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21st CENTURY SKILLS
Towards
May 2020
DIGIFOR
PEDAGOGICAL
INSIGHTS FOR
TEACHERS
HENRIIKKA VARTIAINEN, PÄIVIKKI LIUKKONEN & SAARA NISSINEN
University of Eastern Finland


2
DIGIFOR – Digital Forest Pedagogy
The programme called South-East
Finland - Russia CBC 2014 – 2020
funded by the European Union, the
Russian Federation and the Republic of
Finland, aims to promote cross border
cooperation across the borders
between EU Member State Finland and
the Russian Federation. One of the
priorities of the programme is
“Innovative, skilled and well-educated
area”.
The theme “Support to education,
research, technological development
and innovation” bases on the need to
increase the level of education among
youth and elderly people. The society is
changing and there is demand to
update the education and lifelong
learning. All stages of education
enables opportunities to get
employment, and often reduces the risk
of social exclusion. Through education
and research, the programme can
promote internationalization of both
persons and companies.
The DIGIFOR- project aims to increase
the skills and competences of future
workforce in the forest sector in the
programme regions of South-East
Finland, Leningrad Region and the City
of St. Petersburg in Russia. The
partnership includes four Higher
Education Institutions: South-East
Finland University of Applied Sciences,
St. Petersburg State Forest
Technological University, St. Petersburg
State University of Industrial
Technology and Design, and University
of Eastern Finland.
One of the outcomes of the project is
this publication “Towards 21st Century
Skills – Pedagogical Insights for
DIGIFOR Teachers” delivered by the
researchers of the University of Eastern
Finland. While the DIGIFOR project’s
teachers are creating and developing
elearning modules for the study
courses exciting in the curriculums, the
publication supports the teachers in the
development of higher education
pedagogies and course design. There is
a possibility to meet the needs of future
working life better and more prepared
when the 21st Century Skills have been
taking into account in course design.
The publication is a tool not only for
the teachers in the DIGIFOR project, but
also for all the educators no matter of
the field of the study or a stage of
education. The example course
“Collaborative Problem Solving in
Multidisciplinary Networks” gives a
concrete example how the theory is
implemented in practice.
3
DIGIFOR PEDAGOGICAL COURSE DESIGN
Name of the course:
Aim of the course and how do the assignments support students to achieve them:
Participants of the course, length, course forms (e.g. online, blended, f2f):
Assessment of the course:
Description of
each
assignment
Learning
objectives
of the
assignment
Social
arrangements
(e.g. individual
work, group
work, whole
class
discussions)
Tools and
technologies
afforded
Role of the
teacher
Assessment
of the
assignment
(e.g. test, self-
assessment,
peer-
assessment)


WAYS OF THINKING WAYS OF WORKING TOOLS FOR WORKING LIVING IN THE WORLD
Creativity and
innovation
Communication
Collaboration
Information literacy
ICT literacy
Life and work
Skills related
to citizenship
Personal and
social responsibility
Critical thinking
Problem-solving
Decision- making
Learning to learn
Metacognition
01 02 03 04
1. INTRODUCTION TO 21st CENTURY SKILLS
The 21st century calls on us to solve
some of the most challenging problems
ever created and faced by humankind,
such as climate change, loss of
biodiversity, globalization, extreme
poverty, population growth, inequality,
and food as well as water safety.
Moreover, many of these wicked
problems are interconnected, networked
by nature and driven by digitalization. At
the same time, information and
communication technology (ICT) is also
transforming the ways that work is
conducted. Study after another have
forewarned of changes in labor needs, as
many of the jobs for routine production
workers - such as assembly line workers-
will probably disappear as technology
takes over repetitive tasks [1], [2].
Nowadays, automation is also rapidly
penetrating knowledge work sectors,
which for long were believed to be
relatively safe from automation [1].
In addition, society not only faces
changes in the work life and job markets,
but a major challenge is that young
people need to be educated for jobs that
do not yet exist [2].
In response to global challenges
compounded by the pace of automation,
diverse   governmental, business and
non-profit organizations have begun to
create strategies that pursue new
competences - often referred to as 21st
century skills. Several frameworks for
defining these skills have been proposed
and at their core, they share some
similarities that enable synthesizing them
in order to reach a larger-scale idea of
what 21st century skills are about [3]. For
example, when reviewing different
twenty-first-century frameworks, Binkley
et al. [4] found 10 skills and grouped
these skills into four categories (figure 1).
Figure 1. Synthesis of 21st skills by Binkley et al.[4].


T H I N G S T O
DISCUSS
Some frameworks also stress the changes in
the economy and the labor market caused by
globalization as one of the important driving
forces for the need of 21st century skills [5].
Nowadays, many companies and public sector
organizations have also begun to design and
create new products, interfaces and services
through cross-boundary teaming and
knowledge creation [6]. Much of this intense
interest is driven by the recognition that the
vast majority of innovations and business-
development opportunities lie in the interfaces
between knowledge boundaries – boundaries
associated with differences in expertise and
organizations [6]. As such, the next generation
of workers will need to have a deep
understanding of at least one domain, but they
also need to become fluent in collaborating and
learning with diverse field experts,
stakeholders, decision makers, producers, and
end users [7]. However, researchers are also
concerned that there is an increasing gap
between such knowledge work and the narrow
problem-solving capabilities that are promoted
in higher education practices, e.g., [8]–[10].
Why are
21st century skills
important in my field?
Which of 21st century competencies
should be learned in…
2. OVERVIEW OF PEDAGOGY IN AN INDUSTRIAL
SOCIETY VERSUS AN KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY
One of the challenging questions related
to 21st century skills, is related to
defining their role and place within the
school curriculums. Voogt and Roblin [2]
argue that  21st century skills can either
be: 1) added to an already existing school
curriculum as new subjects or as new
content within traditional subjects; 2)
integrated as cross curricular themes that
place emphasis on the development of
higher level competences and  transversal
skills  or 3),  a part of a new curriculum in
which the traditional structure of school
subjects is transformed and schools are
regarded as learning organizations.
However, teachers and educators should
not only be knowledgeable about what
21st century competencies are about, but
also understand how these skills can be
cultivated through deliberate pedagogical
approaches [2], [11].
A. School (formal learning)
B. At the workplace?
C. At home & with peers
(informal learning)?


Throughout the history of schooling, the
goal of teaching has been to organize
what is to be learned into appropriately
sized and sequenced pieces, and to
arrange optimal methods of delivery [12].
This kind of pedagogy is characterized as
linear [13], because the students receive
the same instruction from a teacher, do
some predefined exercises and then,
individual student success is assessed
largely in terms of their ability to
reproduce what they have been taught 
[12], [13]. Especially the practices and
conventions in higher education are often
based on the idea that the task of the
teacher is to transmit knowledge [14].
While in the industrial society the main
focus of education was to ensure that all
students acquire the same, predefined
knowledge or skills, in the knowledge
society, the development of 21st century
skills are considered increasingly
important. For the development of 21st
century skills,  new learning theories and 
modern methods call for non-linear
pedagogy [13], i.e. modern methods of
learning such as knowledge building [15],
progressive inquiry [16], project-based
learning [17], problem-based learning [18]
and learning by collaborative designing
[19]. Although these approaches for
nonlinear pedagogy have their differences,
roughly summarized, what sets these
approaches apart from linear pedagogy, is
that they all seem to highlight shifting the
focus in education from what teachers
should teach, to collaborative learning,
active participation, and being able to use
different tools, technologies and
information resources to solve real-life
problems that are very complex by nature
[20]. Moreover, nonlinear pedagogy
inherits the idea that a deep
understanding of domain knowledge can
be achieved through the exercise of 21st
century skills [10]. Table 1 presents an
overview of linear and non-linear
pedagogy in order to clarify their
similarities and differences [2][13].
Towards 21st century skills through
nonlinear pedagogy
ASPECTS LINEAR PEDAGOGY NON-LINEAR PEDAGOGY
Learning
objectives
• Transmission of specific skills,
knowledge or techniques
• Discipline-based
• Development of 21st century skills, often
realized through core subjects
• Transversal, Multidisciplinary
Learning
task
• Pre-defined task and solution models
determined by the teacher
• Apply known solutions to pre-defined
problems
• Individual work/homogeneous groups
• Open-ended tasks, in which solution models
are determined by the learners
• Create new solutions to problems that are
partly ill-defined
• Working in teams/heterogeneous groups
Information
resources
• Pre-defined (“pushing” of knowledge) • Open and extended (“pulling” knowledge on
demand basis)
Structuring • Scripted models of action, little
variation in activities
• Reproductive learning
• Adaptive structuring, many different activities
• Productive learning
Scaffolding • Elimination of errors • On-demand scaffolding, learning through
creative failures
Context • Usually within the school • Extends the boundaries of school learning,
increases unpredictability
Assessment • Summative assessment of outcomes • Formative assessment during learning process
Table 1. Overview of pedagogy in an industrial society versus an knowledge society,
adopted from Hakkarainen et al. [13].


