Kulttuuriperinnön maisteriohjelma



Welcome to our blogpost on the making of a Massive Open Online Course about Open Digital Cultural Heritage. In this blog we will offer you a peak behind the scenes of the process of making this MOOC!

This course will cover digital heritage collections of memory organizations, with a focus on openness and reuse, through interviews with representatives of Finnish memory organisations, assignments and required reading. The aims of this course are to:

  • Familiarize the students with key digital cultural heritage collections offered by the Finnish memory organizations and make them aware of essential opportunities and evident challenges in the use of these materials.
  • Equip the students with the skills to work with the procedures of searching relevant data sets, extract materials and work with different formats.
  • Train the students to evaluate practices concerning these collections and recognize relevant ethical principles.
  • Teach the students to evaluate materials from the viewpoint of potential research questions.

This course is intended for everyone with an interest in open digital heritage. Students from Helsinki University are invited to inscribe, as well as professionals working at the Finnish memory institutions that are interested in updating their knowledge and skills, and other interested individuals. The MOOC will also be made available to other Finnish universities.

This MOOC is the remote version of a regular course that has been taught over the last two years and will be completely in Finnish.

The Making Of

During three intensive days, 18 – 20 June 2018, seven interviews, that will form an important element of the MOOC, were conducted and recorded in Helsinki. Maija conducted the interviews and the filming was done by the Helsinki based Flik Media crew, and Suzie and Annemarie took pictures and offered moral support. For most of us this was a completely new experience, but we have seen the clips and are very happy with the result!

The following experts form Finnish memory organizations were interviewed about their collections, copyright issues, open data policy, ethics etc.:

SKS  – Sakari Katajamäki
Helsinki City Museum – Aki Pohjankyrö
Finnish Heritage Agency – Minna Ryyppö and Jutta Kuitunen
SuALT – Anna Wessman and Ville Rohiola
FINNA  – Maria, Erkki and Piia
Yle Archives – Tuomas Nolvi and Elina Yli-Ojanperä
National Archives – Lauri Hirvonen


Yesterday (20 Sept) Maija and Annemarie had a brainstorm session about the structure of the MOOC. Lots of sticky notes were involved!


The Making Of Part II

On 1 October 2018 we were happy to greet experts Eetu Mäkelä and Sanna Marttila on the 7th floor of the Kaisa House Library for the final interviews. These last two interviews were again conducted by Maija and recorded by Flik Media.

Eetu Mäkelä is professor in Humanities–Computing Interaction at the University of Helsinki and adjunct professor in Computer Science at Aalto University.
Sanna Marttila is one of the founding members of Open Knowledge Finland and a postdoctoral researcher at IT University of Copenhagen.


On 9 November 2018 we organised a workshop at the Kaisa House for university teachers and representatives from Finnish memory organisations.This workshop was meant to present a preliminary version of the MOOC and gather input from experts and stakeholders.

After a word of welcome by Suzie, Annemarie and Maija kicked of the workshop with a presentation of the MOOC. We explained the background of the course and the goals, gave a description of the development process, presented the partners, described the video content and process of filming the interviews, introduced the structure and content, and  data set examples. After the presentation of the MOOC there were three presentations by Eero Alasuutari of FlikMedia (Introduction of the Struu video platform), Tuomas Nolvi (Yle Archives), Tuomas Myrén (Helsinki City Museum).

In the afternoon the participants were invited to share their input in 5 discussion tables, in 2 x 45 minutes, focused on:

  1. Assignments
  2. Study Credits and Administration
  3. Structure & Content
  4. Technical and Practical Issues
  5. Evaluation Methods

The input from the 17 stakeholders that attended the workshop was very valuable and we are grateful to the participants for giving us their time and improving the content of the MOOC.


On 17 December 2018 the MOOC was officially presented. We organised a ’Digijoulu’ at the Helsinki University Think Corner where we invited all our project partners and everyone with an interest in the course.

After a word of welcome by Suzie, Päivi Heino (project secretary) talked about the Digiloikka project background, then Annemarie and Suzie presented the course and Aki Pohjankyrö of the Helsinki City Museum shared his expert views about the relevance of and his experience with this course. Afterwards there it was time for drinks ans snacks and the participants were offered the opportunity to test the MOOC on the available tablets.

Project Members

Maija Paavolainen
I am an information specialist from Helsinki University Library and I work in close connection with HELDIG Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities. What interests me are the changes of methods in humanities and the cultural heritage institutions digital collections as potential research data. I am taking part in curriculum planning for digital humanities in Helsinki University and speak for “humanities data literacy” in libraries and GLAM organizations.


Suzie Thomas
PhD Suzie Thomas on kulttuuriperinön tutkimuksen professori Helsingin yliopistossa. Ennen muuttoa Suomeen hän työskenteli yhteisöarkeologian asiantuntijana ja tutkijana Glasgow n yliopiston Rikoksen ja oikeuden tutkimuskeskuksessa kulttuurin laitonta kauppaa käsittelevässä projektissa. Suzie on Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage -aikakauslehden toinen perustaja ja päätoimittaja. Hän väitteli tohtoriksi kulttuuriperinnön tutkimuksesta New Castlen yliopistossa vuonna 2009. Tässä tutkimusprojektissa hän keskittyy erityisesti Lapin saksalaisesineiden keruuseen, etsintään ja kauppaan.

I am professor of cultural heritage studies at the University of Helsinki. Before moving to Finland, Iworked at the Council for British Archaeology as Community Archaeology Support Officer, and then as a Research Associate at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow. I’m a founding co-editor of the Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage. I completed my PhD in Cultural Heritage Studies at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle University, in 2009.

Annemarie Willems
Annemarie Willems is connected to this project as an external consultant. Since 2016 Annemarie  has her own consultancy practice in heritage management, AW Heritage Consultancy. She holds a MA in Cultural Heritage from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands and started her PhD research at the University of Helsinki on the development of Heritage Management Education in 2017. Annemarie is also the executive director for Friends of ICAHM, a non-profit that has been created to support the mission of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM).