Deep learning evaluation in vocational teacher education: Conducted on the principles of authentic and dialogical collaborative knowledge construction

  • Sanna Ruhalahti University of Lapland, Faculty of Education HAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education
  • Helena Aarnio Ph.D, Lic.A Psych
  • Heli Ruokamo Ph.D. (Education) Vice Dean, Professor, Faculty of Education Director, Centre for Media Pedagogy University of Lapland, FINLAND
Keywords: Deep learning evaluation, authentic and dialogical collaborative knowledge construction, vocational teacher education, DIANA model


The vocational education system is being challenged to achieve a greater amount of deep learning. To facilitate the inclusion of more deep learning in the teaching and learning process, curriculum restructuring is required. This article reports the results of a study that investigated the kind of authentic and dialogical collaborative knowledge construction toward which the DIANA model (Dialogical Authentic Netlearning Activity) directs vocational student teachers (n=76). The results indicate that using authenticity as the basis for a learning process enabled individual study circles (f=19) to define questions that were meaningful to them but mainly directed the learners toward superficial learning-oriented activities. Notably, despite engaging primarily in superficial learning-oriented activities, the results indicate that dialogical collaborative knowledge construction still directed the learners toward deep learning, demonstrating how learning changed and was enriched during the process. The framework re-designed for evaluating superficial and deep learning will facilitate the examination of vocational teacher education learning activities in the future.

Author Biographies

Sanna Ruhalahti, University of Lapland, Faculty of Education HAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education

Teacher Educator, HAMK UAS, School of Professional Teacher Education, University of Lapland , Faculty of Education

Sanna Ruhalahti, M.A. works as a Teacher Educator at the HAMK UAS, School of Professional Teacher Education. Her ongoing doctoral studies at the University of Lapland are focusing on deep learning through  authentic, dialogical and collaborative knowledge construction in a diverse digital environments.
Helena Aarnio, Ph.D, Lic.A Psych
PhD, Lic. A. (Psych.), works as a part-time Teacher Educator and coach. Her research and development efforts have focused on interaction as well as learning and guidance in various operational environments, with dialogical learning, guidance and counselling as her areas of expertise.
Heli Ruokamo, Ph.D. (Education) Vice Dean, Professor, Faculty of Education Director, Centre for Media Pedagogy University of Lapland, FINLAND

Heli Ruokamo is a Professor of Media Education at the University of Lapland. She works as a Director at the Centre for Media Pedagogy. Her current research interests are pedagogical models for online learning, the educational use of ICT, playful, game-based, VR and simulation-based learning environments, and mobile and meaningful learning environments.


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How to Cite
Ruhalahti, S., Aarnio, H., & Ruokamo, H. (2018). Deep learning evaluation in vocational teacher education: Conducted on the principles of authentic and dialogical collaborative knowledge construction. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 8(2), 22-47.
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