In short, non-linear pedagogy appears to
emphasize three main features that differ
from more traditional modes of
instruction. The first feature to note, is the
nature of learning tasks that organize the
process of learning and collaboration. In
linear pedagogy, teachers typically define
the task or the problem to be solved,
information resources to be used and what
the expected solution will look like [12],
[13]. In contrast to such “closed” tasks,
non-linear pedagogy is based on open-
ended, multifaceted and complex
problems with neither clearly defined
parameters nor clear solution strategies
[19]. Such complex tasks feature real-
world scenarios and cannot be completed
by one person. Instead, they demand
collaboration as well as the use of diverse
information resources [20]. In other words,
the students need to articulate the
problem, then search, evaluate, construct
and share information, and finally apply it
in the context problem-solving process at
hand [18].
 
Secondly, non-linear pedagogy moves
from individual exercises to collaborative
learning that aims to mirror the process of
expert problem solving processes [17]. By
working together in small groups,
students are expected to actively
communicate, share their expertise and
previous knowledge, make joint decisions
as well as to negotiate roles and
responsibilities [21]. In order to truly
appropriate expert-like practices, students
also need to work and collaborate with
domain experts that are relevant in
students’ future professions [22]. Through
the participation in expert practices,
students may begin to acquire the norms,
values, and skills that shape the core
identity of the expert community [22],
[23], including the tacit dimension of
knowing [24]. Hence, when students are
working with domain experts and
professionals, they may also participate in 

the expert practices and see how scientific
knowledge can be applied to solve 









































important, real-life problems. Accordingly,
these types of non-linear projects tend to
extend the boundaries of school learning
[25].
 
The third and equally important main
feature of non-linear pedagogy concerns
the relations between teachers and
students. While non-linear pedagogy
emphasizes emergent goals and processes
that are formed and modified by students
in the course of pursuing them [10],
teachers play a critical role in
orchestrating collaborative efforts [13]. In
collaborative inquiry and knowledge
creation, the teacher's role is to be a
facilitator that provides on-demand
scaffolding in response to each group's
unique project at hand [26]. This requires
adaptive structures and provision of
constructive feedback throughout the
learning process, but also facilitation of
collaboration and team working skills
while generating and advancing ideas
together. Sawyer [27] describes such
adaptive processes of teaching and
learning as collective improvisation and
invention, guided by and along with the
teachers. [2][13].
8
From the teacher’s perspective, non-linear
pedagogy also sets a demanding challenge to
transform assessment practices to reflect the
new skills and demands of knowledge
society. As argued by Binkley et al. [28],  21st
century skills are difficult to assess by
traditional assessment methods and
practices.  To assess 21st century skills, there
is an evident need to pair summative
assessment (e.g.  standardized tests at the
end of a course) with formative assessment
(e.g. self-assessment, peer-assessment,
process portfolios). [4][10]. The primary goal
of formative assessment is to make student
learning and understanding visible, so that
teachers are able to adapt teaching strategies
to meet the student needs (i.e., assessment
for learning) [2], [4]. This may be done, for
example, by structuring the tasks and
processes in ways that require and
encourage students to share their previous
knowledge as well as their evolving
understanding, both with one another and
with the teacher.   In all, such process-
oriented assessment methods may support
new forms of dialogue that make students’
thinking and reasoning processes visible for
joint evaluation and development, thereby
providing opportunities to use assessment as
a means to improve teaching and learning
[2], [10].
T H I N G S T O
DISCUSS
3. THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN COLLABORATIVE
LEARNING
Are new forms of assessment
needed in our teaching
and why?
What is the
relationship between
21st century skills
and our existing curricula?
What is the relationship between 21st
century pedagogy and our existing
teaching practices?
When talking about 21st century skills, many
of the above discussed frameworks highlight
the role of ICT. The development of
technology is not only regarded as an
argument for the need of new skills by all
frameworks, but it is also connected to a
whole new set of competences about how to
effectively use, manage, filter, evaluate, and
create information across different types of
media [2]. According to Voogt and Roblin
[2], all frameworks for 21st century skills
seem to refer to the following   three
perspectives and skills for integrating ICT in
education: 1) basic technical and operational
skills needed for using, understanding, and
evaluating technology (technical domain), 2)
the use of ICT with a particular knowledge
domain and related purpose (knowledge
domain), and 3) the overall capacity to
access, evaluate and use information
(information literacy). From a teacher's
perspective, these highlight the
understanding of how different technologies
may be used in specific pedagogical
practices, how technology could be used to
facilitate student’s collaboration and
knowledge creation as well as for instructing
and supporting students toward a deeper
understanding of the subject matter [2].


9
During the recent decades, different kinds
of technologies have been used for
supporting and triggering the activities of
collaborative learning and knowledge
creation. Moore, Dickson-Deane and
Galyen [29] have outlined several
analogous concepts, such as Learning
Management Systems (LMS), Course
Management Systems (CMS), Virtual
Learning Environments (VLE) and
Knowledge Management Systems (KMS)
referring to online learning environments,
such as Moodle, Optima or Blackboard.
Typically, these environments contain tools
for delivering and creating learning
materials, areas for collaboration and
communication, and tools for assessment.
Currently, different cloud services like G
Suite for Education by Google or Office 365
by Microsoft have also been integrated into
education, providing a wide variety of tools
for collaborative knowledge creation such
as collaborative writing tools, forms,
video-conferencing, and so forth.
Moreover, advances in learning analytics
have provided new tools to explore and
support some of the core processes of
computer-supported collaborative learning
by tracking, collecting, analyzing, and
reporting data about development of
students’ participation, activities, and
social interaction [30]–[32]. As such, these
new computational methods have provided
teachers and students with fundamentally
new, data-driven ways to view and support
the critical phases of collaborative learning,
find evidence of critical moments of
success or failure, and to act upon this
information to improve learning and
collaboration [33].
 
In addition to these formal online learning
environments provided by schools or
universities, informal learning
environments and social-media tools may
also provide novel channels for discussing,
sharing ideas and fostering social networks
[34], [35]. Today’s technologies also offer
ample possibilities for participating in
collective knowledge creation in which
people from various backgrounds can
share their ideas, projects, and expertise
with others [36]. For example, OpenForest-
portal (www.openmetsa.fi) connects diverse
experts, professionals, school communities
and anyone interested, for boundary-
crossing knowledge creation around forest
related phenomena.
 
T H I N G S T O
DISCUSS
How can ICT support the
development of 21st century skills?
How can ICT support the
assessment of 21st
century skills?


