Public defence in computer and information science: Susanna Nordmark

Title: A Multimodal Seamless Learning Approach Supported by Mobile Digital Storytelling (mDS)
Subject: Computer and information science
Faculty: Faculty of technology
Date: Friday 23 November 2018 at 9.30 am
Place: Room Myrdal, building K, Växjö
External reviewer: Docent Jimmy Jaldemark, Mid Sweden University, Sweden
Examining committee: Associate professor Giasemi Vavoula, University of Leicester, Great Britain; Associate professor Ellen Rusman, Open Universiteit, the Netherlands; Professor Wolfgang Müller, Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten, Germany
Chairperson: Professor Christina Mörtberg, Department of informatics, Linnaeus University
Supervisor: Professor Marcelo Milrad, Department of computer science and media technology, Linnaeus University
Examiner: Professor Anita Mirijamdotter, Department of informatics, Linnaeus University
Spikning: Wednesday 31 October 2018 at 10.00 am at the University library in Växjö


The use of digital tools such as smartphones, tablets and laptops have shown potential to enhance teaching and learning in a wide variety of contexts. 21st century skills such as creativity, problem-solving and innovation as means for supporting learning and knowledge creation, are considered fundamental proficiencies in today's technology-driven society, and they are therefore considered essential to promote, already from the earliest of school years. Hence, there are a number of challenges related to how to design and implement innovative and varied strategies for teaching and learning supported by mobile technologies in educational settings. Moreover, it is also crucial to think about how to actively involve teachers into the processes mentioned above, inspiring and inviting them to implement new methods and technologies into their everyday educational practices.

The work presented in this thesis embodies a series of co-design and design-based research efforts aiming at exploring the interplay between design, information and communication technologies and learning through mobile digital storytelling, guided by the theoretical frameworks of constructivism, multimodality, new media literacies, mobile seamless learning, and technology enhanced learning. Two main research questions have been identified as formulated below, and have served as the basis that guided my efforts:

  • What design features are necessary to scaffold mobile seamless learning approaches with the support of mobile digital storytelling?
  • Considering the role of mobile digital storytelling for educational settings: which design factors and learning requirements could guide and support similar initiatives?

Over the years of my doctoral studies, a progression of research interventions involving teachers, pupils, and museum staff have been co-designed, developed, tested and validated. These efforts have resulted in a method, a mobile application, and a web service for mobile digital storytelling in educational contexts, named the mobile digital storytelling (mDS) system.

The mDS system introduces learning technology approaches aiming to support teacher and pupil digital inclusion, mobile seamless learning and multimodal aspects, and serves as a reflective instrument for both collaborative and individual work. The validation of mDS in different educational settings indicates that it can be independent of subject matter, user age, locality and previous knowledge of technology enhanced learning, and is easy to access and manage for teachers as well as pupils. Hence, it proposes several innovative means on multiple levels for meeting the 21st century skills required for supporting contemporary learning and knowledge creation.

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