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The Finnish Foundation for Technology Promotion awarded physics lecturer and a pioneer in gamification

Outstanding Teacher of the Year award was given to Jami Kinnunen, lecturer popular with physics students. Juho Hamari was chosen as the Young Researcher of the Year

The Finnish Foundation for Technology Promotion awarded Outstanding Teacher and the Young Researcher of the Year at its 70th anniversary celebration on 13 May. University Lecturer Jami Kinnunen was awarded as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year and Professor of Gamification Juho Hamari was chosen as the Young Researcher of the Year. Both were awarded €15,000.

A good teacher brings fresh perspectives to physics teaching

The Foundation awarded the Outstanding Teacher award to University Lecturer Jami Kinnunen, who teaches physics at the Aalto University Department of Applied Physics.

Kinnunen's students describe him as an inspiring and practical teacher.

Jami Kinnunen. Kuva: Mikko Raskinen.

‘The teaching of physics can easily become very theoretical. In the lectures, I do a lot of experiments and illustrations, in other words, I show how the phenomena of physics appear in practice. Their purpose is to demonstrate that the topics studied really represent the world,’ states Kinnunen.

Kinnunen often uses digital learning materials, such as YouTube videos, in his teaching. He also records all his lectures so that students can watch them later.

‘Videos are a natural media for my students. For example, I use YouTube videos in advance assignments. The video may feature, for instance, a physics experiment that the students then need to explain,’ says Kinnunen.

Marjo Miettinen, Chairman of the Board of the foundation, considers Kinnunen’s approach to physics teaching to be successful.

‘It is not easy to teach the laws and principles of physics in a new way, especially since they have remained unchanged for decades. However, based on the feedback from students, Jami Kinnunen has succeeded excellently in this,’ praises Miettinen.

Kinnunen received his doctorate from the University of Jyväskylä in 2006. His dissertation focused on ultra-cold atomic gases.

Young researcher keeping Finland among the leaders in gamification

Juho Hamari, D. Sc. (Econ.), is a pioneer in gamification research and one of the most important researchers in his field internationally.

In gamification, game functions and dynamics are brought to real-life environments, such as teaching, working life or services. The aim is to change the operation of the environments so that they would provide people with positive experiences in the same way as games and develop their skills.

Juho Hamari

The prevalence of gamification is evident by the large number of current mobile phone applications that are based on it. These include applications that promote healthy lifestyles and learning.

‘Work and play are overlapping more and more in our society. It is important to think about how we can support this development through technology and research,’ says Hamari.

Hamari received his doctorate from Aalto University in 2015. Currently he works as the world's first Professor of Gamification at Tampere University, the University of Turku and the University Consortium of Pori and leads the universities’ cooperative Gamification Group research team.

‘Juho Hamari's scientific merits are exceptional for his young age. The field of gamification is growing worldwide, and it is important that researchers like Hamari keep Finland among the leaders in the field,’ says Marjo Miettinen, the Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Foundation for Technology Promotion.

Further information:

Jami Kinnunen
tel. +358 40 760 7670
[email protected]

Juho Hamari
tel. +358 50 318 6861
[email protected]

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