the adoption of the digital ‘OPI reference architecture’ as a basis for the work. LES has identified process owners for the different process areas as well as a model and ways to support the progress monitoring of the development work.

Salesforce has several LES projects up and running. It will eventually replace many of the older systems at LES and elsewhere at Aalto. The service platform is an important part of Aalto’s digital roadmap.

In 2021, Salesforce was onboarded in the main admissions process for master’s level students and in the processing of advance assignments for bachelor’s admissions in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. In 2022, Aalto used the platform to launch MyStudies, with features for academic advising and the reinstatement of study rights, as well as an ‘annual clock’ planning timeline for programme directors. As of autumn 2022, the platform is being equipped with features for the digitalisation of thesis processes and for admissions at the doctoral programme level. Aalto’s course catalogue (courses.aalto.fi) has also been built into the platform.

Results and achievements of the Leap for Learning project

Students hanging out and studying in the School of Business learning hub

Benefits for students and lifelong learners

  • Personal Aalto services in one place for full engagement in Aalto community
  • Services available anywhere, anytime
  • Visibility to Aalto course offering to ensure relevant skills for future work life
  • Graduation according to the learner’s personal schedules and goals
  • Support for lifelong learning, multidisciplinary studies and mobility
Aalto University, Learning Services, 2019, photo Minna Pasanen

Benefits for faculty

  • Scalable services to support increasing number of students and lifelong learners
  • Essential and real-time student information available for analysis and decision making
  • Information systems support the planning and organising of teaching
  • Better service support from Aalto personnel through more efficient, unified processes
Kuva Unto Rautio

Benefits for service personnel

  • Enable scalable support services for increasing numbers of students and lifelong learners
  • Information systems support daily work, which also means less manual work
  •  Opportunities to provide more personalized support to students and faculty​

Contacts for more information

Petri Suomala

Vararehtori
U902 Learning Services

Eija Zitting

Head of Learning Services
U902 Learning Services
Three women talking and eating ice cream in front of the Väre building.

Leap for Learning for Students

Summary of current and upcoming changes in study practice.

Digital Aalto
Leap for learning for teachers

Leap for Learning for teachers

Many teaching and learning services and workflows will be renewed over the coming year. Related projects have been brought together under the heading of Leap for Learning.

Digital Aalto
consulting staff on using Sisu

Leap for Learning for Learning Services Personnel

The number of students and lifelong learners is likely to increase in the future, and so is the digital collaboration between universities.

Digital Aalto
Learning Services
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