Teacher’s Handbook

Learning spaces for teaching

Aalto University Otaniemi campus is being developed according to the principles of well-being, sustainability and digitalisation.

The design of Aalto’s physical learning spaces, including the learning materials and products the spaces are optimally designed for, aims to ensure flexibility in use, agreeable surroundings, and a clean, healthy and user-friendly environment for learning and teaching.

The learning spaces' presentation technology aims to be compatible between classrooms and to provide users with a consistent classroom experience. User-experience data is regularly being collected and analysed to design classrooms that support the current and future classroom needs of the users.
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BIZ

How do I get access to the learning spaces?

  1. You need to activate your personal Aalto user ID, and
  2.  Get an access token and register it
     

See also

Väre building

How do I find my learning space?

  1. When looking for the location of a teaching event, check the course calendar on Sisu or MyCourses
  2. When looking for learning spaces that are also available for students to book, you can browse the Aalto Space app
  3. You can browse and book all campus learning spaces at booking.aalto.fi 
     

How is a learning space booked for my course?

In most cases, Learning Services or your department books all the learning spaces needed for the courses. Their task is to make sure that the students' timetables do not clash too much. As a teacher, you may help the curriculum planners' job by getting to know the spaces in advance and letting them know what would best suit your teaching. The process of curriculum planning is done yearly. As a teacher, you will be asked by a curriculum planner about your preferences in due time. 

What types of learning spaces does Aalto Otaniemi campus have?

As a campus of many disciplines, Otaniemi offers various types of learning spaces. While some of them are very specialised and managed and resourced by departments to suit specific disciplines, most are actually common learning spaces that are aimed at all schools to utilise in their teaching

Common learning spaces

  • Most of the basic, mid-size (15–59 seats) and large (≥ 60 seats) classrooms and large auditoriums (61–602 seats) are being equipped to allow for lecturing both on campus and for remote audiences. This will allow for the audio-visual capturing of lectures.

  • Most of the smaller classrooms (1–14 seats) can be used for small learning groups, as Teams ‘breakout rooms’ for a bigger class, or by students outside the lectures for individual studying. The student can book these spaces by using the Aalto Space app.   
  • As the requests for larger collaborative classrooms grows, Aalto aims at increasing these spaces. Some of the traditional, lecture-oriented classrooms are furnished so that it's easy during a class to convert them for teamwork. 
  • Collaborative pedagogies for larger groups (60–115 seats) can be also practised in terraced, teamwork-optimised auditoriums, such as Halls U8 and U9 in Otakaari 1, and Hall R3 in Rakentajanaukio 4. There are plans for additional terraced auditoriums on campus. 
  • For highly interactive hybrid classes that support dialogue between on-campus and remote students, Aalto is adding to many of its collaborative classrooms some hybrid-enabling equipment, such as ceiling microphones and extra displays.  
     

Remote teaching studios for all teachers

Laboratories, studios and other specialised learning spaces

If you wish to teach in a lab or a studio of a department, please contact the studio directly for an introduction to their use and a separate access token, if necessary.

 

A sali

How to report a malfunction in a classroom?

Feedback on the facilities is especially important now that the learning spaces on the campus are once again being used more regularly. It is vital that everyone using the spaces takes the time to report the issues so that they can be fixed fast for the next user!  

  1. If you have any problems with classroom equipment or malfunctions in a building, please contact Lobby Services during their opening hours. In case the malfunction requires the expertise of the AV team, the Lobby Services will call them to help.
  2. You can also report any malfunction in a classroom by selecting the space in the Aalto Space app and clicking ‘Report issue’.
  3. IT problems are handled at IT's self-service portal 
  4. General feedback: Rate and give development ideas on spaces in the Aalto Space app 

What is the presentation technology in the classrooms like?

The audio-visual presentation systems in Otaniemi classrooms have been updated extensively since 2021. Aalto offers high-quality AV technology with user-friendly control panels, providing a classroom experience that is consistent across campus. An increasing number of learning spaces have lecture-capture capabilities to enable hybrid and remote teaching. With these updates, you can: control the camera via the classrooms' touch panel; attach your own device to the room’s AV system while utilising the in-room microphone and camera; listen to the audio of the remote participants; and walk freely around the room during your presentation without losing the audio connection.  

