Learning Material Didactics 6

The sixth issue of the journal, Learning Material Didactics, deals with some of the different experiences from the Vordingborg project, apps in teaching and evaluation of digital learning materials. You can download the entire journal or immerse yourself in the individual articles below. (All articles are in Danish.)


By Rene B. Christiansen on behalf of the editorial team

It is now a year since the last issue of Journal of Learning Material Didactics was published. In the meantime, the vocational colleges have been given access to research funds and have thus also been imposed a research obligation.

This means quite concretely in relation to JOURNAL OF LEARNING Material DIDACTICS that the editorial staff of the journal has decided that the journal’s profile must reflect this. More specifically, this will mean that the magazine will, in future, be able to contain articles in both English and the Scandinavian languages.

Read full preface

The first issue will be under a new name, new layout, and will in future be a peer-review journal, which aims to disseminate research on education and teaching design and learning materials. The journal will still be under læremiddel.dk, and it will be free and available online. The first issue is scheduled for publication in the autumn of 2014. There will be more info about the magazine’s new profile in the upcoming issue.

In this issue, four texts originating in part of the work that has taken place in the knowledge center in the last year, since the publication of the last issue, are presented. The first part of the journal is based on the report “IT and digital learning materials in Vordingborg Municipality’s Schools”, where læremiddel.dk had been given the task of analyzing the learning material cultures at all the schools in the municipality.

This is followed by a short text which – based on a special collaboration surrounding the creation of the report in Vordingborg – argues that schools and municipal decision-makers can advantageously solve tasks in collaboration with the vocational colleges, which can exploit the various potentials that lie in the various institutions that today constitute a vocational college. In the school area, it is the teacher education, the continuing / further education, the Center for Teaching Aids and the special environments for research in the school and the teacher education, which today are found at all vocational colleges. The third article is about apps in teaching and offers an academic language for working with apps in teaching contexts. At the same time, the article provides some concrete examples of how this work can be approached and planned. The authors set out categories and concepts that enable teachers and consultants to evaluate and analyze three different categories of apps.

This issue of teaching aid didactics ends duly with the leader of læremiddel.dk, Thomas Illum Hansen, who in his article on “evaluation of digital teaching aids”, which originated from a project between læremiddel.dk and KMD, comes up with the suggestion of a common language for use in evaluating digital learning materials. The article presents an evaluation tool that can be used to discuss the quality of learning material use in teaching. According to the author, the evaluation requires a double look at learning materials that have their origins both in didactics (knowledge about teaching), but at the same time also in relation to a discussion about usability, which has its origins in the considerations one may have about everyday technologies. Throughout the article, the web service Dropbox is used as an example, just as the text contains a discussion of Marc Prensky’s concept of students as digital natives. The focus is on didactized, digital learning materials and a typology of these in relation to four categories: portals, systems, courses, and supplementary websites.

The last issue of learning material didactics is entitled Signs of learning. The title refers to a project that has run under the auspices of læremiddel.dk, where a number of the knowledge center’s researchers have investigated didactic learning materials in a number of subjects (Danish, mathematics and science / technology), and their influence on the quality of teaching. The journal will disseminate results from the project and state a number of didactic principles that can support teachers’ choice and use of learning materials at the intermediate level. It has also succeeded in proposing which learning materials work, for whom and under which circumstances.