Posts Tagged ‘E-learning’


Shifting ontologies of a serious game and its relationships with English education for beginners

March 29, 2011

Just want to raise awareness of a series of papers to be published in a special issue of E-learning and Digital Media, Vol 8, issue 3, 2011.

The call for papers is copy-pasted below:

“Media: Digital, Ecological and Epistemological

Special issue of E-Learning and Digital Media, Editor Dr. Norm Friesen

Media today are everywhere. From educational gaming through portable e-texts to cell phones ringing in class, it seems we can’t escape. Nor can we live without media; instead, they form a kind of ecology that we inhabit. In addition, media have an epistemological function; they shape both what we know and how we come to know it: “Whatever we know about our society, or indeed about the world in which we live,” as Niklas Luhman observed, “we know through… media.”

Speaking of media in education suggests a range of possibilities that are different from what is suggested by educational technology (electronic, digital or otherwise). Describing computers and the Internet specifically as digital media casts their role not as mental tools to be integrated into instruction, but as “forms” and “cultures” requiring “literacies” or acculturation. In this way, speaking of media in education brings instructional environments more closely together with the world outside. Explorations of these terms and possibilities have been initiated by the likes of Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman and Elizabeth Eisenstein, and they are also touched upon in research on media literacies. However, more recent theoretical developments and accelerated mediatic change –from blogging through networked gaming to texting and sexting– offer innumerable opportunities for further exploration.

This special issue of E-Learning and Digital Media invites contributions that focus on media, particularly digital media, and their ecological and epistemological ramifications. Specific topics may include:

  • School and classroom as media (ecologies) and the changing world outside
  • Digital challenges to media literacy and literacies
  • Media socialization and media education
  • Histories of media and education
  • The epistemological character of (new) media”

To see the draft of table of contents for this special issue:  Issuecontents ELEA 8_3_proof

Our paper:

Shifting ontologies of a serious game and its relationships with English education for beginners

Publication: Research – peer review › Article

This paper takes its point of departure in a language project, which is a subproject under the larger ongoing (2007-2011) research project Serious Games on a Global Market Place. The language project follows how the virtual universe known as Mingoville ( becomes an actor in English education for beginners. The virtual universe provides an online environment for students beginning to learn English in schools and at home. This paper will focus on the shifting ontologies of Mingoville and teaching and learning situations in beginners’ English. This paper takes its point of departure in neither Mingoville as part of the media ecologies of the classroom, nor in the epistemological ramifications of Mingoville. Instead, it suggests that opening up the shifting ontologies of Mingoville (i.e. what mediates Mingoville and its relationships with doing beginners English) may offer a different and useful approach to understanding how Mingoville becomes a multiple actor. It reveals that such an actor both influences, and is influenced by, manifold constitutive entanglements involved in organizing English teaching and learning activities for beginners. Theoretically and methodologically, the paper, the empirical gatherings and analysis, are inspired by science and technology studies (STS) and actor-network-theory (ANT). The arguments and descriptions provided throughout the paper will focus on the shifting ontologies of Mingoville as it moves into, and out of, different teaching and learning situations of English for beginners.
Original language English
Journal E-Learning and Digital Media
Publication date 2011
Volume 8
Journal number 3
Number of pages 24
ISSN 1741-8887


  • English education for beginners, e-learning, Digital learning resources, Virtual worlds, primary and lower secondary school, media and ICT, ANT (Actor-Network-Theory), Entanglement approach, Relational Ontology, serious games, Educational technology research


Hansbøl, M., & Meyer, B. (2011). Shifting ontologies of a serious game and its relationships with English education for beginners. E-Learning and Digital Media, 8(3).

Enterprises and organizations having great success with e-learning?

May 25, 2010

Do you know of any enterprises/organizations that have had great success with e-learning?

I hope that you will help me answer a few questions: 

1. Name of enterprise/organization(s)? (e.g. Novo Nordic, Microsoft, Municipality of ?)

2. Enterprise size? (e.g. 200 employees, 30 employees)

3. Enterprise location? (e.g. Denmark, Norway, global)

4. Target group for e-learning? (e.g. leaders, managers, sales people)

5. E-learning content and aims? (e.g. training it-skills, business values, other educational aims?)

6. E-learning form? (e.g. blended or online, synchronous, asynchronous)

7. IT-tools? (e.g. learning management system, ppt., Live Meetings etc.)

8. When did they have success with this?

9. How was the success visible/measurable/apparent?

10. What was the duration of the e-learning course?

Any hints (also literature references) that will make me more knowledgeable about different ways that enterprises/organizations effectively engage with e-learning are of value to me.

