You are on page 1of 5


Application of Trialogical Design Principles to
Practical Education in Networking Technologies
Stela Angelova Stefanova and Radostina Stefanova Gercheva
Abstract – This paper discusses a course re-design to In addition, schools must promote an understanding of
promote new pedagogical practices applying a trialogical academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st
approach. The results from pilot course in Global Networks century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects:
Education of 12 grade classes in Technology School • Global Awareness;
“Electronic Systems” associated with Technical University of
Sofia are demonstrated.
• Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial
Keywords – collaborative learning, knowledge practices, Literacy;
knowledge work competences • Civic Literacy;
• Health Literacy;
• Environmental Literacy.
The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) [1] has
developed a vision for student success in the new global
To help practitioners integrate skills into the teaching of
core academic subjects, P21 has developed a unified,
collective vision for learning known as the Framework for
21st Century Learning [2]. This Framework describes the
skills, knowledge and expertise students must master to
succeed in work and life; it is a blend of content
knowledge, specific skills, expertise and literacies.
Every 21st century skills implementation requires the
development of core academic subject knowledge and
understanding among all students. Those who can think
critically and communicate effectively must build on a Fig. 1. Components of 21st Century Teaching and learning
base of core academic subject knowledge.
Learning and Innovation Skills
Within the context of content knowledge instruction,
students must also learn the essential skills for success in Learning and innovation skills are what separate students
today’s world, such as critical thinking, problem solving, who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work
communication and collaboration. environments in today’s world and those who are not.
When a school or district builds on this foundation, They include:
combining the entire Framework with the necessary • Creativity and Innovation
support systems - standards, assessments, curriculum and • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
instruction, professional development and learning • Communication and Collaboration
environments - students are more engaged in the learning Information, Media and Technology Skills
process and graduate better prepared to thrive in today’s Today, we live in a technology and media-driven
global economy. environment, marked by access to an abundance of
The graphic shown in Fig. 1 represents each element information, rapid changes in technology tools and the
distinctly for descriptive purposes, the Partnership views ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on
all the components as fully interconnected in the process of an unprecedented scale. Effective citizens and workers
21st century teaching and learning [2]. must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical
A. Key Subjects and 21st Century Themes thinking skills, such as:
Mastery of key subjects and 21st century themes is • Information Literacy;
essential to student success. Key subjects include English, • Media Literacy;
reading or language arts, world languages, arts, • Information, Communications and Technology (ICT)
mathematics, economics, science, geography, history, Literacy.
government and civics. Life and Career Skills
Today’s life and work environments require far more
S. Stefanova is with the Technology School “Electronic System”, than thinking skills and content knowledge. The ability to
associated with Technical University of Sofia, Mladost 1, 1750 navigate the complex life and work environments in the
Sofia, Bulgaria, e-mail: globally competitive information age requires students to
R. Gercheva is with the Smartcom Bulgaria AD, Tzarigratsko pay rigorous attention to developing adequate life and
shose 7 km, BIC IZOT, bld 1, 317, 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria, e-mail: career skills, such as: • Flexibility and Adaptability;


