Inclusion when students as learning designers produce multimodal digital productions

Karin Tweddell Levinsen, Birgitte Holm Sørensen

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference proceedingKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingForskningpeer review


This study presents an important but unexpected outcome pointing at the inclusion-potential of the design for learning-principle (coined by Sørensen & Levinsen): Students as learning designers and students’ digital production found in the large-scale research and development project Students’ digital production and students as learning designers (2013–2015), funded by the Danish Ministry of Education. The project did not focus on students with special needs or non-participating students. However, during the project’s life cycle, students who at the beginning of the project did not or only sporadically participated in the everyday school practice, emerged in new positions as participants and performers of agency in the everyday activities. The study explores the inclusion-potential of the learning design and the technology in the project The study presents the findings through two representative cases, analysed from a post-phenomenological perspective based on Verbeek’s Philosophy of Artefacts that combines the hermeneutic and existential perspectives of technology, Orlikowski’s distinction between human agency and material performativity, and Ihde’s relations of mediation. The projects was a research and development project based on Action Research and Design Based Research, involving 30 teachers and 800 students in 5. Schools. It ran for 2 years. Data was collected in 1.-2. and 5.-6. grade and two cohorts at a 10. Grades Centre. Due to the complexity, we used mixed methods to produce a complementary set of data at both macro and micro-level, containing two data collection strategies • Baseline measures (quantitative and qualitative) at the beginning, middle and end of the project identified overall trajectories of transformation in a diachronic macro-perspective. • Longitudinal anthropological methods: thick description, interviews video, photos, team meetings, material products and artefacts. Here the macro-perspective identified changes in the performed practice, while the case-oriented micro-perspective identified transformations in individual students’ and teachers’ agency and practice. Especially the thick documentation of case incidents distributed over time contributed to draw our attention towards the emerging and unexpected potential for inclusion. Out of 50 non-participating students distributed between the five schools, 25 individuals changed position to (some degree of) inclusion during the project – these students distribute into two major clusters: 1. Students who by themselves began to occupy new positions as participants and agents in the everyday activities as the classroom arena transformed. 2. Students who were not able to change their position without external interventions. We found Strong indicators that the combination of learning design and use of specific technologies for digital multimodal production is pivotal for the observed change of student participation; Technology externalizes and amplifies students’ efforts and competencies; One dominant obstacle for inclusion appears to be the teachers’ lack of awareness regarding student efforts to participate. We argue that our design for learning-principles, Students as learning designers and students’ digital production are important co-constructors of new ways for students to become participators in learning activities, and a new observant teacher’s position, that empowers the teachers’ repertoire of agency in the learning context.
TitelLearning and education - material conditions and consequences : NERA 2017 abstracts
Antal sider2
Udgivelses stedKøbenhavn
ForlagNordic Educational Research Association, NERA
AnsøgerNordisk förening för pedagogisk forskning (NFPF/NERA)
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedNERA conference 2017: Learning and education - material conditions and consequences - Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 23 mar. 201725 mar. 2017


KonferenceNERA conference 2017: Learning and education - material conditions and consequences


  • inclusion
  • primary school
  • multimodal
  • students as learning designers
  • learning design
  • ICT


Levinsen, K. T., & Sørensen, B. H. (2017). Inclusion when students as learning designers produce multimodal digital productions. I Learning and education - material conditions and consequences: NERA 2017 abstracts (1 udg., Bind 1). [534] Nordic Educational Research Association, NERA.