I greatly appreciate your time and help :-).

Remember that any answer via a comment to this blog-entry will provide a possibility for someone else to gain inspiration.


PhD thesis and defense

May 20, 2010

Yihaa, I am defending my PhD thesis on 3 June 2010. See and download the announcement here at the Danish Association of Science and Technology Studies’ homepage. Hope to see you at the defense :-).

Download the thesis: Hansbøl, Mikala (2009) Researching Relationships between ICTs and Education: Suggestions for a Science ‘of’ Movements, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University

I just stumpled upon this fun blogpost about different ways to conduct PhD defenses in the world. This is actually kind of interesting.


Where am I heading with the thesis?

April 21, 2008

In my PhD research, I’m trying to study e-learning and ICTs in everyday living, and at the same time I’ve become engaged in reconfiguration of the field of research called e-learning. I didn’t start out with the latter ambition, however my research interest “studying learning movements across virtual and physical context of activity in everyday living” (today, of course, I understand all the words and their implications and entanglements differently) led me to a makeup of empirical materials and analyses that became entangled with the accomplishments of not only e-learning in relation to education but also the field of e-learning research.


In my effort to write about these ‘things’, I’ve recently found great inspiration in ANT (Actor-Network-Theory). ICTs and E-learning in Denmark (and many other places, I believe) is mostly understood as matters of simply human/organizational/institutional bodies applying and using technical ‘bodies’/entities (represented as ICTs understood as carrying learning potentials) for educational purposes. Therefore, when the different ‘bodies’ are in place, all we need to do is make e-learning take place and thus realize its inherent learning potentials (squarely put). This is what the recent Danish National E-learning Strategy claims. However, I suggest, that ICTs and e-learning may be understood as the result off rather than the beginning of socio-material (dis-)engagements, movements and relations(hips) (which are also to be viewed as continuously on the move – altering and being altered) enacted through everyday livings. In other words I try to move ICTs and e-learning from some ‘things’ in themselves causing things to happen (having effects/impact) to something being and becoming as the result of a lot of sociomaterial engagements and workings.


Inspired by especially Marilyn Strathern’s work and Bruno Latour’s work, I analyze, explore, and enact the forms and matters of ICTs and e-learning in everyday living in different (from ‘conventional’ e-learning research literature) ways that shed light on some of the ways in which both ICTs, learning, and their relations; as well as the spaces, times, and agencies, that become involved with and related to ICTs and learning, may be viewed as continuously on the move through everyday translations.


In education there seems to be a quest for educating towards the Knowledge Age society and its inherent demand for future competencies, knowledge worker skills etc. Often this quest in e-learning literature becomes depicted through a paradigm shift, imagined as an educational movement of progression from instructivism towards (social) constructivism with each ism’s having their own naturally related learning/development theories (representing worldviews) and belonging educational instructional practices.


In other words, e-learning research and education in the 21st century in Denmark (as well as in many other Euro-American societies) is taken for granted as the natural pursuit of a particular imaginary of the 21st century Knowledge Age society and its inherent educational practices. This imaginary (existing in many different variations) with its background assumptions becomes the background (I argue) against which educations and their ‘e-learning readiness’ is evaluated, and many educations become depicted as in a state of non-development. I call this (inspired by R. P. McDermott) the acquisition of educations by an e-learning disability. I suggest that in order to see the daily movements and entanglements, we need to understand the contexts of research as well as its forms and matters – times, spaces and agencies – differently. Part of this involves engaging with an analytic strategy that emphasizes uncertainty and questions the taken-for-granted-institutions and identities of everyday livings (including times, spaces and agencies of everyday living).  


Through the concept of everyday living (which I understand as also on the move and realized through sociomaterial relationships, engagements and movements), and with great inspiration from Marilyn Strathern’s ideas presented in her book “Partial Connections”, the imaginary of the living world as fractal, ANT as symmetrical research (to begin with), Latour’s metaphor of phantom publics, and emphasis on ‘things’ as sociomaterially engaged and engaging actor-networks – events – complicated assemblages of assemblies (actors) that dissemble – I have found great sources of inspiration that have fundamentally taken part in reworking my previous engagements, imaginaries, relationships and movements with ‘the’ research field and practices of e-learning. 