10
OpenForest
www.openmetsa.fi
In Finland, forest serves both as a naturally
rich environment of learning and as a
boundary object motivating shared activity
between diverse stakeholders. The basic idea
of OpenForest is to serve as a hub that
connects people from various backgrounds to
share their ideas, insights and expertise
around forest-related phenomena.  
 
Originally, OpenForest evolved as a part of a
joint project between University of Eastern
Finland, Natural Resources Institute Finland,
Finnish Forest Centre, Finnish Forest Museum
Lusto and Metsähallitus. Currently, the portal
has   5181 registered users and 2331 Wiki
articles that are in large parts produced by
experts in forest research, ecology, culture,
and education. These include, for example, an
introduction to research in arboretums and
local areas, domain-specific models of
approaching the forest phenomena, as well as
representations of tools that different experts
use in their work. Forest environments are also
approached through various learning projects
carried out in teacher training, basic education
and in early childhood education. 
 
The content of OpenForest is presented
through diverse media, such as audio,  image,
video, and text, in any combination. For
example, the portal offers a virtual trail in the
Punkaharju arboretum and esker area with
360° views, as well as real-time measurement
data of the provenance trials. Wiki articles can
be accessed via context-aware technologies,
such as accurate geographic information
environment (GIS), that connect physical
objects and landscapes with digital
information.
OpenForest portal's
current development
is linked to several
projects including:

• DigiCampus
• Digifor
• Physical and
Virtual Exposition
of Forest
Bioeconomy


11
T H I N G S T O
DISCUSS
4. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Researchers also highlight the central role
of teachers in the implementation of 21st
century skills and curriculum innovations
[2]. Teachers are not only expected to
facilitate the acquisition of 21st century
skills in their students, but teachers
themselves are also required to be
competent in them [5], [11]. Moreover, 21st
century skills pose many challenges for
teachers as they need to develop new
teaching methods as well as their abilities
to make use of ICT tools when supporting 
learning [2], [11]. While most frameworks
recommend integrating 21st century skills
across the curriculum, they also call for a
more systematic change that provides
teachers with essential institutional support
to implement these reforms in practice [37].
 
However, previous research has shown that
school reforms are often ineffective because
they tend to focus on isolated elements
while disregarding the sociocultural
interplay of wider educational structures,
cultures and practices that support and
constrain teachers’ professional
development [37]. In reality, teachers are
often working in school systems with
organizational structures, practices, rituals,
and beliefs, which are very different from
the framework conceptualized by the new
educational innovations [38]. Consequently,
there is a need to build multi-professional
collaboration structures between teachers,
school leaders, researchers and experts for
the co-development of learning
environments, curriculums and pedagogies
for 21st learning.
 
Moreover, researchers highlight the
importance of promoting teachers' agency
throughout the implementation of 21st
century skills, starting from the discussion
of their importance, to the definition of
their role and place in the curriculum, as
well as their implementation and
assessment in practice [2].   This may be
actualized, for example, by organizing in-
service programs that provide teachers
pedagogical, socio-emotional and
technological support for co-designing and
implementing boundary-crossing learning
projects in their own schools [36]. Ongoing
support structures should also include
dialoguing sessions, in which the teachers
are encouraged to reflect on their own
goals and project activities as well as to
share their moments of success or failure
both with their peers and with researchers
[36]. Such sustained collaboration is
important for understanding and dealing
with the contextual challenges associated
with the implementation of 21st century
skills and may also provide socio-emotional
support needed in coping with the
uncertainties and complexity of change [2],
[36].
What kind of
competences do
teachers need in order
to implement 21st century skills?
What kind of institutional support is needed
to implement 21st century skills in practice?
What kind of professional development 

programs are needed to support
the implementation of
21st century skills?


12
DigiCampus
5. EXAMPLE COURSE
Hanna Vuojärvi, Miikka Eriksson & Henriikka Vartiainen
Collaborative Problem Solving in Multidisciplinary Networks
In order to support the development of
higher education pedagogies that promote
learning of 21st century skills, the present
final chapter presents an example from an 
inter-university course on forest
bioeconomy implemented in the summer
2019 in Finland (for further information,
please see Vuojärvi, Eriksson & Vartiainen,
2020). This novel five-credit course, titled
Collaborative Problem Solving in
Multidisciplinary Networks, was designed
by a multidisciplinary team of eight
persons including teachers, researchers
and experts from the fields of education,
forestry and bioeconomics, during an eight
month period lasting from August 2018 to
March 2019. As the new course was open
to students from both Universities and
Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS)
regardless of their discipline, the team
members came from both university and
UAS education backgrounds.
 
In short, the aim of  the course was to
foster higher education students’ 21st
century skills through collaborative
problem-solving in cross-boundary teams
in the context of forest bioeconomics. Two
course formats were available: a blended
learning version—TeamCamp—that
included a three-day intensive period after
the preparatory phase of the course (see
Table 3) and an online version—DigiCamp
—that involved no face-to-face contact.
Students were free to choose between
blended and online course options. The
course design was based on nonlinear
pedagogy and informed by the framework
of 21st century skills provided by Binkley et
al.[4]. 
 
During the 11-week course, students
completed altogether eight assignments.
Each assignment had to be completed
successfully before students could move
on to the next one. Table 2 presents the
overall design and organization of the
course including the assignments.


13
Description of assignments and
activities students engaged in
Learning objectives
21st century skills proposed by
Binkley et al. (2012) are bolded
Interaction with teachers
Preparatory assignments (1–4)
1. Provide introductions through
FlipGrid videos.
To develop oral communication
skills via video introductions.
Feedback if needed.
2A. Determine perceptions of the
skills and knowledge needed in the
field of forest bioeconomics.
2B. Present students’ learning
objectives.
To develop metacognition by
setting goals (life and career)
and completing a self-evaluation
at the end of the course.
Teacher accepts or rejects the
submission. Feedback if needed.
3A. Familiarise students with the
field of forest bioeconomics
through the provided materials.
3B. Formulate five questions about
the forest bioeconomy.
To develop multiliteracy by
managing information from
various sources and engage in
critical thinking and problem-
solving by asking personally
meaningful questions.
May follow students’ activity
during step A via DigiCampus.
Teacher accepts or rejects
submission.
4. Interview a forest bioeconomics
professional about the company’s
operations related to a forest
bioeconomy and the key
knowledge and skills needed in the
field.
To develop the ability to interact
with professionals in the forest
bioeconomics field (life and
career).
Teacher accepts the subject of
the interview.
Assignments submitted to a
discussion forum. Possibility for
interaction and feedback.
Development challenge (5–6)
5A. Negotiate the rules of
collaboration for your team.
5B. Choose the ten most
interesting questions from the pool
of questions created for
assignment 3.
5C. Categorise the chosen
questions with one’s team to find a
common theme of interest.
5D. Formulate a development
challenge for the team.
5E. Take advantage of
scientific research and expert
knowledge to develop an
executable solution for the
challenge.
To develop the ability to
collaborate; communicate; and
use technologies and social
networks to search, organise,
evaluate, create and communicate
information (multiliteracy). To
become willing to leverage others’
strengths to accomplish a
common goal, understand
strategies for tackling ill-defined
problems and base decisions on
evidence (critical thinking,
problem-solving and decision-
making).
TeamCamp: Interaction with
teachers possible during the
whole process of teaming and
formulation of the development
challenge.
DigiCamp: Interaction with
teachers possible during the
process of teaming through the
team’s discussion forum and
email.
Teacher provides feedback on
submitted report through the
team’s discussion forum.
6. Prepare a short pitch about the
team’s solution using FlipGrid.
To develop communication skills
by presenting results in the form
of a video.
Feedback if needed.
Assessment (7–8)
7. Perform peer assessments based
on other teams’ pitches created
using FlipGrid.
To develop personal and social
responsibility by learning to
provide constructive feedback in a
professional manner.
Feedback if needed.
8. Perform self-assessment and
reflect on the learning objectives
and process of working in a team.
To develop metacognition and
the ability to learn by reflecting
on the objectives of learning.
Feedback if needed.
Table 2. The course design
14
The first four assignments were preparatory
assignments that students completed individually.
Their objective was to introduce students to one
another and present an overview of the field and
basic concepts of bioeconomics. As a support on the
preparatory assignments, various materials, including
instructions and introductions, were provided
through a virtual learning environment (VLE) called
DigiCampus.  The materials took the form of video
lectures by teachers, introductory videos by experts
of different sectors of bioeconomics, articles, and
lists of references. The participating teachers
introduced themselves in videos via FlipGrid
application.
 
