Books, Instagram and writing my first research article

The weekly digest

It has been a fantastic week on many aspects of the project.
For the first time this semester, I got to the studying part of the project. It is quite a great feeling to have surpassed most of the obligations that I need to fulfil around the project that is teaching, so I can begin focusing on my data, thesis, and the forthcoming writing on my first research article.

The article has the working title of “Participatory Skills for Learning in a Networked World”. It is to be a contribution to a special issue, where the Danish research team of the project work with the Dutch team from Open University, that we visited earlier this fall. See a blog post on that here

The editors are Nina Bonderup Dohn (my supervisor) and Maarten de Laat, and the plan is to publish it around a year from now.
I will keep you in the loop about the progress.

For the occasion, I got a copy of a newly published book by De Laat and another good colleague, Thomas Ryberg, who is also part of the FKK-Research Group. I’m very thrilled about the book and will just share some thoughts on it here:


The book takes a qualified venture through three main implications on Networked Learning. First of all a political perspective, then a learner’s perspective on the boundaries between e.g. work and school and what designs can be and cannot and lastly a view on implication for researching in Networked Learning. All three topics are weaved and relate to each other, giving a feeling of strong co-relation among the chapters and that all three perspectives an equally important to address.

The book draws on a variety of theories from both cognitive and socio -cultural perspectives. Bakhtin’s concept of chronotype (configurations of time and space ) is used to analyse online learners movements, and Socio-material theories underpin how artefacts are used to develop students digital literacies, How tasks and activities are not always aligning and how students engage in sense-making activities are also topics that are addressed

The topics are highly relevant for my research, and it is great to read something that sets own thoughts into perspective. I can highly recommend the book, to anyone interested in Networked Learning.

Instagram – another layer of empirical data


As you might notice, I have attached an Instagram widget to my site. I’ve decided to use Instagram as a tool for freezing specific moments from my trips into the field. I think Instagram is useful for several reasons.

First of all, it allows me to provide my images with hashtags, making them easy to find through keywords like #analysis; #literature or #boundary, etc. These tags will give me a chance to better remember and provide images around specific topics for my analysis.
Furthermore, it allows me to write down immediate thoughts on the particular situation, further providing relevant details to my observation log that supports the need for thick descriptions.
Thirdly its just looks nice and even though not many others use Instagram as a visual layer to their research, I can use it to promote my project even further when networking with colleagues around the world. Not all pictures are strictly for data usage, and I also use it for more casual updates not suited for a blog post. In time, I hope, it will provide some fruitful layers to my project.

Feel free to dig in and follow my @Designs4learning account.






ICT, transfer, and boundary crossing in VET


My good friend, Marianne Riis aka Mariis Mills, posted a kind notice and wrap-up of my project on her blog. Returning the favour, I’d like to bring her research to your attention as well.
I will get back on that in just a second.

First of all, I’ve linked to her blog in the side panel and I encourage you all to pay her blog a visit.
As you will also read on her blog our story goes way back, to when I was a masters student at The University of Aalborg. During my study and ever since Marianne has both been an inspiration and always kindly shared her thoughts and findings.  She quite literally opened a new world to me, through Second Life, as a part of her course on Virtual Worlds and my great interest in the concepts of Didactic Design, Learning Designs, learning and technology, and my appreciation for blogging is in many ways related to her.

mariisHere you see and old screenshot from Second Life, just before Mariis Mills gives a talk on potentials in Second Life

At the time Marianne is working on a research project closely related to the same area as me. Her project is about: ICT, transfer, and boundary crossing in VET and she, along with her colleagues, have been sharing their finding over on this blog:  (in Danish- but hey Google Translate often does the trick good enough for you to get the point, why not give it a try?). I’ve bee following the blog and you will find many interesting resources there.

Given the above-described, you might not find it odd, when I say that I’m quite excited to hear, that Mariss recently took up her English blog: The blog was started in 2008, where she began her PhD project: Identity, Embodiment and Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds –  Problem-Oriented Project Pedagogy Perspective.  Besides following her thoughts and findings for the last eight years you will find her blog to be a treasure chamber for people interested in “learning and technology”.

Get over there! 🙂

Submission for EARLI 2017

Are you going to participate at EARLI 2017?


Well hopefully, I am. I just co-authored a submission to a roundtable discussion about the earlier stated interest in Shifting Positions. The aim is to get more input on the topic. In the following,  you will find the abstract that we hope will be accepted.

We wish to portray and negotiate different perspectives of participation as a basic condition when conducting Design-Based Research.  The position of the researcher is not fixed and must adjust and adapt in-process, and in collaboration with practitioners. Although the literature on Design-Based Research addresses perspectives on roles of the researcher, and the co-designers or practitioners, we find that focus is often on skills needed, e.g. being an expert in the field, rather than on the phenomena of shifting positions in the phases and contexts of research. We propose the phenomenon of shifting positions as consequential to the scope and outcomes of a project. Discussing these shifts in relation to benefits and challenges particular to the Design-based Research approach is necessary to stimulate awareness of these issues. As these issues are  valuable to both researchers and practitioners, considering them may generate  recommendations on how to prepare for these shifts when conducting Design-Based Research. To illustrate how positions shift in actual practice, we draw upon two empirical studies conducted in the context of Teacher Education Programme. We present one case where the researcher is positioned as a second teacher within the classroom, and another case where the researcher needs to renegotiate his position as co-designer and researcher after an intervention in the design experiment. Our goal is to gather ideas and contributions through discussion of the concept and characterisation of shifting positions, collectively considering how this concept may advance Design-based research.  

