L.P. Kjeldsen, H.W. Kjaergaard

VIA University College (DENMARK)
The increased global availability of technology and its entry onto the educational stage of Higher Education (HE) requires changes in the way we think of education and learning. The door to the lecture hall or the classroom is left ajar by communication technology, which allows for the students’ continual exchange of knowledge and information with the surrounding world through their laptops, tablets, or smartphones – in formal as well as informal learning arenas. Social media participation is becoming an increasingly influential factor in all learning-related activities – for students as well as for teachers.

This article will describe and shed light on the new conditions for learning that are challenging our traditional pedagogical principles. Through the development of the model for pedagogical reflection that we call the Convergent Learning Space, and through a presentation of its constituent elements, a concrete proposal for the possible realization of up-to-date teaching in light of the new conditions for learning will be offered. The elements of the model are: Learning approaches; learning tools; learning spaces and fluctuations in these; availability of digital resources; everyday lives and trajectories of participation – and the choices that are related to these elements.

The model has been developed through a three-year action-research project, and this article will show the results of an intervention study carried out by the research team in collaboration with eight lecturers and their students across a variety of educational programs in the fall of 2016.

Against the backdrop of lecturer and student evaluation of the perceived impact of the model on the teaching and learning – based on interviews and questionnaires – the strengths and weaknesses of the model and its constituent elements will be presented. In particular, the effect of lecturers’ work with the model and the changes this has brought about in their pedagogical practice will be discussed.