The CLIDEV nine-field framework – A tool for categorizing teaching and learning activities

Teksti | Virve Pekkarinen , Tarja Laakkonen , Emmi Salmikangas

This article introduces a framework combining both pedagogical and co-creation viewpoints for categorizing different teaching and learning activities. The framework can be useful in raising awareness about different teaching and learning activities and the way they can be applied in teaching. It is also a concrete tool for teachers to reflect, develop, and plan their teaching as it enables teachers to relate different teaching and learning activities according to the degree of collaboration and the modality of teaching.

The background of the framework

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The nine-field framework was created in a four-year long international educational development project called CLIDEV (Strengthening Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development in Vietnam)* by the Laurea project team members Teemu Santonen, Virve Pekkarinen, Maria Ekström, and Tarja Laakkonen. In the project, Laurea offers expertise related especially to pedagogy and digital pedagogy, and to the themes of sustainable development and co-creation.

The central aim in the project is to provide support for the partner universities in Vietnam for developing the climate change education and the current curriculums towards more learner-centred direction. In addition, the aim is to engage the different external stakeholder groups (e.g., education department, agriculture and forest departments, civil society, potential employers) to the curriculum development and participate in defining the desirable academic outcomes.

The situation before the project started was that teaching and learning methods used in Vietnamese universities were quite traditional and teacher-centred, such as, lectures and exams. In addition, participation of external stakeholders in teaching and curriculum work was not customary. This article introduces the framework which was developed to support and facilitate the realization of project aims in Vietnamese partner universities.

Dimensions of the nine-field framework

In the process of developing the framework, Laurea project team aimed at accommodating the viewpoints of the project team’s key expertise areas pedagogy, digital pedagogy, and co-creation.

The pedagogical viewpoint in creating the framework was not a single pedagogical theory or approach to teaching and learning, but a more general understanding that there are different teaching and learning activities and their pedagogical foundations. The co-creation viewpoint, on the other hand, aimed at highlighting what is considered to be central characteristics of co-creation. There are different definitions of the concept of co-creation, but typically co-creation is considered to be collective, collaborative, and interactive activity aiming at creating and developing value together with multiple stakeholders (Ind & Coates 2013; Ramaswamy & Ozcan 2014, 14–15, 280; Ramaswamy & Ozcan 2018, 200; Sarasvuo, Rindell & Kovalchuk 2022, 545–546).

There are two dimensions in the framework (see Figure 1.). The first dimension is called “Channels” and it is related to the different modalities of teaching and learning. The second dimension “Degree of collaboration” integrates the co-creation, interaction and collaboration viewpoints to the framework. In this article, the metaphors of monological, dialogical, and trialogical learning are used to describe the levels of co-creation and collaboration in learning. The two dimensions form a nine-field grid that enables categorizing different teaching and learning activities according to the degree of collaboration and modality of teaching and learning. In the following, the framework and its dimensions are described in more detail.


The first dimension in the nine-field framework is called “Channels”. This dimension relates to the different modalities of teaching and learning. There are a multitude of different teaching and learning activities that can be organized in different modalities. In the nine-field framework, we introduce three modalities which are face-to-face teaching, blended learning, or fully online teaching.

  1. With face-to-face concept we refer to modality of teaching and learning in which course contents are taught by the teacher to a group of students in a classroom. This type of teaching and learning requires the physical presence of both the teacher and the students. Face-to-face teaching and learning enable synchronous, live interaction between the learners and the teacher. (Bates 2015, 104; Opintopolku). It is considered to be the most traditional type of learning instruction.
  2. Blended learning, also called hybrid learning, is a modality of teaching and learning which integrates online materials and opportunities for online interaction with more traditional classroom-based methods. In a blended-learning course, for example, students attend a class taught by a teacher in a classroom setting, and then outside the classroom, the students can independently complete online activities, such as watching videos or reading digital learning materials. Blended learning requires the physical presence of both teacher and students in some parts. (Bates 2015, 38, 343-345.)
  3. Online learning is a modality of teaching and learning in which teaching and learning happens fully online over the Internet, usually in a virtual learning environment (VLE), and participation is possible using a computer, laptop, mobile device, or tablet. Online teaching and learning might be similar to a face-to-face classroom teaching e.g., content-wise, but all the materials and activities are online. Virtual learning environments enable both synchronous and asynchronous interaction between students or students and a teacher.  (Bates 2015, 344; Porter 2015, 3.)

Degree of collaboration

The second dimension in the framework is called “Degree of collaboration”. This dimension integrates the co-creation viewpoint to the framework. It refers to the levels of interaction, collaboration, and co-creation in the different teaching and learning activities. In the framework, the metaphors of monological, dialogical, and trialogical learning are used to describe the levels of co-creation and collaboration in learning.

  1. Monological learning emphasizes the knowledge acquisition metaphor and learning is focused on individual-centered acquisition of knowledge. The interaction in monological learning is typically one-way, from the teacher or learning material to the student. The teacher’s role is to act as an expert in the subject area to be studied and to share knowledge with students. (Juvonen & Pöyry-Lassila 2021, 8-9; Paavola & Hakkarainen 2005.)
  2. Dialogical learning emphasizes the participation metaphor. This means that learning takes place through social interaction with others and that interaction needs to be versatile and multidirectional. In dialogical learning, competence-development and learning are seen as contextual and situational. In the teacher’s role, the emphasis is on guiding students and sharing one’s own experience with the students. (Juvonen & Pöyry-Lassila 2021, 10-11; Paavola & Hakkarainen 2005.)
  3. Trialogical learning emphasizes the knowledge-creation metaphor. In trialogical learning, the aim is to share knowledge and co-create new knowledge that exceeds the previous knowledge of the group members. Solving authentic problems and making the produced knowledge usable in practical activities are central in trialogical learning. The teacher’s role is to act as a facilitator of the learning process. (Juvonen & Pöyry-Lassila 2021, 12-14; Paavola & Hakkarainen 2005.)