One of Marilyn Strathern’s arguments is that research should maybe be much less about knowledge and much more about variations of engagements and relationships. The same (I believe) can be said about learning. Coming from the Danish University School of Education, it seems quite persuasive that ‘suddenly’ the whole world becomes matters of learning. Matters of learning, is what everything seems to be all about. I think that Strathern’s argument about engagements and relationships is extremely important. When studying everyday engagements and relationships it becomes quite obvious that not everything is about learning and knowledge. Everyday living is about being and becoming. And, especially, it becomes clear that the ‘packages’ of knowledge and learning in which observations of learning and knowledge often come, take part in producing the makeup of rather than simply describing the everyday movements and entanglements that we seek to study and become more knowledgeable about.

The thesis will be written in English. 


Please feel free to comment the above. I’m still in the process of formulating ‘things’, and maybe I need to reconsider my ways of explaining my research. Any comment (in Danish as well as English) will be gratefully accepted. Regarding content, disagreements, misunderstandings, misinterpretations, unclear formulations, things to reconsider, to be added etc. Thanks 🙂


On-Line writings – CopyrightThe online writings on this website may be cited or briefly quoted in line with the usual academic conventions. You may also copy or download them for your own personal use. However, the writings must not be published elsewhere (e.g. to mailing lists, bulletin boards etc.) without the author’s explicit permission. Please note that if you copy my writings you must:• include this copyright note

• you should observe the conventions of academic citation in a version of the following form:

e.g. Hansbøl, Mikala: “Where am I heading with the thesis”, published at Mikala’s Klumme – A researcher’s blog: Version April 21, 2008. 







Forsmag på afhandlingen

April 21, 2008

Hvad kan man forvente af afhandlingen?


Jeg betragter ikke afhandlingen som afslutningen på mit arbejde. Den er blot én måde at sætte et punktum på. Afhandlingen bliver en variation af mange mulige over resultaterne af 4 års inspirerende forskningsarbejde i samarbejde med Handelsskolen København Nord (den del og de aktører, der tidligere gjorde Hillerød Handelsskole til Hillerød Handelsskole). 


Afhandlingen er ikke skrevet helt færdig endnu. Så dette er blot en ’appetizerJ.


I min forskningstilgang, er det væsentligt at nævne, at jeg tager afsæt i at al forskning begynder ‘midt i noget’. Al forskning må således betragtes som partiel. Hillerød Handelsskoles hverdagsliv eksisterede før jeg blev inviteret som aktør til bl.a. at deltage i e-læringsgruppen, og Hillerød Handelsskoles hverdagsliv fortsatte imens og efter at jeg tog del i aktiviteterne. Jeg har naturligvis ikke haft mulighed for at dække ‘alt’, og præsenterer således kun snapshots af relationer i det meget komplicerede sammensatte hverdagsliv med ikt’er som involverer, bevæger og engagerer en uddannelse som Hillerød Handelsskole. Herudover præsenterer jeg ikke ‘rene beskrivelser’ af hverdagslivet. Min forskning – som alt andet – må betragtes som sociomaterielt konstrueret i forhold til de engagementer, relationer og bevægelser, som lod sig gøre i forbindelse med Projekt Læringsscenarier med IT. 


Hvad er ikt og e-læring? Hvordan skabes ikt’er og e-læring i hverdagslivet?


Det er nogle af de spørgsmål, som afhandlingen relaterer til.


Jeg arbejder med en forståelse af teknologier som effekter af sociomaterielle aktør-netværk i relationer til hverdagslivet. 


I e-læringsforskningen er der meget fokus på ‘det nye’, og jeg har set på noget så ‘ordinært’ som hverdagslivet med IKT og e-læring. Det der måske berører  mange flere af os. Der er (argumenterer jeg) i e-læringsforskningen (som for mig er forskning i relationer mellem læring og ikt’er) en tendens til at gøre ‘det nye’/’det innovative’ til det der a priori interessant, og det som er/ bør være relevant for alle. Problemet er, at sådan hænger hverdagslivet ofte ikke sammen. Når hverdagslivet skabes med ikt’er og e-læring involverer det meget mere komplicerede forhold, bevægelser og engagementer, end det vi beskriver med det nye versus det gamle, tradition versus fornyelse, innovation versus stilstand, godt versus dårligt dikotomier. 


Aktør-Netværks-Teori (ANT) og Science, Technology and Society studies (STS), som jeg er inspireret af (og særligt som den repræsenteres af Bruno Latour, Marilyn Strathern og Annemarie Mol), gør op med de a priori begreber og moderne distinktioner, som ‘vi’ har haft tradition for at tænke i og arbejde med, derfor kan det være en svær kamel at sluge ‘min tilgang’. Aktør-Netværks-Teorien er et radikalt opgør med (sådan som jeg ser det) paradigmetænkningen, såvel som vores a priori samfunds- og udviklingsforståelser, verdenssyn og dertilhørende læringsteorier.  


