Pedagogical design

This site features materials of pedagogical models and teaching methods.
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Pedagogical model:
The way of organising teaching and learning activities in a way that helps to learn progress in a pedagogically sound and structured manner is influenced by the current understanding of the nature of learning as a tool that facilitates the planning of teaching, creating and directing the learning and teaching process.

Pedagogical manuscript:
The term pedagogical manuscript is often used in connection with pedagogical models, referring to how learning situations and the tasks promoting learning are often divided into smaller sections. A student follows the learning path guided by this manuscript, while the pedagogical model guides this manuscript process either for the whole study unit or a part of it.

Planning template of a course

You can download a template that helps you to design a course by clicking the image below. The template works best with Acrobat Reader or PDF Xchange.

Planning template of a course

Pedagogical models and approaches

Case-based learning

Case-based learning is, by its nature, an authentic learning process based on the real world. The matters to be learned are approached through described cases or examples, which are then analysed and processed. Studying theoretical matters is also done through these concrete cases.
Typical processes that facilitate learning for case-based learning include, for example, problem-solving, analysing, comparisons, classification, synthetisation and abstraction (creating higher levels of abstraction and perspectives).

Cased-based teaching is used to solve emerging problems. The teaching is student-centred and interactive and is anchored to real situations (a press clipping, story, photo, video, etc). In the teaching situations, the students process a certain case based on their previous experiences and with the knowledge and skills they have learned in their studies. In addition to providing knowledge, case-based studies aim to improve analytical reasoning, collaboration skills, communication skills, ability to apply knowledge and creativity.

Challenge-based learning (CBL)

Challenge-based learning closely reminds problem-based learning and other similar pedagogical models. However, the hallmark of challenge-based learning is that the multidisciplinary learning team itself forms a challenge based on some real societal phenomenon. The aim is to develop a sustainable and user-oriented solution to the self-created challenge that is widely applicable. This pedagogical model combines team learning, deeper learning and multidisciplinary problem-solving. The responsibility for their own and the team’s learning lies with the learners themselves and they are supported in the learning experience by a team coach who facilitates the chosen method, such as the design process and supports the team in achieving their goals.

In the role of learner:

• Professional identity is strengthened

• Self-management and competence management are strengthened

• General working life skills are developing

• Teamwork/learning skills develop

• The sense of relevance is strengthened

• Systemic intelligence is evolving

In the role of team coach:

• Lead learners to interact and collaborate

• Build trust through empathy

• Ensuring feedback between learners

• Emphasis on purpose and goal

• Encouraged and valued

• Supported by various tools

Dialogue in learning, dialogical learning and knowledge construction

Dialogical learning, or dialogue in learning and knowledge construction, is seen as a highly multifaceted approach to learning and teaching. The DIANA (Dialogical Authentic Netlearning Activity Model) model designed at the start of the century (see Aarnio & Enqvist, 2016) helps teachers structure the learning process through dialogical collaborative knowledge construction. Studies in recent years have shown that dialogue skills and developing them require coaching (see Ruhalahti, 2019). To support this, dialogical methods were designed under the instruction of Helena Aarnio (2012).

Phenomenon-based learning

The Institute for the Languages of Finland defines the phenomenon as ‘an event, a series of events, a fact or a state of affairs that manifests itself in some way and that can be observed’. Phenomena-based learning means studying and learn a certain observable matter. Other terms for this include phenomena-centred or phenomena-oriented learning, extensive and multidisciplinary study modules, integrating and defragmenting studies, thematic studies, and cross-disciplinary teaching.

Flipped learning

Flipped learning transforms the entire learning culture, from the teachers to the learning events. The learning process often proceeds at the student’s own pace and independently. The teacher does not control learning by ensuring that the required assignments have been completed, for example. This will also lead to a situation where not all students may learn everything.

Flipped learning is often confused with the pedagogical model of the flipped classroom. The flipped classroom, however, is a more recent teaching method. It refers more to a technical change. The model was born from making teaching videos and offering them to students online.

Project-based learning

In project-based learning, the practical actions are formed into a project that has clear goals, schedules and resources. The different parties also have clear roles: students can learn through concrete production, research or development projects or through real customer work. The students will attempt to solve real problems by specifying the problem situation, collecting information, talking about their ideas, collecting and analysing the information received, working on the execution, interpreting the results, drawing conclusions and communicating their ideas and their discoveries to others.

Problem-based learning, PBL

The students will solve user cases, challenges and problems that they may come across in working life by, for example, allowing them to apply the knowledge they have studied and learned in practice. They will work in small groups and study the subject through open-ended questions. The teacher’s role during this group work, i.e. ‘tutorial’, is to guide the studies without providing finished answers to the common goals. Commitment and communal feeling in different environments highlight the significance of the team or group. The different stages of the PBL procedure are based on simultaneous and asynchronous online working as well as both independent and group-form contact and remote working and combining these requires careful planning of pedagogical and technical solutions.

In problem-based learning:

  • the focus is on the student
  • the learning occurs in a student community/small group
  • the instructor is a tutor or a facilitator
  • students usually solve real problems linked to working life
  • the solution is found in a self-directed or in a more structured, guided manner various digital environments are used to support the process (e.g. documentation, communal working, guidance).

