Authentic, Dialogical Knowledge Construction: a blended and Mobile Teacher Education Program

Sanna Marjatta Ruhalahti, Anne-Maria Korhonen, Päivi Maria Rasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
234 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Knowledge construction and technology have been identified as critical for an understanding of the future of teacher education. Knowledge is discovered, applied and created collaboratively from authentic starting points. Today’s new mobile and blended learning environments create increased opportunities for such processes, including learner-centred approaches, authenticity and dialogical knowledge construction. However, teaching still requires appropriate learning design and structuring. The presented study explored, and was designed and implemented, using the ‘Dialogical Authentic Netlearning Activity’ (DIANA) pedagogical model, which is seen as one of the learning designing models for existing digital, open and mobile learning environments.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the challenges and opportunities inherent in the adoption of the DIANA model and to examine student-teachers’ reflections concerning authentic and dialogical knowledge construction. The focus is on the learning process.

Sample: Participants were 63 student-teachers who were following the study module ‘Networks in Vocational Education’ at the School of Professional Teacher Education, in Hämeenlinna, Finland.

Design and methods: This qualitative study uses a deductive content analysis to discern relationships between the data and the existing theory. The data for this study were drawn from an online questionnaire and participants’ self-reflective accounts.

Findings: The results indicate that achieving deep-oriented learning through dialogical actions is the most challenging part of using the DIANA model. Some of the students had difficulty understanding the concept of ‘authenticity’.

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest enhancing learner-centred scaffolding and guidance, particularly at the outset of the learning process. In addition, methods that develop dialogical skills and competences ought to be integrated into teacher education as extensively as possible, in order to make collaborative work and problem-solving genuinely dialogical and equal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-390
JournalEducational Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • DIANA (Dialogical Authentic Netlearning Activity) model
  • dialogical knowledge construction
  • authentic learning
  • blended learning
  • mobile learning
  • teacher education

Field of science

  • Media education


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