During the preparatory assignments, teachers were
tasked with monitoring students’ efforts, accepting
or rejecting students’ submissions and giving
feedback when needed. Teachers were able to follow
students’ progress on DigiCampus VLE. In the
preparatory assignment 4, that featured an interview
of a forest bioeconomics professional, teachers
accepted or rejected the interview subject, and in
cases of rejection, guided students towards a more
suitable interviewee.
 
The assignments 5 and 6 served as the core of the
course, providing a development challenge to be
completed in cross-boundary teams formed by the
teachers. The formation of the teams was mainly
based on the students’ primary disciplines, but their
former studies and work history were also considered
in order to compose as heterogeneous groups as
possible.
 
The teams were provided with private discussion
forums on DigiCampus VLE for asynchronous
communication and with a chat room for
synchronous communication, but they were also
encouraged to use any suitable applications to make
interaction as effortless as possible. The teams were
also encouraged to actively interact with the
participating teachers or other experts they believed
could help them complete their development
challenge. Throughout the course, students had
access to the materials provided for the preparatory
assignments, but they also had to search for and
choose additional materials suitable for their work.
When starting to work on the development challenge
assignments, the teams were required to agree on
the rules for their work (assignment 5A) and post
them on the discussion forum in the DigiCampus VLE
to ensure that strategies were in place to deal with
possible conflicts or disagreements.
Provide different
types of activities
and schedule tasks
over a longer period
of time





Create strategies that enable
learners to actively process
the task or subject matter at
hand
Embed f2f/online
discussion into course
task design. Provide toolsthat help learners to
manage, organize and
carry out their learning
processes


Provide tasks that the
learner must carry out
by making use of the
source-materials


15
For assignment 5B, each student chose ten
interesting questions about forest bioeconomics from
the pool of questions to which all participating
students contributed during preparatory assignment
4. Next, the chosen questions were categorised and
analysed by each team to formulate a common
development challenge (i.e. an ill-defined question).
Teams were tasked with developing solutions to
these challenges that could be operationalised,
required research-based knowledge and utilised
modern technology. The teams had to prepare a
written report as well as a five-minute video pitch for
their solution using FlipGrid.
 
Following the 21st century skills framework of
Binkley et al.[4]  and the pedagogical starting points
presented above, the idea of the development
challenge assignments (5 and 6) were to engage
students in a co-creative process that entails (1)
communicating and collaborating in cross-boundary
teams with people of different backgrounds, (2) using
digital technologies and social networks to promote
teamwork (3) developing multiliteracy and critical
thinking skills by making students search for,
organise and evaluate information; (4) basing
decisions on evidence; (5) make their process visible
through communicating information within their
teams and to teachers and other students (6) being
flexible and willing to consider others’ ideas and
ways of working; and (7) identifying and leveraging
others’ strengths to accomplish a common goal.
 
During the development challenge phase, teachers
created the cross-boundary teams and re-assigned
students in case of dropouts, which happened only in
the DigiCamp course. Teachers were also involved in
helping teams formulate their development
challenges, and they had to accept the topic of each
challenge before the teams could move on. For teams
within the TeamCamp course, this interaction that
made students’ and teams’ processes visible to
teachers took place face-to-face. For teams within
the DigiCamp course, interaction took place in
discussion forums within the DigiCampus VLE or via
email. If DigiCamp teams needed help, teachers
clarified the instructions. At the end of the
development challenge phase, teachers gave
feedback to the teams about their pitches and
reports. The TeamCamp teams participated in a
feedback session via Skype for Business, and the
DigiCamp teams received feedback through their
discussion forums in the DigiCampus VLE.
Provide guidance
and feedback
throughout the
learning process.  
You can, for example,
pose activating questionsor give written feedback,spoken feedback or
feedback via video
Use scheduled check-
points and feedback
to provide structure
Take time to formulate
challenging tasks for
learners


16
The last two assignments of the course concerned
assessment. Each student assessed and wrote a one-
page analytic summary of the other teams’ pitches.
To assess their own performance and learning within
the course, students reflected on the learning
objectives they set at the beginning of the course and
how they worked in their teams. The objective of this
phase was to develop students’ personal and social
responsibility by teaching them to provide
constructive feedback in a professional manner and
to help them develop metacognition and the ability to
learn by reflecting on learning objectives. In addition,
it taught students how to reflect on the process of
working in cross-boundary teams, analyze changes
in their thinking and consider how these changes
may affect their working processes in the future.
Teachers accepted or rejected these submissions and
gave feedback when needed.
´


