Person of the Day: Professor Jari Multisilta

Jari Multisilta has two roles at TUT. In addition to being the director of the University Consortium of Pori (UCPori), he is a part time professor of multimedia. He has been at TUT since 1988, starting as a research assistant at the Computing Center. He was appointed to be the professor of multimedia at TUT in 2001.

Most of Jari’s time is devoted for fostering collaboration between the universities that have B.SC, M.Sc and PhD programs in UCPori, namely TUT, University of Tampere, University of Turku and Aalto University. There are altogether over 1100 students and 160 faculty members in Pori. Since UCPori collaborates closely also with the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK), the higher education collaboration in Pori could be described as an example for Tampere3.

Jari has been doing research on educational technology since 1990’s. He implemented one of the first www based courses on mathematics in the world already in 1994 (Matrix Algebra I) and was establishing the Hypermedia lab to TUT together with professor Seppo Pohjolainen.

Jari is also the associate professor at the faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Before starting as the director at the UCPori, he was the director of the Cicero Learning Network at the University of Helsinki for four years, 2011-2014. During the years, Jari has also been at Stanford University H-STAR institute as a visiting scholar for a few times, altogether 18 months. The experiences from the Silicon Valley has been a great source of inspiration for Jari. He would like to see more of positive attitude, support, sharing of ideas and encouragement among the researcher community.

In addition to academic outcomes, one startup has originated from Jari’s research. The company DiSEL21 Oy was established in 2015, and it is providing a video storytelling platform EdVisto for schools. The idea in EdVisto is that the students can create and share video stories collaboratively with others, and learn thru making content. The EdVisto platform supports for example inquiry learning, that has been introduced also to the Finnish National Core Curricula. Thje EdVisto has been used already in Finland, Greece, California, Spain, China and Singapore so far with students from the pre-school to higher education.

Currently, Jari’s research interests include mobile video storytelling, computational thinking and coding skills, games and gamification. You can find some of Jari’s work from the 2014 published book: Finnish Innovations and Technologies in Schools: A Guide Towards New Ecosystems of Learning edited by Hannele Niemi, Jari Multisilta, Lasse Lipponen and Marianna Vivitsou.

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