COOL - Comprehensive Object-Oriented Learning (completed)

About the project

COOL aims at gaining insights into the complex area of learning and teaching object-oriented concepts and raising awareness of the problem areas in the communities of Computer Science Education and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning.


  • Evaluated constructive pedagogical and organizational approaches for object-oriented learning
  • A framework for understanding and designing reusable digital learning material for use in ICT-mediated learning environments.
  • Knowledge on the mediation of tools and didactical principles in the student’s learning process.
  • Design suggestions for courseware concerning learning object-oriented programming and modeling.

Theory and methods

The CSE-field (Computer Science Education) has a narrow focus on programming language constructs (particular in Java) and teaching tools for understanding language mechanisms, rather than consciously considering these issues as incorporated aspects in a wider learning context. As a consequence, the impor-tant analytical understanding of how programming as a know-ledge domain is created and used by the individual is missing. In COOL, activity theoretical perspectives are applied as frameworks for analysis and for suggesting new pedagogical approaches and teaching techniques.

From an activity theoretical underpinning, it becomes vital to consider the learners’ understanding of object-oriented concepts through insights into their processes of creating object-oriented models and program codes. This involves context sensitive approaches where the individual learner’s actions towards co-learners, tutor and tasks can be studied and explored. A number of lab experiments, design experiments and case studies have been conducted. The learner’s and tutor’s actions have been video- and audio documented by using unique technological means available at InterMediaLab and Simula Research Laboratory. In addition, observations, qualitative interviews, and to some extent questionnaires, are used to supplement the data gathered with use of these basic methods.

Video recordings and logs of the learner’s and teacher’s actions constitutes the primary basis for the analysis. The value of this type of documentation can be summarized as follows:

  • By approximating direct observations, the documentations provide a shared resource to overcome gaps between what the individual learner ‘say’ and what she / he ‘do’;
  • The documentation creates permanent primary records as resources that can be shared as ‘springboards for discussion’ between researchers and practitioners whose activities are recorded, facilitating reflective review by both multidisciplinary researchers and practitioners;
  • The documentation can be used to ‘map’ collaborative but temporally and spatially distributed activities among learners, making it possible to go beyond what any individual can see and perceive in and from a given moment, location and perspective.

Such an analysis will provide new insights into the complex area of understanding the learners’ activity in constructing knowledge on object-oriented concepts.


UiO and Norsk Regnesentral




  • 9 master thesis
  • 1 Ph.D: The Ph.D. work of O. Berge is incorporated in the American initiative on digital learning material (TELS – Technology Enhanced Learning in Science) and consitutes an important connection between TELS and the Norwegian projects COOL and VITEN (ILS / Naturfagsenteret).
  • 1 Dr. Philos: The Dr. Philos work of J. B. Bennedsen is incorporated in the COOL project through a journal- and book publications. This work is also an important means for connecting the research undertaken at Aarhus University, IT-West and University of Oslo.
  • Anthology published at a well-known international publisher (autumn 2004/spring 2005).



Published Nov. 10, 2010 10:16 AM - Last modified July 17, 2013 12:48 PM


  • Jan Arild Dolonen
  • Ole Smørdal
  • Knut Lundby
  • Amela Karahasanovic
  • Annette Kristin Levine
  • Arne-Kristian Groven
  • Ola Berge
  • Bjørn Henrik Pedersen
  • Christian Holmboe
  • Dag Sjøberg
  • Gerhard Skagestein
  • Roar Granerud
  • Håvard Hegna
  • Jens B. Bennedsen
  • Jens Kaasbøll
  • Michael Caspersen
  • Richard Borge
  • Richard Thomas
  • Terje Samuelsen
  • Unni Nyhamar Hinkel
Detailed list of participants