I forbindelse med mit ph.d.-projekt har jeg arbejdet med analyser af ikt og e-læring i hverdagslivet. I afhandlingen argumenterer jeg for at e-læringsforskningen har haft en tendens til at betragte ikt’er såvel som e-læring som faste ‘kroppe’/entiteter/enheder/aktiviteter der først udvikles (et sted) og derefter anvendes (et andet sted fx applikationer udvikles og bruges) formålsrettet, og med effekter som umiddelbart kan beskrives (og delvist tages for givet). Herudover argumenterer jeg for, at e-læringsforskningen ofte tager læringsbevægelsernes tid, rum, aktører samt deres relationer for givet.


Jeg diskuterer hvordan teknologier kan analyseres som deltagere i hverdagslivet, der producerer og bliver produceret i multiple sociomaterielle aktør-netværk (heriblandt forskningens egne). Dette ‘blik’ aktualiserer “teknologi-making” som efforts/workings/accomplishments, der involverer multiple sameksisterende læringsbevægelser, og sammensætninger af tider, ‘rum’ (spaces) og aktører (humane såvel som nonhuman / materielle såvel som immaterielle) i hverdagslivet. I denne forståelse er teknologier altså aldrig noget i sig selv.


Herigennem foreslår jeg at vi som e-læringsforskere og uddannelsesplanlæggere bør være mere usikre på hvad, hvornår og hvor bevægelser og læring foregår i hverdagslivet med teknologier. Herudover diskuterer jeg ‘the quest for learning potential’ samt ‘the acquisition of an education by e-learning disabilities’ (nogle af Jer genkender måske inspirationen her fra R. P. McDermott’s interessante artikel “Acquisition of a child by a learning disability”).


Jeg viser hvordan såvel læring, tid, rum, teknologier og agenturer (jeg skriver på engelsk og bruger “agencies” – forslag til andet begreb end agenturer modtages gerne) kan betragtes som værende i ’konstant’ bevægelse i hverdagslivet. Jeg foreslår, at der åbnes op for nye områder af forskning i læring relateret til ikt i hverdagslivet, når vi betragter e-læring og ikt’er som effekter, snarere end som ‘noget’ a priori med effekter. I sidstnævnte tilgang tager vi e-læringens og ikts ‘forms and matters’ for givet, og undersøger læring som resultat af disse. Imidlertid står vi ofte med den udfordring, at det der foregår langt de fleste steder, langt fra repræsenterer ‘vores’ konstruktioner af hensigtsmæssig ikt-integration, e-læring og udvikling (med mindre vi selv har deltaget aktivt i udviklingen af aktiviteterne). Dvs. at vi ’måler’ og ’vejer’ aktiviteterne i uddannelseshverdagen med afsæt i bestemte forståelser og konstruktioner af ikt-integration og e-læring.


Dette er (mener jeg) bl.a. med til at skabe en forestilling om at mange uddannelser ikke udvikler sig. Hillerød Handelsskole kunne betragtes som sådan et sted. Men med andre forestillinger om hvad der bevæger sig hvor og hvornår i hverdagslivet, når det gælder ikt og e-læring, viser jeg at Hillerød Handelsskoles hverdagsliv består af en masse dagligt arbejde for at integrere ikt og e-læring, som forandrer hverdagslivet på måder, tidspunkter, og involverer aktører, som vi ofte ’overser’. Jeg argumenterer for at uddannelser konstant arbejder. Dvs. at når vi er i stand til at beskrive uddannelser som værende i stilstand, så må det være fordi vi skaber uddannelser og uddannelsesrelationer på måder, der ikke inkluderer dette arbejde.


I stedet for at fokusere på om uddannelser udvikler sig, foreslår jeg at vi ser på hvordan uddannelser arbejder. Det kræver meget energi at skabe og vedligeholde uddannelser, uanset om arbejdet anerkendes som havende en bestemt form og et bestemt indhold. Hvis vi gerne vil forstå, hvordan uddannelser bliver skabt som uddannelser der integrerer ikt og e-læring i hverdagens aktiviteter, så må vi stille spørgsmålstegn ved uddannelsernes, ikt’ers og e-læringens relationer og eksistensformer. Det er denne udfordring Projekt Læringsscenarier med IT har taget op.   