Use assessment as ameans to reflect onlearning and toimprove on your ownteaching as well
17
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING
[1] P. J. Denning and M. Tedre, Computational Thinking.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2019.
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[3] C. Dede, “Comparing Frameworks for 21st Centruy Skills,” in
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51–76.
[4] M. Binkley, H. Erstad O., S. J. Raizen, M. Ripley, M. Miller-Ricci,
and M. Rumble, “Defining twenty-first century skills,” in
Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills, P. Griffin, B.
McGaw, and E. Care, Eds. New York, NY: Springer, 2012.
[5] J. Voogt and N. P. Roblin, “A comparative analysis of
international frameworks for 21st century competences:
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44, no. 3, pp. 299–321, Jun. 2012, doi:
10.1080/00220272.2012.668938.
[6] A. C. Edmondson and J. F. Harvey, “Cross-boundary teaming
for innovation: Integrating research on teams and knowledge in
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347–360, 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.hrmr.2017.03.002.
[7] H. Vartiainen, M. Tedre, A. Salonen, and T. Valtonen,
“Rematerialization of the virtual and its challenges for design and
technology education,” Techne Ser., vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 52–69,
2020.
[8] C. Bereiter, Education and mind in the knowledge age, vol. 40,
no. 04. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 2002.
[9] H. Muukkonen, M. Lakkala, J. Kaistinen, and G. Nyman,
“Knowledge Creating Inquiry in a Distributed Project-Management
Course,” Res. Pract. Technol. Enhanc. Learn., vol. 05, no. 02, pp.
73–96, 2010, doi: 10.1142/s1793206810000827.
[10] M. Scardamalia, J. Bransford, B. Kozma, and E. Quellmalz,
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9789400723, P. Griffin, B. McGaw, and E. Care, Eds. New York,
NY: Springer, 2012, pp. 231–300.
[11] T. Valtonen et al., “Insights into Finnish first-year pre-service
teachers’ twenty-first century skills,” Educ. Inf. Technol., vol. 22,
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[12] G. Wells, “Dialogic inquiry in education,” in Vygotskian
perspectives on literacy research, 2000, pp. 51–85.
[13] K.Hakkarainen and P. Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, “Epälineaarinen
pedagogiikka keksintöprojekteissa,” in Keksimisen pedagogiikka,
T. Korhonen and K. Kangas, Eds. PS-kustannus, 2020, pp. 322–
351.
[14] K. Lonka and E. Ketonen, “How to make a lecture course an
engaging learning experience?,” Stud. Learn. Soc., vol. 2, no. 2–3,
2012, doi: 10.2478/v10240-012-0006-1.
[15] C. Bereiter and M. Scardamalia, “Knowledge Building: Theory,
Pedagogy, and Technology,” in Cambridge Handbook of the
Learning Sciences, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press,
2006, pp. 97–118.
[16] K. Hakkarainen, Epistemology of inquiry and computer-
supported collaborative Learning. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis.
University of Toronto, 1998.
[17] J. S. Krajcik and P. C. Blumenfeld, “Project-based learning,” in
The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 317–333.
[18] D. H. Jonassen and W. Hung, “All Problems are Not Equal:
Implications for Problem-Based Learning,” Interdiscip. J. Probl.
Learn., vol. 2, no. 2, 2008, doi: 10.7771/1541-5015.1080.
[19] P. Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, M. Viilo, and K. Hakkarainen,
“Learning by collaborative design: Technology-enhanced
knowledge practices,” Int. J. Technol. Des. Educ., vol. 20, no. 2,
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[20] H. Vartiainen, Principles for design-oriented pedagogy for
learning from and with museum objects. Dissertations in
Education, Humanities, and Theology, no. 60. University of
Eastern Finland, 2014.
[21] S. Hennessy and P. Murphy, “The Potential for Collaborative
Problem Solving in Design and Technology,” Int. J. Technol. Des.
Educ., vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 1–36, 1999, doi: 10.1023/A:
1008855526312.
[22] E. Wenger, Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and
Identity, vol. 9. 1998.
[23] J. S. Brown, A. Collins, and P. Duguid, “Situated Cognition
and the Culture of Learning,” Educ. Res., vol. 18, no. 1, p. 32,
1989, doi: 10.2307/1176008.
[24] M. Polanyi, The Tacit dimension. Chicago, IL: The University
of Chicago Press, 1966.
[25] H. Vartiainen, A. Liljeström, and J. Enkenberg, “Design-
oriented pedagogy for technology-enhanced learning to cross
over the borders between formal and informal environments,” J.
Univers. Comput. Sci., vol. 18, no. 15, pp. 2097–2119, 2012, doi:
10.3217/jucs-018-15-2097.
[26] A. Liljeström, J. Enkenberg, and S. Pöllänen, “Making learning
whole: An instructional approach for mediating the practices of
authentic science inquiries,” Cult. Stud. Sci. Educ., vol. 8, no. 1,
pp. 51–86, 2013, doi: 10.1007/s11422-012-9416-0.
[27] R. K. Sawyer, Structure and improvisation in creative
teaching. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
[28] J. L. Moore, C. Dickson-Deane, and K. Galyen, “E-Learning,
online learning, and distance learning environments: Are they the
same?,” Internet High. Educ., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 129–135, 2011,
doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2010.10.001.
[29] D. Gašević, S. Dawson, and G. Siemens, “Let’s not forget:
Learning analytics are about learning,” TechTrends, vol. 59, no. 1,
2015, doi: 10.1007/s11528-014-0822-x.
[30] M. Berland, R. S. Baker, and P. Blikstein, “Educational data
mining and learning analytics: Applications to constructionist
research,” Technol. Knowl. Learn., vol. 19, no. 1–2, pp. 205–220,
2014, doi: 10.1007/s10758-014-9223-7.
[31] M. Saqr, J. Nouri, H. Vartiainen, and J. Malmberg, “What
makes an online problem-based group successful? A learning
analytics study using social network analysis,” BMC Med. Educ.,
vol. 20, no. 1, p. 80, 2020, doi: 10.1186/s12909-020-01997-7.
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paper special issue computers in human behavior
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295–297, 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2019.07.020.
[33] H. Vuojärvi, M. Eriksson, and H. Vartiainen, “Cross-boundary
collaboration and problem-solving to promote 21st century
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“Connected learning in international learning projects: Emergence
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“Teachers’ Insights Into Connected Learning Networks: Emerging
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Digifor 21skills

