Understanding Productive Learning Through the Metaphorical Lens of Patchworking

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


The metaphor of patchworking is used throughout this case study to highlight how learning processes, and processes of knowledge creation, consist of the stitching and weaving together of various patches into something new. The patches can be old, new, borrowed and of a widely different fabric; yet in combination they form a new patchwork. Empirically, the case study draws on a close examination of a short-term, open-ended, technology enhanced and problem oriented learning process, in which eight young people worked on the challenge of how ICT can be used to reduce poverty in the world. From this study, which formed the basis of the author’s PhD thesis (Ryberg, 2007), the concept of understanding learning as a process of patchworking has emerged. The metaphor of patchworking is a perspective that emphasises the constructive, creative and productive aspects of learning. In this chapter the main aspects of this metaphorical perspective will be presented and discussed in relation to networked learning, indirect design and the notion of ‘productive learning’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnalysing Networked Learning Practices in Higher Education and Continuing Professional Development
EditorsLone Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Chris Jones, Berner Lindström
Place of PublicationRotterdam
PublisherBrill | Sense
Publication date2009
ISBN (Print)9789460910050, 9789460910067
ISBN (Electronic)9789460910074
Publication statusPublished - 2009
SeriesTechnology enhanced learning


  • Patchworking
  • Learning
  • Technology Enhanced Learning


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