If you are indeed participating I hope you will join the discussions.

Study trip to the Open University Netherlands

Recently I travelled along with my colleagues to visit the Open University of the Netherlands and a group of researchers who were particularly interested in Practice-Based Research and Networked Learning. In the following is just a short wrapup from the trip.

We were very well received by our colleagues there and they had planned a great week for our stay as shown in the table below:

skaermbillede-2016-10-08-kl-16-15-37As part of the programme, we collaborated a conference where both research teams could present different parts of their research to a broader audience (mainly masters students at the university and colleagues). I have written briefly about the conference in an earlier post:

Confrence on Practice-based research methods

At the conference, I had the chance to give a presentation on the “Concepts of transfer and transformation in designing for situated knowledge across contexts”
My presentation was mainly on presenting different views and positions on the concept of transfer and relate those views to my own research. In my presentation, I did partly describe and problematise the concept of transfer and argued that transfer should not be seen as an isolated phenomenon but in correlation to learning and transformation of knowledge situated in contexts
You can see my slides here:

Concepts of transfer and transformation in designing for situated knowledge across contexts from Roland Hachmann

As part of the workshop, questions arose on the concept of participation and how we actually are able to identify which contexts participants bring into and across social constructions. How are we able to know, which prior experiences and knowledge, participant bring into a situation and how actions are related to them. These kinds of questions are important for my study and I will need to engage further with these perspectives.

Another hot topic at the conference was on the notion of quality in empirical research and who should actually conduct this kind of research. On one hand, it was argued that universities were perfectly able since research is not dependent on a specific practice or limited to specific contexts, and on the other hand it was argued that research should indeed take into consideration and recognise practice as complex and research as an entangled part of this complexity, which could not be neutral. Again a topic that will be both important and interesting for me to elaborate on. Right now there is a similar discussion on, whether research conducted by professionals at Departments of Applied Science (At University Colleges) do a special kind of research that differs from Universities hence the strong commitment and involvement in practice. At this point, I’m not sure where I stand. I will be back on this topic in another post

Workshop: Methodology and instruments for practice & participatory-based research

As another activity, I, together with my Ph.d.-fellow Lea and dutch colleague Arnoud, planned a workshop on a topic that we think as highly influencing Participatory research or in my case, Design-Based Research.

The main focus of the workshop was on locating benefits and challenges on engaging into studies from a participatory or design-based perspective. We wanted to have a focus on which qualities others saw in Participatory- or Design-Based Research and especially on shifting positions of the participants in a research design.
In short, literature on Design-Based Research often addresses perspectives on roles of the researcher as well as the co-designers/practitioners, but the focus being on skills needed, e.g. being an expert in the field, rather than on the phenomena of changing positions in the phases and contexts of research. As researchers, we find this insufficient and lacking understanding the social construct of empirical research. 

To facilitate the discussion we divided the two teams into three groups discussing the following:



After discussing the input from the three groups we presented two examples (dilemmas) to illustrate how positions, shift in actual practice, we (Lea and I) drew upon two empirical studies from our own research conducted in the context of Teacher education programme. The first example shows how the professional background of the researcher influences the participants’ positioning of the researcher. The second example shows how the position of the researcher is questioned by the co-designer while developing a practice with and through the design. Both examples provide cases where the position of the researcher is not fixed, and thereby not limited to being the expert, nor does it take a neutral or invisible stance in the setting.

The two examples are shown below:



Special issue to come:
To repeat and summarise  all points of discussions would be too much in this post, but as a result of the trip, we agreed to collaborate further on a special issue where we will present, discuss and reflect upon the various topics from our week. Lea and I are, in collaboration with Charlotte Wolff writing on an article the focuses on shifting positions as a phenomenon and we are looking forward to publishing it next year. For now, we are still in the  investigation phase, but since publishing articles undergo a long process the actual writing process will soon begin.

More to come on the account as well.

Below you can see the two research teams from Denmark and The Netherlands:

SDU team:
Nina Bonderup Dohn
Jens Jørgen Hansen
Stig Børsen Hansen
Lea Tilde Rosenlund
Roland Hachmann

OUNL team:
Maarten de Laat
Steven Verjans
Emmy Vrieling
Femke Nijland
Arnoud Evers
Rob Martens
Charlotte Wolff

Project plan approved

Project plan for approval

This week my project plan was finally approved by my supervisor and sendt to the Ph.D. committee.  Hopefully they approve. The great thing about getting there is the proces of getting more aware of the directions, theoretical points of view and the methodologies of the project. Although there are still many wquestions to answer to, the project seems to have gotten in a direction, that reflects my research questions.

My research question

I haven’t revealed my research questions on the blog yet, so here we go:

How can pedagogical designs support students in transforming situated knowledge between educational contexts and professional contexts – and how does the use of praxis, as experimental labs and the use of mobile- and web-based technology enhance this transformation?

Short description

My research focusses on teachers education as the educational context and middle school (10-12 years) as praxis context, where the students experiment with the knowledge and competences gained through their study. It is my believe that through continuos boarder-crossing between education and praxis, the situating and transformation of knowledge is enhanced and empowered. It is my further believe that both education and praxis will innovate through the process.