  • 1. 21st CENTURY SKILLS Towards May 2020 DIGIFOR PEDAGOGICAL INSIGHTS FOR TEACHERS HENRIIKKA VARTIAINEN, PÄIVIKKI LIUKKONEN & SAARA NISSINEN University of Eastern Finland
  • 2. 
 2 DIGIFOR – Digital Forest Pedagogy The programme called South-East Finland - Russia CBC 2014 – 2020 funded by the European Union, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Finland, aims to promote cross border cooperation across the borders between EU Member State Finland and the Russian Federation. One of the priorities of the programme is “Innovative, skilled and well-educated area”. The theme “Support to education, research, technological development and innovation” bases on the need to increase the level of education among youth and elderly people. The society is changing and there is demand to update the education and lifelong learning. All stages of education enables opportunities to get employment, and often reduces the risk of social exclusion. Through education and research, the programme can promote internationalization of both persons and companies. The DIGIFOR- project aims to increase the skills and competences of future workforce in the forest sector in the programme regions of South-East Finland, Leningrad Region and the City of St. Petersburg in Russia. The partnership includes four Higher Education Institutions: South-East Finland University of Applied Sciences, St. Petersburg State Forest Technological University, St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technology and Design, and University of Eastern Finland. One of the outcomes of the project is this publication “Towards 21st Century Skills – Pedagogical Insights for DIGIFOR Teachers” delivered by the researchers of the University of Eastern Finland. While the DIGIFOR project’s teachers are creating and developing elearning modules for the study courses exciting in the curriculums, the publication supports the teachers in the development of higher education pedagogies and course design. There is a possibility to meet the needs of future working life better and more prepared when the 21st Century Skills have been taking into account in course design. The publication is a tool not only for the teachers in the DIGIFOR project, but also for all the educators no matter of the field of the study or a stage of education. The example course “Collaborative Problem Solving in Multidisciplinary Networks” gives a concrete example how the theory is implemented in practice.
  • 3. 3 DIGIFOR PEDAGOGICAL COURSE DESIGN Name of the course: Aim of the course and how do the assignments support students to achieve them: Participants of the course, length, course forms (e.g. online, blended, f2f): Assessment of the course: Description of each assignment Learning objectives of the assignment Social arrangements (e.g. individual work, group work, whole class discussions) Tools and technologies afforded Role of the teacher Assessment of the assignment (e.g. test, self- assessment, peer- assessment)
  • 4. 
 WAYS OF THINKING WAYS OF WORKING TOOLS FOR WORKING LIVING IN THE WORLD Creativity and innovation Communication Collaboration Information literacy ICT literacy Life and work Skills related to citizenship Personal and social responsibility Critical thinking Problem-solving Decision- making Learning to learn Metacognition 01 02 03 04 1. INTRODUCTION TO 21st CENTURY SKILLS The 21st century calls on us to solve some of the most challenging problems ever created and faced by humankind, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, globalization, extreme poverty, population growth, inequality, and food as well as water safety. Moreover, many of these wicked problems are interconnected, networked by nature and driven by digitalization. At the same time, information and communication technology (ICT) is also transforming the ways that work is conducted. Study after another have forewarned of changes in labor needs, as many of the jobs for routine production workers - such as assembly line workers- will probably disappear as technology takes over repetitive tasks [1], [2]. Nowadays, automation is also rapidly penetrating knowledge work sectors, which for long were believed to be relatively safe from automation [1]. In addition, society not only faces changes in the work life and job markets, but a major challenge is that young people need to be educated for jobs that do not yet exist [2]. In response to global challenges compounded by the pace of automation, diverse   governmental, business and non-profit organizations have begun to create strategies that pursue new competences - often referred to as 21st century skills. Several frameworks for defining these skills have been proposed and at their core, they share some similarities that enable synthesizing them in order to reach a larger-scale idea of what 21st century skills are about [3]. For example, when reviewing different twenty-first-century frameworks, Binkley et al. [4] found 10 skills and grouped these skills into four categories (figure 1). Figure 1. Synthesis of 21st skills by Binkley et al.[4].
  • 5. 
 T H I N G S T O DISCUSS Some frameworks also stress the changes in the economy and the labor market caused by globalization as one of the important driving forces for the need of 21st century skills [5]. Nowadays, many companies and public sector organizations have also begun to design and create new products, interfaces and services through cross-boundary teaming and knowledge creation [6]. Much of this intense interest is driven by the recognition that the vast majority of innovations and business- development opportunities lie in the interfaces between knowledge boundaries – boundaries associated with differences in expertise and organizations [6]. As such, the next generation of workers will need to have a deep understanding of at least one domain, but they also need to become fluent in collaborating and learning with diverse field experts, stakeholders, decision makers, producers, and end users [7]. However, researchers are also concerned that there is an increasing gap between such knowledge work and the narrow problem-solving capabilities that are promoted in higher education practices, e.g., [8]–[10]. Why are 21st century skills important in my field? Which of 21st century competencies should be learned in… 2. OVERVIEW OF PEDAGOGY IN AN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY VERSUS AN KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY One of the challenging questions related to 21st century skills, is related to defining their role and place within the school curriculums. Voogt and Roblin [2] argue that  21st century skills can either be: 1) added to an already existing school curriculum as new subjects or as new content within traditional subjects; 2) integrated as cross curricular themes that place emphasis on the development of higher level competences and  transversal skills  or 3),  a part of a new curriculum in which the traditional structure of school subjects is transformed and schools are regarded as learning organizations. However, teachers and educators should not only be knowledgeable about what 21st century competencies are about, but also understand how these skills can be cultivated through deliberate pedagogical approaches [2], [11]. A. School (formal learning) B. At the workplace? C. At home & with peers (informal learning)?
  • 6. 
 Throughout the history of schooling, the goal of teaching has been to organize what is to be learned into appropriately sized and sequenced pieces, and to arrange optimal methods of delivery [12]. This kind of pedagogy is characterized as linear [13], because the students receive the same instruction from a teacher, do some predefined exercises and then, individual student success is assessed largely in terms of their ability to reproduce what they have been taught  [12], [13]. Especially the practices and conventions in higher education are often based on the idea that the task of the teacher is to transmit knowledge [14]. While in the industrial society the main focus of education was to ensure that all students acquire the same, predefined knowledge or skills, in the knowledge society, the development of 21st century skills are considered increasingly important. For the development of 21st century skills,  new learning theories and  modern methods call for non-linear pedagogy [13], i.e. modern methods of learning such as knowledge building [15], progressive inquiry [16], project-based learning [17], problem-based learning [18] and learning by collaborative designing [19]. Although these approaches for nonlinear pedagogy have their differences, roughly summarized, what sets these approaches apart from linear pedagogy, is that they all seem to highlight shifting the focus in education from what teachers should teach, to collaborative learning, active participation, and being able to use different tools, technologies and information resources to solve real-life problems that are very complex by nature [20]. Moreover, nonlinear pedagogy inherits the idea that a deep understanding of domain knowledge can be achieved through the exercise of 21st century skills [10]. Table 1 presents an overview of linear and non-linear pedagogy in order to clarify their similarities and differences [2][13]. Towards 21st century skills through nonlinear pedagogy ASPECTS LINEAR PEDAGOGY NON-LINEAR PEDAGOGY Learning objectives • Transmission of specific skills, knowledge or techniques • Discipline-based • Development of 21st century skills, often realized through core subjects • Transversal, Multidisciplinary Learning task • Pre-defined task and solution models determined by the teacher • Apply known solutions to pre-defined problems • Individual work/homogeneous groups • Open-ended tasks, in which solution models are determined by the learners • Create new solutions to problems that are partly ill-defined • Working in teams/heterogeneous groups Information resources • Pre-defined (“pushing” of knowledge) • Open and extended (“pulling” knowledge on demand basis) Structuring • Scripted models of action, little variation in activities • Reproductive learning • Adaptive structuring, many different activities • Productive learning Scaffolding • Elimination of errors • On-demand scaffolding, learning through creative failures Context • Usually within the school • Extends the boundaries of school learning, increases unpredictability Assessment • Summative assessment of outcomes • Formative assessment during learning process Table 1. Overview of pedagogy in an industrial society versus an knowledge society, adopted from Hakkarainen et al. [13].
  • 7. 
 In short, non-linear pedagogy appears to emphasize three main features that differ from more traditional modes of instruction. The first feature to note, is the nature of learning tasks that organize the process of learning and collaboration. In linear pedagogy, teachers typically define the task or the problem to be solved, information resources to be used and what the expected solution will look like [12], [13]. In contrast to such “closed” tasks, non-linear pedagogy is based on open- ended, multifaceted and complex problems with neither clearly defined parameters nor clear solution strategies [19]. Such complex tasks feature real- world scenarios and cannot be completed by one person. Instead, they demand collaboration as well as the use of diverse information resources [20]. In other words, the students need to articulate the problem, then search, evaluate, construct and share information, and finally apply it in the context problem-solving process at hand [18].   Secondly, non-linear pedagogy moves from individual exercises to collaborative learning that aims to mirror the process of expert problem solving processes [17]. By working together in small groups, students are expected to actively communicate, share their expertise and previous knowledge, make joint decisions as well as to negotiate roles and responsibilities [21]. In order to truly appropriate expert-like practices, students also need to work and collaborate with domain experts that are relevant in students’ future professions [22]. Through the participation in expert practices, students may begin to acquire the norms, values, and skills that shape the core identity of the expert community [22], [23], including the tacit dimension of knowing [24]. Hence, when students are working with domain experts and professionals, they may also participate in 
 the expert practices and see how scientific knowledge can be applied to solve 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 important, real-life problems. Accordingly, these types of non-linear projects tend to extend the boundaries of school learning [25].   The third and equally important main feature of non-linear pedagogy concerns the relations between teachers and students. While non-linear pedagogy emphasizes emergent goals and processes that are formed and modified by students in the course of pursuing them [10], teachers play a critical role in orchestrating collaborative efforts [13]. In collaborative inquiry and knowledge creation, the teacher's role is to be a facilitator that provides on-demand scaffolding in response to each group's unique project at hand [26]. This requires adaptive structures and provision of constructive feedback throughout the learning process, but also facilitation of collaboration and team working skills while generating and advancing ideas together. Sawyer [27] describes such adaptive processes of teaching and learning as collective improvisation and invention, guided by and along with the teachers. [2][13].
  • 8. 8 From the teacher’s perspective, non-linear pedagogy also sets a demanding challenge to transform assessment practices to reflect the new skills and demands of knowledge society. As argued by Binkley et al. [28],  21st century skills are difficult to assess by traditional assessment methods and practices.  To assess 21st century skills, there is an evident need to pair summative assessment (e.g.  standardized tests at the end of a course) with formative assessment (e.g. self-assessment, peer-assessment, process portfolios). [4][10]. The primary goal of formative assessment is to make student learning and understanding visible, so that teachers are able to adapt teaching strategies to meet the student needs (i.e., assessment for learning) [2], [4]. This may be done, for example, by structuring the tasks and processes in ways that require and encourage students to share their previous knowledge as well as their evolving understanding, both with one another and with the teacher.   In all, such process- oriented assessment methods may support new forms of dialogue that make students’ thinking and reasoning processes visible for joint evaluation and development, thereby providing opportunities to use assessment as a means to improve teaching and learning [2], [10]. T H I N G S T O DISCUSS 3. THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN COLLABORATIVE LEARNING Are new forms of assessment needed in our teaching and why? What is the relationship between 21st century skills and our existing curricula? What is the relationship between 21st century pedagogy and our existing teaching practices? When talking about 21st century skills, many of the above discussed frameworks highlight the role of ICT. The development of technology is not only regarded as an argument for the need of new skills by all frameworks, but it is also connected to a whole new set of competences about how to effectively use, manage, filter, evaluate, and create information across different types of media [2]. According to Voogt and Roblin [2], all frameworks for 21st century skills seem to refer to the following   three perspectives and skills for integrating ICT in education: 1) basic technical and operational skills needed for using, understanding, and evaluating technology (technical domain), 2) the use of ICT with a particular knowledge domain and related purpose (knowledge domain), and 3) the overall capacity to access, evaluate and use information (information literacy). From a teacher's perspective, these highlight the understanding of how different technologies may be used in specific pedagogical practices, how technology could be used to facilitate student’s collaboration and knowledge creation as well as for instructing and supporting students toward a deeper understanding of the subject matter [2].
