Cand.polit. Jan Arild Dolonen
The dissertation's title:
Collaborative design and use of digital learning resources. Analysing the processes and products of collaborative design and computer-supported collaborative learning scenarios in education.
This thesis is written within the Field of design and educational research. It concerns aspects of collaborative design (co-design) and the collaborative use of digital learning resources in an educational context. Through this thesis and its four studies, the Fields of design and learning are connected in terms of collaboration and artefact production. In terms of research relevance, this thesis addresses three aspects central to both design and learning. First, there is currently an interest in the qualities or characteristics of collaboration. Second, there is an interest in the status or role of the designed or produced artefact, and Third, few studies address the co-design of educational technology.
The main aim of this thesis is to characterise the processes of co-design and the collaborative production of artefacts. Another aim is to explore how the use of mixed methods can inform sociocultural studies. To reach these aims, I focus on the collaborative processes in which the production of new artefacts is key. In this thesis, I apply a sociocultural perspective and mixed methods. The Method is to use quantitative methods to inform the use of a qualitative method.
The empirical findings show that technology mediated collaboration between individuals in the production of new artefacts is a complex, multi-layered phenomenon. Individuals with their experiences and knowledge interact with others in a context full of artefacts and various Institutional and cultural constraints. Not acknowledging this complexity leaves out the emerging specific characteristics of collaboration. First, it is shown that decisions for change when co-producing artefacts are rooted in sufficiently shared perspectives on institutional norms and practices of which the participants are part. Second, I show that we cannot say that artefacts influence the collaboration as such. Rather, human meaning-making constitutes the artefact. Finally, I argue that using mixed-methods, may increase the validity of sociocultural studies.