Jeg præsenterer hverken en fortælling om hvordan ikt’er bliver katalysatorer for forandringer, eller hvordan nye sociale uddannelseskulturer forandrer brug af ikt’er. I stedet foreslår jeg, at vi engagerer os i re-konfigurationer af de spatio-temporale og sociomaterielle forståelser af hvad der skaber ikt’er, e-læring, uddannelse og relationerne derimellem. Herigennem kan åbnes op for at forstå kreativitet, innovation og udvikling i uddannelserne som sociomaterielle konstruktioner i hverdagen, og således ikke som særlige ekstraordinære aktiviteter, der efterfølgende skal integreres i hverdagen. Kreativitet, innovation og udvikling er som alt andet (i min tilgang) sociomaterielle konstruktioner der engagerer, relaterer og bevæger aktører i hverdagslivet på bestemte måder.  


Inspireret af ANT arbejder jeg med en tilgang, der hverken a priori tager ikt, læring eller relationerne derimellem for givet. Dvs. at jeg heller ikke knytter a priori an til en læringsteori og et ‘worldview’. Det betyder imidlertid langt fra, at jeg forestiller mig at arbejde forudsætningsløst.


Mit arbejde repræsenterer en bevægelse væk fra at tænke a priori i e-læring som computer-medieret læring. Jeg arbejder hen imod en re-konfigurering af såvel ‘e’-et, ‘-‘ bindestregen som ‘læringen’ i “e-læring”, og de tider, ’rum’ og aktører, som e-læring involverer, engagerer og relaterer til. 


Usikkerhed, cirkuleringer, bevægelser, aktører og delvise forbindelser er nogle af mine analysestrategiske nøgleord. 


Den 30. april holder jeg et oplæg i Forskningsprogrammet Medier og IT i Læringsperspektiv, hvor jeg illustrerer via et par empiriske eksempler, hvordan et LMS/VLE og læringsbevægelser relateret til dette, skabes på multiple sameksisterende måder i hverdagslivet – i relation til (det der tidligere hed) Hillerød Handelsskole.


Jeg problematiserer bl.a. hvordan vores a priori begreber om undervisningsaktiviteter og læring som sekventielt relaterede, og ’vores’ forestillinger om face-to-face aktiviteter som umiddelbare synkrone læringssituationer, er med til at få os til at glemme, at også disse forståelsesmåder er særlige sociomaterielle konstruktioner, der skaber læringsbevægelser, -relationer og -engagementer i hverdagslivet på særlige måder.


Ved at stille spørgsmålstegn ved hverdagslivets ‘rum’, tider og aktører, viser jeg at for at blive anderledes klog på læringsbevægelser relateret til ikt i hverdagslivet, så må vi inkludere de fx aktiviteter, hvor computere ikke nødvendigvis er fysisk til stede, og endvidere opgive vores forantagelse om at e-læring er et spørgsmål om at ikt’er er katalysatorer med læringspotentialer, at computere medierer elevernes læring i undervisningen, og om at udvikling og kreativitet med ikt er et spørgsmål om at skabe nye og særlige sociale (uddannelses-)kulturer.     

Afhandlingen skrives på engelsk.


Kommentér endelig. Alle kommentarer modtages. Jeg er fortsat i en skriveproces, hvor jeg skal finde ud af hvordan jeg bedst formidler mine pointer. Så alt hvad der lige måtte falde dig ind af tanker er velkommen. Hvad tænker du, når du læser ovenstående? Tak 🙂


On-Line writings – Copyright

The online writings on this website may be cited or briefly quoted in line with the usual academic conventions. You may also copy or download them for your own personal use. However, the writings must not be published elsewhere (e.g. to mailing lists, bulletin boards etc.) without the author’s explicit permission. Please note that if you copy my writings you must:

• include this copyright note

• you should observe the conventions of academic citation in a version of the following form:

e.g. Hansbøl, Mikala: “Forsmag på afhandlingen”, published at Mikala’s Klumme – A researcher’s blog:  Version April 21, 2008 (last edited on July 2, 2008). 






















What is e-learning?

January 10, 2008

I’ve just further developed my thoughts on e-learning at this page:

I would like to take this opportunity (inspired by Malenes great “Brainstorm: Social network site categories” see to invite everyone reading this post to write a comment on whatever springs to mind when thinking of “e-learning”. I’ll use this as an empirical resource in my PhD-thesis as well as my further work on this issue.

I don’t expect you to have read anything about e-learning – neither my page, referred to above – to participate in this quest.

Thanks 🙂