  • 9. 
 9 During the recent decades, different kinds of technologies have been used for supporting and triggering the activities of collaborative learning and knowledge creation. Moore, Dickson-Deane and Galyen [29] have outlined several analogous concepts, such as Learning Management Systems (LMS), Course Management Systems (CMS), Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) and Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) referring to online learning environments, such as Moodle, Optima or Blackboard. Typically, these environments contain tools for delivering and creating learning materials, areas for collaboration and communication, and tools for assessment. Currently, different cloud services like G Suite for Education by Google or Office 365 by Microsoft have also been integrated into education, providing a wide variety of tools for collaborative knowledge creation such as collaborative writing tools, forms, video-conferencing, and so forth. Moreover, advances in learning analytics have provided new tools to explore and support some of the core processes of computer-supported collaborative learning by tracking, collecting, analyzing, and reporting data about development of students’ participation, activities, and social interaction [30]–[32]. As such, these new computational methods have provided teachers and students with fundamentally new, data-driven ways to view and support the critical phases of collaborative learning, find evidence of critical moments of success or failure, and to act upon this information to improve learning and collaboration [33].   In addition to these formal online learning environments provided by schools or universities, informal learning environments and social-media tools may also provide novel channels for discussing, sharing ideas and fostering social networks [34], [35]. Today’s technologies also offer ample possibilities for participating in collective knowledge creation in which people from various backgrounds can share their ideas, projects, and expertise with others [36]. For example, OpenForest- portal (www.openmetsa.fi) connects diverse experts, professionals, school communities and anyone interested, for boundary- crossing knowledge creation around forest related phenomena.   T H I N G S T O DISCUSS How can ICT support the development of 21st century skills? How can ICT support the assessment of 21st century skills?
  • 10. 
 10 OpenForest www.openmetsa.fi In Finland, forest serves both as a naturally rich environment of learning and as a boundary object motivating shared activity between diverse stakeholders. The basic idea of OpenForest is to serve as a hub that connects people from various backgrounds to share their ideas, insights and expertise around forest-related phenomena.     Originally, OpenForest evolved as a part of a joint project between University of Eastern Finland, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finnish Forest Centre, Finnish Forest Museum Lusto and Metsähallitus. Currently, the portal has   5181 registered users and 2331 Wiki articles that are in large parts produced by experts in forest research, ecology, culture, and education. These include, for example, an introduction to research in arboretums and local areas, domain-specific models of approaching the forest phenomena, as well as representations of tools that different experts use in their work. Forest environments are also approached through various learning projects carried out in teacher training, basic education and in early childhood education.    The content of OpenForest is presented through diverse media, such as audio,  image, video, and text, in any combination. For example, the portal offers a virtual trail in the Punkaharju arboretum and esker area with 360° views, as well as real-time measurement data of the provenance trials. Wiki articles can be accessed via context-aware technologies, such as accurate geographic information environment (GIS), that connect physical objects and landscapes with digital information. OpenForest portal's current development is linked to several projects including:
 • DigiCampus • Digifor • Physical and Virtual Exposition of Forest Bioeconomy
  • 11. 
 11 T H I N G S T O DISCUSS 4. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Researchers also highlight the central role of teachers in the implementation of 21st century skills and curriculum innovations [2]. Teachers are not only expected to facilitate the acquisition of 21st century skills in their students, but teachers themselves are also required to be competent in them [5], [11]. Moreover, 21st century skills pose many challenges for teachers as they need to develop new teaching methods as well as their abilities to make use of ICT tools when supporting  learning [2], [11]. While most frameworks recommend integrating 21st century skills across the curriculum, they also call for a more systematic change that provides teachers with essential institutional support to implement these reforms in practice [37].   However, previous research has shown that school reforms are often ineffective because they tend to focus on isolated elements while disregarding the sociocultural interplay of wider educational structures, cultures and practices that support and constrain teachers’ professional development [37]. In reality, teachers are often working in school systems with organizational structures, practices, rituals, and beliefs, which are very different from the framework conceptualized by the new educational innovations [38]. Consequently, there is a need to build multi-professional collaboration structures between teachers, school leaders, researchers and experts for the co-development of learning environments, curriculums and pedagogies for 21st learning.   Moreover, researchers highlight the importance of promoting teachers' agency throughout the implementation of 21st century skills, starting from the discussion of their importance, to the definition of their role and place in the curriculum, as well as their implementation and assessment in practice [2].   This may be actualized, for example, by organizing in- service programs that provide teachers pedagogical, socio-emotional and technological support for co-designing and implementing boundary-crossing learning projects in their own schools [36]. Ongoing support structures should also include dialoguing sessions, in which the teachers are encouraged to reflect on their own goals and project activities as well as to share their moments of success or failure both with their peers and with researchers [36]. Such sustained collaboration is important for understanding and dealing with the contextual challenges associated with the implementation of 21st century skills and may also provide socio-emotional support needed in coping with the uncertainties and complexity of change [2], [36]. What kind of competences do teachers need in order to implement 21st century skills? What kind of institutional support is needed to implement 21st century skills in practice? What kind of professional development 
 programs are needed to support the implementation of 21st century skills?
  • 12. 
 12 DigiCampus 5. EXAMPLE COURSE Hanna Vuojärvi, Miikka Eriksson & Henriikka Vartiainen Collaborative Problem Solving in Multidisciplinary Networks In order to support the development of higher education pedagogies that promote learning of 21st century skills, the present final chapter presents an example from an  inter-university course on forest bioeconomy implemented in the summer 2019 in Finland (for further information, please see Vuojärvi, Eriksson & Vartiainen, 2020). This novel five-credit course, titled Collaborative Problem Solving in Multidisciplinary Networks, was designed by a multidisciplinary team of eight persons including teachers, researchers and experts from the fields of education, forestry and bioeconomics, during an eight month period lasting from August 2018 to March 2019. As the new course was open to students from both Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) regardless of their discipline, the team members came from both university and UAS education backgrounds.   In short, the aim of  the course was to foster higher education students’ 21st century skills through collaborative problem-solving in cross-boundary teams in the context of forest bioeconomics. Two course formats were available: a blended learning version—TeamCamp—that included a three-day intensive period after the preparatory phase of the course (see Table 3) and an online version—DigiCamp —that involved no face-to-face contact. Students were free to choose between blended and online course options. The course design was based on nonlinear pedagogy and informed by the framework of 21st century skills provided by Binkley et al.[4].    During the 11-week course, students completed altogether eight assignments. Each assignment had to be completed successfully before students could move on to the next one. Table 2 presents the overall design and organization of the course including the assignments.
  • 13. 
 13 Description of assignments and activities students engaged in Learning objectives 21st century skills proposed by Binkley et al. (2012) are bolded Interaction with teachers Preparatory assignments (1–4) 1. Provide introductions through FlipGrid videos. To develop oral communication skills via video introductions. Feedback if needed. 2A. Determine perceptions of the skills and knowledge needed in the field of forest bioeconomics. 2B. Present students’ learning objectives. To develop metacognition by setting goals (life and career) and completing a self-evaluation at the end of the course. Teacher accepts or rejects the submission. Feedback if needed. 3A. Familiarise students with the field of forest bioeconomics through the provided materials. 3B. Formulate five questions about the forest bioeconomy. To develop multiliteracy by managing information from various sources and engage in critical thinking and problem- solving by asking personally meaningful questions. May follow students’ activity during step A via DigiCampus. Teacher accepts or rejects submission. 4. Interview a forest bioeconomics professional about the company’s operations related to a forest bioeconomy and the key knowledge and skills needed in the field. To develop the ability to interact with professionals in the forest bioeconomics field (life and career). Teacher accepts the subject of the interview. Assignments submitted to a discussion forum. Possibility for interaction and feedback. Development challenge (5–6) 5A. Negotiate the rules of collaboration for your team. 5B. Choose the ten most interesting questions from the pool of questions created for assignment 3. 5C. Categorise the chosen questions with one’s team to find a common theme of interest. 5D. Formulate a development challenge for the team. 5E. Take advantage of scientific research and expert knowledge to develop an executable solution for the challenge. To develop the ability to collaborate; communicate; and use technologies and social networks to search, organise, evaluate, create and communicate information (multiliteracy). To become willing to leverage others’ strengths to accomplish a common goal, understand strategies for tackling ill-defined problems and base decisions on evidence (critical thinking, problem-solving and decision- making). TeamCamp: Interaction with teachers possible during the whole process of teaming and formulation of the development challenge. DigiCamp: Interaction with teachers possible during the process of teaming through the team’s discussion forum and email. Teacher provides feedback on submitted report through the team’s discussion forum. 6. Prepare a short pitch about the team’s solution using FlipGrid. To develop communication skills by presenting results in the form of a video. Feedback if needed. Assessment (7–8) 7. Perform peer assessments based on other teams’ pitches created using FlipGrid. To develop personal and social responsibility by learning to provide constructive feedback in a professional manner. Feedback if needed. 8. Perform self-assessment and reflect on the learning objectives and process of working in a team. To develop metacognition and the ability to learn by reflecting on the objectives of learning. Feedback if needed. Table 2. The course design
  • 14. 14 The first four assignments were preparatory assignments that students completed individually. Their objective was to introduce students to one another and present an overview of the field and basic concepts of bioeconomics. As a support on the preparatory assignments, various materials, including instructions and introductions, were provided through a virtual learning environment (VLE) called DigiCampus.  The materials took the form of video lectures by teachers, introductory videos by experts of different sectors of bioeconomics, articles, and lists of references. The participating teachers introduced themselves in videos via FlipGrid application.   During the preparatory assignments, teachers were tasked with monitoring students’ efforts, accepting or rejecting students’ submissions and giving feedback when needed. Teachers were able to follow students’ progress on DigiCampus VLE. In the preparatory assignment 4, that featured an interview of a forest bioeconomics professional, teachers accepted or rejected the interview subject, and in cases of rejection, guided students towards a more suitable interviewee.   The assignments 5 and 6 served as the core of the course, providing a development challenge to be completed in cross-boundary teams formed by the teachers. The formation of the teams was mainly based on the students’ primary disciplines, but their former studies and work history were also considered in order to compose as heterogeneous groups as possible.   The teams were provided with private discussion forums on DigiCampus VLE for asynchronous communication and with a chat room for synchronous communication, but they were also encouraged to use any suitable applications to make interaction as effortless as possible. The teams were also encouraged to actively interact with the participating teachers or other experts they believed could help them complete their development challenge. Throughout the course, students had access to the materials provided for the preparatory assignments, but they also had to search for and choose additional materials suitable for their work. When starting to work on the development challenge assignments, the teams were required to agree on the rules for their work (assignment 5A) and post them on the discussion forum in the DigiCampus VLE to ensure that strategies were in place to deal with possible conflicts or disagreements. Provide different types of activities and schedule tasks over a longer period of time
 