services Knowledge Work Practices in Education) project [4] aims and equipment to design networks. The Partnership has identified five critical support systems to ensure student mastery of 21st century skills [2]: • 21st Century Standards. and dealing with uncertainty and required to carry out operating network.The course is designed to give the student an working in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams. these metaphors do not appear to • Leadership and Responsibility. multi-dimensional abilities that will be required of them. While the acquisition and 62 . TRIALOGICAL APPROACH first term of the fifth year and students are expected to use the knowledge. respectively. • developing thinking skills. or and secondary schools in each country. B. The paper discusses efforts done in the Technology The practical training of the students in the Global School “Electronic Systems” associated with the Technical Networks course consists in two major projects during the University of Sofia to reconstruct a course and pedagogical term. Informatics. expertise and literacies. considering represent the synergies between high education institutions the problems they face and how they are resolved.The course is taught during the II. at developing pedagogical models and technology to • Skills in teamwork. Fig. why these problems cannot be resolved. intensive work in the present age. 2). ANNUAL JOURNAL OF ELECTRONICS. III. The trialogical approach content knowledge. • 21st Century Professional Development. Trialogical approach builds on the assumption that • Apply the theoretical knowledge to a project. access points and firewalls. networking. This requires new pedagogical practices to be Knowledge and understanding developed to promote necessary competences. aspects of learning. • Assessments of 21st Century Skills. they have obtained previously. • It fosters Contextual learning bridging the disciplines giving the students opportunity to obtain: and curriculum areas. • 21st Century Learning Environments. COURSE DESCRIPTION AND COURSE PLAN • It is collaborative in nature and uses enabling and empowering technologies. 2. participation approaches provide valuable resources. To answer these challenges the KNORK (Promoting • Ability to use up-to-date professional tools. • using 21st century assessment with timely. information and media fluencies. Three metaphora of learning • using problem solving as a teaching tool. wireless controllers. support collaborative practices in technology-rich • Knowledge in how to manage their work in terms of environment. The results from pilot course in Pedagogical context . which are made on weekly basis. project with 9 partners from 4 countries. challenges. routers. learning is not just individual knowledge acquisition (monological) or social interaction (dialogical). Objectives .The students should have passed the Global Networks education in 12 grade classes are specialized courses Local Networks. An innovative is intended to elicit innovative practices of working with support system must be created to help students master the knowledge within educational community [5]. collaborative learning. Trialogical • Explain and understand networking basics. These involve Prerequisites . Previous achievements . practices applying a trialogical approach in Global The Course Plan has the following main aspects: Networks education. provide tools for understanding deliberate processes of Developing a comprehensive framework for 21st century advancing and creating knowledge typical of knowledge- learning requires more than identifying specific skills. understanding of the different design steps and tools complex problems. abilities of group work. confusion. Information technologies from the previous school years. representing modern knowledge work. KNORK is a 3 year.After finishing the course students is organized around transforming. • making use of project based learning. • Social and Cross-Cultural Skills.Local Networks. A specialized course in the field of Global Networks. but activity Skills and ability . appropriate and detailed feedback and reflection. highlighted. Key features of 21st Century Pedagogy The key features of 21st century pedagogy are [3]: • building technological. or creating shared should have abilities to: knowledge objects (see Fig. • Practical knowledge in networking. EU-funded integrated tasks and time distribution for fulfilling deadlines. 2015 • Initiative and Self-Direction. • 21st Century Curriculum and Instruction. for understanding individual and social • Productivity and Accountability. approach to learning [5] is one possible solution to these • Explain and understand operation of switches. for the Present-day students will be employed in positions project. Information technologies. The partners • Ability to present and report their work.

• Manage their work in terms of tasks and time submitting respective report and presenting the obtained distribution for achieving deadlines. The trialogical design principles. developed collaboratively-shared presenta- •  Collective responsibility . projects students will have to present their presentations •  Motivating students to distribute tasks between team for the given topics. organize. allocate practices projects themes according the groups. assignments. •  Google Docs for collaborative editing and commenting. Industry professionals. tasks and preliminary review of the used tools and the discuss the given problem in collaborative environment. design and simulation results. section II. conduct and meeting the deadlines for submission of intermediate and operate the project development. •  Thoughtfully and creatively establish. performing number of analysis of the designed network to • Task distribution between the members of a team. quality of the design solution. and artifacts across communities • Make peer reviews and comment results. COURSE RE-DESIGN discussions. described in • Google Sites – for designing of course site. progress of the project the group each member tions in the field of Global networks. Students use Google Drive. teachers and students switches. Prepare the platform (Google Apps): create folders for the DP6: Providing flexible tools for developing artifacts and groups. • Work efficiently as a group. COLLABORATIVE LEARNING PLATFORM project. 2015 • Use modern professional tools for network design and •  Planning and writing the documentation. asking the teacher and other students for feedback.Find potential projects. collect the needed information. etc. modern professional tools in order to plan. activities are presented. cables. COURSE ORGANIZATION DP1: Organising activities around shared objects • Teams organization . DP3: Emphasizing development and creativity through The assessment is based on the written project report knowledge transformations and reflection and the discussion with the project team. and Preparations before the course . and Working in teams of 2 persons. sharing the implementation. discuss the given problem in collaborative configuration – performing number of analysis of the environment. improving the project and project documentation. These homework takes the responsibility for their project tasks. discuss and analyze collaborative experience. The evaluation •  Discussion and analysis of problems the teams faced criteria are: fulfillment of design goal according given during their collective work on the common project. industry.students will have the ability to The Global Networks course in the Technology School choose their teams by yourself. are used in the process of course re. analyze the designed network to refine the network parameters and topics for the presentations. upload learning material. drafts.Networking equipment such as routers. In the end of the two or three weeks long the partners they want to work with. •  Collaborative development of common project. The agency and work students have to document their work at every step of the development process and to upload in Google Drive • Coordinating participants – team members will choose project space. blogs and social media for discussing they face. refine the network parameters and characteristics. ANNUAL JOURNAL OF ELECTRONICS. Google Drive for file sharing. organization. the students are required to preparation of shared. The implementation of the principles of trialogical approach can be summarized in following way: V. • Project management – Google Apps. tasks. execute the project tasks and write project documentation. • Hold and evaluate. “Electronic Systems” is re-designed to be project oriented. Most of developments take characteristics. Students contribute with specialists from the ICT ICT tool(s) . We re-design our course to ensure possibilities for • Google Calendar . Google Doc. discussed and analyzed in class. For their intra-team 63 . Google Application. create project Students use the tools for collaborative work: development agenda. discuss and justify the proposed DP5: Promoting cross-fertilization of knowledge practices solutions. • Face to face and virtual meetings – Skype. • Present and report their work considering the problems •  Using forums. the workspaces. final reports. DP4: Fostering long-term processes of knowledge During the long term projects and weekly assignments advancement on the subject of Global Networks students have to gather •  Prolonged working process with iterative network information. analyze and troubleshoot the network topology applying DP2: Supporting integration of personal and collective pre-defined networking technologies and protocols. During •  Activities: regular meetings for discussion of project the long term projects teams have to gather information. place outside the regular classes. •  Practice already gained knowledge and skills in using dedicated networking equipment to solve the tasks of the VI. Google Sites. quality of the written reports. technical specifications. problems and talk about their points of view and opinions. Google+ for IV.very useful for project scheduling - collaborative work of student teams on common shared related events by sending RSVP invitations. The students will have weekly members take the responsibility for the project deadline.