Simulation pedagogics

Simulations refer to various learning situations that simulate actual working life situations. They can be related to developing further in one’s profession or achieving the basic competence level. The simulation can be done using simulators, simulation programmes or some other methods to simulate a real situation or phenomena. The aviation and security fields have been using simulations for a long time. In recent years, the use of simulations in teaching and learning has been on the rise, especially in the healthcare field. Simulation situations and their implementation models vary from field to field and depend on the available facilities and resources. Simulation situations designed for teaching can be utilised for practising social skills, for example. Built simulations, on the other hand, are meant for online environments and may include gamified elements. In addition to these, various patient simulations support simulation learning and teaching. The concept of a simulation varies depending on the field of education.

Deeper learning

Deeper learning is usually defined from the perspective of achieving a higher order of thinking (HOT) skills, which allows the student or learning community to analyse, interpret, study, compare, evaluate, construct and create new information. In working life, graduating students will be expected to possess these kinds of higher-order thinking skills, both now and in the future.

When planning and designing the teaching, it is good to keep a few factors in mind to promote deeper learning. The learning community is considered a central factor and motivator when deeper learning is the goal. Authenticity and authentic learning create an important base for collaborative knowledge construction that strives towards deeper learning. Collaborative knowledge building and, in particular, dialogical collaborative knowledge building are thought to steer students towards deeper learning. Self-paced studies planned for different stages of the learning process also facilitate deeper learning. In general, it can be said that project-form working promotes achieving the higher-order thinking skills of deeper learning.

Team learning

Cohen & Bailey (1997) give a systemic definition of a team as “a collection of individuals who are interdependent in their tasks, who share responsibility for outcomes, who see themselves and who are seen by others as an intact social entity embedded in one or larger social systems”. From the perspective of learning, especially notable in this definition is the team members’ interdependence and shared responsibility for outcomes which both have important implications for pedagogical design and, supporting structures, instruction (team coaching) and assessment practices.

From the perspective of two requirements of effective teamwork, the ability of the team to make sense of their shared situation and ways to create value in it, and the ability of the team to coordinate their actions in a way that increases that value in a meaningful way, team learning can be conceptualized a process that improves the team’s ability to build shared awareness of the situation and potential value in it, and the ability to coordinate their actions effectively towards increasing that value.

  • Sharing – the process of communication within the team, where knowledge, insights, competencies, beliefs, opinions and thoughts are shared,
  • Co-construction (of the meaning), or sense-making – the process where the team members confront and integrate what is being shared about their work and the project at hand, and
  • Constructive conflict, or tension – is the process of uncovering and integrating the diverse identities, perspectives and opinions within the team (Dochy & Segers, 2018; Decuyper, Dochy & Van den Bossche, 2010).

Facilitating all of these processes is a task for both the team members in a learning team and their team coach.

Inquiry-based learning

Phased teaching according to the model proceeds as follows:

  1. creating a context
  2. setting problems
  3. creating the students’ working theories
  4. critical evaluation
  5. acquiring new, deeper information
  6. designing specified questions 
  7. creating gradually specified theories
  8. sharing the process
  9. publishing the results

Cooperative learning

Cooperative learning means working in small groups to achieve a common goal. The objective is to ensure students are committed to the learning process through learning together and, secondly, teach the students cooperative skills and a sense of responsibility for their own learning and the learning process of other students. In cooperative learning, the focus is on the shared product and on how everyone will learn the same things and participate in achieving the common goal, utilising discussion, consideration and the group’s self-assessment as central learning methods. Cooperative work requires a goal-oriented approach, responsibility and commitment.

One model of cooperative learning is the ‘jigsaw puzzle technique’ where the student has a basic group, i.e. ‘home group’, and then members of this homegroup can be temporarily appointed to ‘expert groups’ for thematic work.

Various digital environments can be utilised in this model to support the activities in accordance with the process.

Collaborative learning

Collaborative learning refers to a learning process where all group members have a common assignment and goal and where they attempt to build shared meaning, commitment and understanding while interacting with others (see e.g. Dillenbourg, 1999; Baker, 1999; Järvelä & Häkkinen, 2002).

The prerequisite for this is that attention is paid to building the student community and on how not all ‘collaborative learning’ represents the collaborative learning model. The members of the student community have a common base and, also, a common goal for their learning.

Entrepreneurship pedagogics

Entrepreneurial team learning

A collaborative learning model, originally developed by Johannes Partanen at JAMK University of Applied Sciences’ Team Academy in 1990 and then further designed by TAMK Proakatemia since 1999, which is based on a holistic conception of humans, a pragmatic conception of knowledge (knowledge and action are combined and verified in an ongoing process), and a socio-constructivist conception of learning together.

At the core of this model are the membership and ownership of the learning process’s communities (the training programme’s community, the team company) which also act as the process’s main frame of reference, team coaching as the main guidance method, real business operations (projects) and client relationships, as well as dialogue as the key method of illustrating the team’s shared situational view, goals and operations, building new knowledge and reflection.

Entrepreneurial team learning is a demanding relational process where self-directed collective actions, dialogical reflection and creating new information all become twined together into a self-maintaining learning process with the goal of achieving positive and durable change in the material and social environment and conditions. This process is based on cooperation, which requires the participants (team members, coaches) to bravely maintain the shared values and goals and commitment to helping each other and cooperation while maintaining dialogue as the main objective of all communications.

Teaching methods

Different and versatile teaching methods create variety and diversity for teaching. Publications by Lapland University of Applied Sciences have practical methods for both contact and online teaching that can be applied in different fields.

Links checked 13.11.2023