The standard set-up for an AV-updated classroom includes

  • one or more displays 
  • sound amplification 
  • an array of ceiling or table microphones 
  • wireless presentation options
  • BYOD (bring your own device) connectivity: classroom cameras and microphones can be used via your own, external device (allowing for using e.g. Zoom or Panopto from your own laptop and connecting directly to the classroom’s audio-visual system).
  • one or more cameras
  • lecture-capture functions.
  • In group workspaces: additional group-specific displays.
  • In larger lecture halls: handheld and headset microphones, in addition to table array microphones; video projectors or a combination of projectors and displays.
     

Remote and hybrid teaching

The learning spaces are being constantly updated, but you might already want to test the follow classrooms for their full hybrid teaching features, especially the ceiling microphone, at any of the following locations (the situation as of 08/2022):

  • Otakaari 4: 201 and 202
  • Maarintie 8: TU4, TU5, TU6 and TU7
  • Otakaari 1: Hybrid teaching studio U134a

See also:

U block

What's the etiquette for using the common learning spaces?

Most learning spaces, whatever campus building they are in, are actually common learning spaces that all schools can use for their teaching and learning. Teaching and learning at different locations around the campus, irrespective of your ‘home base’ (your home department, study programme or school), is encouraged

  1. Make sure you have a booking for the room you are using. For courses, this has been usually done by Learning Services before the course starts.
  2. Do not remove or re-arrange the AV wires, change the connections or remove equipment from the classrooms as that may make it impossible for the next user to reliably use the presentation system or follow the instructions.
  3. If you remove or re-arrange some of the furniture, please return the room to the way it used to be. It may disturb the next user if the classroom does not fulfil their expectations; it may even result in a failed teaching event. Unfortunately, the campus services do not have the resources to check every room after use.
  4. After the teaching event, please turn off the AV presentation system via the user panel and take the time to tidy up the space after you.
  5. If you notice any equipment missing or not working properly, do report the failure. It is up to us all to make the campus learning spaces work for the next user! Here's how you report an issue. 
U8

How to get help and training on using the learning spaces?

Using the renewed presentation technology system might be daunting at first, especially if you intend to teach for both on campus and online audiences at the same time. Please take the time to get to know the learning space(s) beforehand by visiting them, practicing and asking for advice. We also encourage for you to ask your colleagues - and why not the students - for the best practices they have experienced. 
 

Learn in practice

  • To practice using the classroom presentation technology, you may use the virtual practice space for AV users (interface in English, user's manual in Finnish only at of 9/2022) 
  • All of the learning spaces have a printed quick guide to help you set up your presentation. If it's been lost, please ask the Lobby Services of the building to find one for you.
  • Please also see the quick guides for the presentation technology
  • Ask for help in using the presentation technology before your event at [email protected].
     

Training for using the learning spaces

Get help during teaching

  • The first point of contact if there is an urgent failure situation in the classroom is Lobby Services (opening hours). They can help you with missing equipment or basic issues with the presentation technology system. With a bigger failure, they contact IT services for extra assistance and equipment repairs.
  • In urgent situations such as getting stuck behind locked doors, you can contact the AaltoAPUA (24/7) helpline: +358 50 46 46 462   
ryhmätyö

How are the learning spaces developed and by whom?

Aalto University is constantly developing its physical and digital learning spaces and the services related to using them. The work is done by several units and teams that are keen to developing the spaces in a user-centric way. The teachers' and students' needs have been mapped by surveys and interviews and the analyzed data has been used in the recent learning space renovations. The units collaborating include:

  • ACRE (Aalto University Campus & Real Estate): Campus and real estate services 
  • Aalto ITS (IT Services): The learning spaces' presentation technology and instructions 
  • Aalto LES (Learning Services): collecting classroom user experience to help design classrooms that support current and future classroom needs, curriculum planning and teachers' classroom training in collaboration with ITS.
  • Aalto Lobby Services: The first point of contact for user help 

Related links

Lecture hall during the lecture

Teaching and learning

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