 
 Create strategies that enable learners to actively process the task or subject matter at hand Embed f2f/online discussion into course task design. Provide toolsthat help learners to manage, organize and carry out their learning processes 
 Provide tasks that the learner must carry out by making use of the source-materials
  • 15. 
 15 For assignment 5B, each student chose ten interesting questions about forest bioeconomics from the pool of questions to which all participating students contributed during preparatory assignment 4. Next, the chosen questions were categorised and analysed by each team to formulate a common development challenge (i.e. an ill-defined question). Teams were tasked with developing solutions to these challenges that could be operationalised, required research-based knowledge and utilised modern technology. The teams had to prepare a written report as well as a five-minute video pitch for their solution using FlipGrid.   Following the 21st century skills framework of Binkley et al.[4]  and the pedagogical starting points presented above, the idea of the development challenge assignments (5 and 6) were to engage students in a co-creative process that entails (1) communicating and collaborating in cross-boundary teams with people of different backgrounds, (2) using digital technologies and social networks to promote teamwork (3) developing multiliteracy and critical thinking skills by making students search for, organise and evaluate information; (4) basing decisions on evidence; (5) make their process visible through communicating information within their teams and to teachers and other students (6) being flexible and willing to consider others’ ideas and ways of working; and (7) identifying and leveraging others’ strengths to accomplish a common goal.   During the development challenge phase, teachers created the cross-boundary teams and re-assigned students in case of dropouts, which happened only in the DigiCamp course. Teachers were also involved in helping teams formulate their development challenges, and they had to accept the topic of each challenge before the teams could move on. For teams within the TeamCamp course, this interaction that made students’ and teams’ processes visible to teachers took place face-to-face. For teams within the DigiCamp course, interaction took place in discussion forums within the DigiCampus VLE or via email. If DigiCamp teams needed help, teachers clarified the instructions. At the end of the development challenge phase, teachers gave feedback to the teams about their pitches and reports. The TeamCamp teams participated in a feedback session via Skype for Business, and the DigiCamp teams received feedback through their discussion forums in the DigiCampus VLE. Provide guidance and feedback throughout the learning process.   You can, for example, pose activating questionsor give written feedback,spoken feedback or feedback via video Use scheduled check- points and feedback to provide structure Take time to formulate challenging tasks for learners
  • 16. 
 16 The last two assignments of the course concerned assessment. Each student assessed and wrote a one- page analytic summary of the other teams’ pitches. To assess their own performance and learning within the course, students reflected on the learning objectives they set at the beginning of the course and how they worked in their teams. The objective of this phase was to develop students’ personal and social responsibility by teaching them to provide constructive feedback in a professional manner and to help them develop metacognition and the ability to learn by reflecting on learning objectives. In addition, it taught students how to reflect on the process of working in cross-boundary teams, analyze changes in their thinking and consider how these changes may affect their working processes in the future. Teachers accepted or rejected these submissions and gave feedback when needed. ´ 
 Use assessment as ameans to reflect onlearning and toimprove on your ownteaching as well
  • 17. 17 REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING [1] P. J. Denning and M. Tedre, Computational Thinking. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2019. [2] J. Voogt and N. P. Roblin, “21st century skills discussion paper Voogt Robin - Google Search,” Netherlands, 2010. [Online]. Available: https://www.google.com/search? q=21st+century+skills+discussion+paper+Voogt+Robin+&ie=ut f-8&oe=utf-8. [3] C. Dede, “Comparing Frameworks for 21st Centruy Skills,” in 21st century skills. Rethinking how students learn, J. Bellanca and R. Brandt, Eds. Bloomington, NJ: Solution Tree Press, 2010, pp. 51–76. [4] M. Binkley, H. Erstad O., S. J. Raizen, M. Ripley, M. Miller-Ricci, and M. Rumble, “Defining twenty-first century skills,” in Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills, P. Griffin, B. McGaw, and E. Care, Eds. New York, NY: Springer, 2012. [5] J. Voogt and N. P. Roblin, “A comparative analysis of international frameworks for 21st century competences: Implications for national curriculum policies,” J. Curric. 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