according to the complexity of the project. The 29 students’ answers to the seven statements after the course are reported in Fig. 6. sharing. conferencing. Drive knowledge work competences and digital skills. 6) I know Global Networks Course (See Fig. Home Page of Google Site of Global Networks Course Fig. Pilots’ results are focused on students’ collaboration for shared outcomes. 2) Experience in the use of modern cloud step of the development process of long term projects and technology. discussed and discussions for deepening my understanding. Students learned knowledge work VII. and Fig. commenting. They have to create. 3. distribution of students in groups . 5) I know analyzed in the class and uploaded in Google Site of the how to work in a goal-oriented way in a group. 2015 communication. which were successfully used for   improving obligatory course Global Networks in Fig. CONCLUSION The paper discusses a course redesign to promote new pedagogical practices. 4. models) collaboratively with others. 2) I know how to analyze theoretically the topics to be studied. 3) I know how to discuss with others about the topics to be Fig. reports. 5. 4) I know how to take advantage of common These homework activities are presented. Students work in a collaborative environment with shared The students will have to document their work at every documents. 2) Criteria for evaluation of responsibilities in accounts. ANNUAL JOURNAL OF ELECTRONICS. 3): Groups. Fig. 7) I know how to use technology in multiple ways during collaborative work. Google Drive Spaces.not only according to All participants had to register individual Google their desire. In the beginning of the course a pre-survey was done through Survey Monkey. Each team had to between the students and monitor their group and choose a project subject from a list provided by the individual progress. Students were encouraged to submit their results and experiences can be generalized as follows: 1) questions as emails instead of chat messages. 4) Creation of a web-based Global comment the collaborative documents in the different Networks course platform. using digital tools and team work. After the course the post-questionnaire is done to evaluate students' self-reflections concerning knowledge work practices related to their experiences in the implemented Global Networks course and to observe their progress. The Global Networks course has room teacher. the students are free to choose whatever We manage to transform course from classical face to tools they prefer (chat. Average of the students’ answers VIII. 64 . how to develop productions (e.g. RESULTS FROM PILOT COURSE practices . face teaching to using project based approach in order to teacher communications we decide to use the Google tools motivate student and increase students motivation. Docs. email). plans. We need The pilot course is conducted with one class of 29 to find ways to promote even further the collaboration students – 12 grade class (31 weeks). 4.). For student. Collaborative workspace structure   studied. Students Projects in Global Networks Course secondary education. The students were asked several questions: 1) I know how to organize my studies purposefully. In addition to the project work. Gmail. edit and course content.information analysis and presentation. Calendar. A questionnaire was sent to the students in order to find out more about their background and study skills... 3) Google Docs document for each project report and sharing Update the criteria for the assessment of current tasks and it with the team. Talk. 5. their (see Fig. The teacher was responsible for creating a teams. students were for improvement in the following directions: 1) Optimal required to submit several homework assignments. The main and Google+. 3) Experience in the rearrangement of the weekly assignments. 6 together with their answers to the statements before the course.

Finland. ANNUAL JOURNAL OF ELECTRONICS. L. January 10..wikispaces. Muukkonen.P21.metropolia. Ilomäki. [6] A. 2015 defining the severity of these criteria in forming the final course grade of the individual team members.P21.557-576. 2014. L. KNORK Workshop. Lakkala & H. www. at the Technology School “Electronic Systems” associated with Technical University and was supported by the Lifelong Learning Program of the European Community. Review of Educational Research 74 (4) 2004. M. [5]. Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21). Helsinki [4] Promoting knowledge practices in education (KNORK) Lifelong Learning EU Project http://knork. Work Life Competences – Knowledge Work Competences for the REFERENCES [1] Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21).. [3] https://edorigami. [2] Framework for 21st Century Learning. Models of Innovative Knowledge Communities and Three Metaphors of Learning. Lipponen.. & Hakkarainen. Toom. Paavola. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This paper is a part of the EU project “Promoting Knowledge Work Practices in Education – KNORK”. K. 65 . May 2015. S.