An Integrative Technology Design Model (TPCD) for Cultural Inclusion of Immigrants in Finland

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


As the number of immigrants in the world grows, providing services for them has become the core of cultural inclusion policies in modern societies. Key strategies for their cultural inclusion include increasing immigrants' access to information in public services, the labor market, the private sector, and other opportunities, such as supportive and facilities NGOs in the host countries. In the use of information technology affordance, Finland is one of the most advanced countries. Even so, initial sub-studies of this research revealed that immigrants face challenges in accessing reliable information for their daily lives and professions. Some information that is taken for granted by locals seems to be unknown to immigrants and difficult to access for them in Finnish digital services. Therefore, the current study aims to provide an understanding of immigrants’ challenges in accessing information for their daily lives and work and to propose a potential model as the solution to them and thus increase their cultural inclusion in society. International students and entrepreneurs as two major immigrant groups were interviewed, and phenomenography and case studies were employed to gain insight into immigrants’ challenges. A design study approach was employed to discover a suitable model to enhance immigrants’ access to information in the host countries.

The results indicated that communication in Finnish society is a serious challenge for immigrants, and social media have received an important role in transmitting information. This information can be invalid, paid, biased, or expired. Immigrants as newcomers in the host countries need to learn new rules, regulations, and strategies to increase their well-being. They are the minority website users, who have specific backgrounds, needs, and expectations that should be considered in website design. Therefore, integrating pedagogy into technology through pedagogical interface activities is suggested to design websites for multicultural user groups. The pedagogical interface (PI) manifests into 1) understanding the multiple users’ mind styles and functions for transforming their prior knowledge, skill, and attitude, such as learning styles (e.g., VARK), 2) creating, selecting, and organizing content for a website, based on the construction of multiple users’ minds, such as by using Bloom’s taxonomy to define the website goals, and 3) utilizing existing technologies to deliver the content (e.g., Gestalt principles in visual design). Furthermore, this study introduces Technological Pedagogical Content Design (TPCD) to utilize PI as a conceptual and practical model that helps website designers to integrate pedagogy into content and technology applicable to both educational and non-educational contexts. TPCD is an integrated multidisciplinary model that utilizes various theories, methods, and techniques in instructional technology and information technology disciplines to predict and lead users' minds and actions. Considering the complexity of technology integration at many levels, the explanation of TPCD and its practical implementation during this study provided fruitful feedback to clarify the systematic steps for implementing TPCD in real situations. TPCD is based on solid theories and principles in various disciplines; however, the lack of opportunity to conduct user studies has been a significant obstacle to its progress. Implementing TPCD for website design requires the cooperation of professionals in the subject matter (content), pedagogy, and information technology. Finnish website owners' emphasis on Finnish language skills to collaborate on website design in Finland, in addition to the Covid-19 lockdown and most importantly the lack of a positive organizational and financial support network contributed to these limitations in finding cases to study the effectiveness of TPCD.

This dissertation reports on the conceptual and practical development of the TPCD model through various sub-studies and publications. Each sub-study examines one dimension of TPCD. Ultimately, based on the TPCD model, an intelligent content integration tool is recommended as a middleware to be added to content management systems for further study and work.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTampere
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-2968-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (articles)

Publication series

NameTampere University Dissertations - Tampereen yliopiston väitöskirjat
ISSN (Print)2489-9860
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028


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