Teaching and learning activities in the CLIDEV nine-field framework

The framework introduces nine teaching and learning activities as examples for developing the teaching. In the following, these nine approaches are presented according to the channels (face-to-face, blended, and online learning), proceeding according to the degree of collaboration from monological to trialogical learning.

: A nine-field grid describing different teaching and learning activities via two dimensions. One dimension is called the channels including three different modalities of teaching and learning: face-to-face, blended learning and online learning. The other dimension is called the degree of collaboration including three metaphors of learning, that is, monological, dialogical, and trialogical.
Figure 1. The CLIDEV nine-field framework. The figure was drawn by Teemu Santonen as part of a co-creation process in which the Laurea project team Teemu Santonen, Virve Pekkarinen, Maria Ekström, and Tarja Laakkonen engaged collaboratively.

In the face-to-face teaching and learning modality, the teaching and learning interaction happens in face-to-face contact and it is tied to a certain physical location and facilities. Lectures are typically teacher-led frontal teaching, where knowledge is not co-created. The teacher is the primary source of instruction delivering knowledge to a group of students. The student’s role is to listen and take notes. (e.g., Bates 2015, 84–87.) Traditional classroom activities refer to classroom activities e.g., peer learning and group working, that are used during face-to-face teaching session (e.g., Bates 2015, 367). In this approach, collaboration, knowledge change and interaction can happen between peer learners and in groups. Face-to-face multi-stakeholder activitiesrefer to activities and methods that are used when multiple stakeholders collaborate face-to-face and interact synchronously to design something, e.g., workshops, projects and design sprints.  This approach involves different stakeholders in knowledge creation. (e.g., Stickdorn, Hormess, Lawrence & Scheiner 2018.)

The modality of the blended learning integrates both face-to-face and online teaching and learning activities. Classroom activities and online educational resources refer to integrating technology, that is, different digital tools and applications with face-to-face teaching and learning. It may include, e.g., traditional face-to-face lectures and students doing individual assignments and studying online. (e.g., Bates 2015, 38.) Flipped classroom is a form of blended learning. The main idea is that instead of traditional lectures, teachers prioritize active learning during class time by assigning students materials and assignments (e.g., watching videos or reading articles) to be completed outside of the classroom (typically online), either before the class or after it. For example, the teacher gives the students an article to be read before the class, and then the time in classroom is used to discuss, interact, and create a shared understanding of the topic or the students are engaged in group work. (Bates 2015, 107, 343–344; Bergmann & Sams 2015, 19–26; Pomerol, Epelboin & Thoury 2015, 9.) Multi-channel and multi-stakeholder activities refer to engaging multiple stakeholders in collaboration and co-creation process, in which different methods and tools face-to-face and online are used (e.g., Stickdorn et al. 2018).

The online teaching and learning modality refers to fully online teaching and learning that happens over the Internet. xMOOCs (extended Massive Open Online Course) offer students flexible and independent studying online. The teacher typically plans the fully automatically assessed course in advance and is not present during the study. The role of the student is to be an active participant independently completing the course. Typically, there is no interaction between students or students and the teacher, or there is only asynchronous interaction. (Bates 2015, 174–175; Pekkarinen & Tolonen 2022; Pomerol et al. 2015, 10–16; Porter 2015, 6–7.) cMOOCs (connectivist Massive Open Online Course) emphasize the joint creation and sharing of knowledge and interaction between students. The role of the teacher is to provide the learning environment and act as a facilitator in the learning process. The role of the student is to be an active participant, sharing one’s experiences and knowledge with others and learning from others. Simultaneous online presence of students is required at least to some extent in cMOOCs because the aim is to enable synchronous interaction. In cMOOCs, there might not be a formal course assessment, or the course assessment is done using peer assessment or study progress monitoring. (Bates 2015, 176–177; Pekkarinen & Tolonen 2022; Pomerol et al. 2015, 10–16; Porter 2015, 6–7.) Fully Online multi-stakeholder activities refer to co-creation and interaction between students, teacher, and stakeholders conducted fully online, e.g., crowd-collaboration (e.g., Stickdorn et al. 2018).

Applying the framework

The CLIDEV nine-field framework was developed for supporting teachers in partner universities to develop the current curriculums towards more learner-centred direction and to engage the different external stakeholder groups to the curriculum development. In the CLIDEV project, the framework has been used in planning and implementing educational development actions, for example, the training of trainers on pedagogy and the training of trainers on MOOC. In addition, a self-evaluation survey was created based on the framework. The self-evaluation survey aimed at facilitating the academics’ reflection regarding different teaching and learning activities, and the choices they make in their teaching.

In addition, the framework can be useful in raising awareness about different teaching and learning activities and their pedagogical foundations, that is, the way they can be applied in teaching, and how they affect the role of the student and the teacher. The framework can also be applied, e.g., in evaluating and developing teaching.


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*CLIDEV (Strengthening Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development in Vietnam) is a four-year long international educational development project which has received the funding from Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The project is led by the University of Helsinki, and the other partners are Laurea and four universities from Vietnam (Hue University (HUE), Vietnam National University of Forestry (VNUF), Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF), and Tay Nguyen University (TNU)). The main idea in the project is to enhance the forest and agriculture related higher education in Vietnam. The concrete actions include, for example, developing the current curriculums, that is, enhancing content-wise and pedagogically the already existing courses and creating totally new ones. In addition, the project aims to introduce new digital teaching and learning tools and opportunities, including MOOCs (massive open online courses). 


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