Designing for Active Engagement in Online Learning Environments

Ogunyemi, Abiodun; Bauters, Merja; Pejoska, Jana; Quaicoe, James Sunney


Online or distance learning presents the cortical asset for equality, engagement and inclusion. However, these concepts do not guarantee success. There are still some challenges in choosing methods of how to use and combine online tools successfully as well as on the tool design. For instance, low engagement with online learning environments is frequent and diverse. This issue may be because there is no careful thoughtfulness of practices or the tools used themself are too awkward or do not support well the contextual needs of the learners. Simple issues such as internet connection, tool ecology mismatch and choice of practices are also crucial for design consideration. Our framework follows cognitive brain research as it provides a clear starting point of combining design and practices for better online learning. Some of the brain research findings fit design and learning and are known to all but demonstrate to be true by brain research recently (For example, issues such as physical activity as well as active self-controlled thinking help learning. Similarly, sleeping enough boosts learning, constructive and timely feedback enhance learning, and having and keeping attention is crucial, but dependent on working memory and meaning-making also provides the long term memory and transferability. These points are basic elements of good design.

Workshop Schedule

Time ActivityBy Whom?
10:00Welcome and introductionAbiodun Ogunyemi
10:10First presentation (Methods and practices for supporting inclusion using current video-conferencing tools as learning environments) and guidance to fishbowlMerja Bauters and Jana Pejoska
10:25Fishbowl discussion All participants
10:55BREAK All
11:10Second presentation (Designing for active engagement in online learning environments: problems and prospects)Abiodun Ogunyemi
11:25 Fishbowl discussion All participants
11:55BREAK All
12:30Third presentation (Awe in online learning)Katri Saarikivi and Valtteri Wikström  
12:45Fishbowl discussion All Participants
13:15Explanations of the tasks in breakout roomsMerja Bauters
13:25Breakout room (three rooms)All participants
13:45BREAK All
13:50Breakout room teams’ summary presentations of the outcomes (three groups)Coordinators of each break out room
14:35Closing wordsJames Sunney Quaicoe
14:45End of workshopAll


Merja Bauters

Research Professor of Digital Transformation
and Lifelong Learning
School of Digital Technologies
Tallinn University, Estonia

Jana Pejoska

Learning Environments Research Group
School of Art, Design and Architecture
Aalto University, Finland

Abiodun Ogunyemi

Research Fellow
School of Digital Technologies
Tallinn University, Estonia

Katri Annukka Saarikivi

Project Manager
Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Finland

Valtteri Wikström

Cognitive Brain Research Unit (CBRU)
Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Finland