Digital Internationalisation in Vocational Education (DIVE)

The DIVE project has the primary goal of supporting vocational student-teachers in developing and strengthening intercultural competence, English speaking skills, digital competence, and global awareness within the three overarching themes. Collaborating countries are Norway, Germany, Turkey and Sweden. Read more.


Inspired by the Stanford Teacher Education Program, the project aims at tighten the connection between theory and practice in the Preshool-teacher programme at Karlstad University in different ways. The project has two different parts, which are described in Swedish here and here. Project leader Annica Löfdahl-Hultman.

Digital technology for Integrating school and workplace in Vocational Education (DIVE)

The differences between the school and the workplace as learning arenas are often emphasised in discussions about vocational education. Research in this area has highlighted a range of approaches that can bridge this gap and provide a more complete learning experience for students. One such approach is to use different kinds of ‘boundary objects’– such as digital technology – which are present in both learning arenas and which can serve as a link between learning experiences in the school and the workplace. However, to date there has been little research on how digital technology can be used in this way and thereby support students in the learning process. Therefore, this study focuses on various forms of digital technology – such as mobile phones, apps, blogs, and portfolios - as boundary objects in upper secondary vocational education. Information in Swedish.

Measuring information literacy
(2015 - - )

The project aims at developing a test to measure Swedish teenagers’ information literacy/skills. It is a contextualisation of a test developed in the Netherlands by van Deursen, van Dijk and Peters (2011). In collaboration with Lennart Karlsson, a portable IRT-lab is used. The project is funded by internetfonden.SE until June 30, 2016, but the work continues also during 2017. Information in Swedish.

Education in collaboration with developing countries

A Teacher Educators Master Programme, TEMP, has been run as a collaboration project between Karlstad University, the Ministry of Education in Kabul, and the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA). The programme was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA. At the Institution of Educational Studies, KAU, we gave two courses where I was the examiner. I was also supervising students in their thesis writing. In June 2012 and March 2014 I was participating in a course on ICT and Education for developing countries. The course was run by LIFE Academy in collaboration with SIDA.

Net-based teacher training - evaluation

In 2012, Karlstad University launched their distance education for subject teachers in a blended learning mode. Together with Ulf Buskqvist, I had the mission to evaluate it in collaboration with a similar Norwegian team from NIFU, evaluating Telemark University College. An article was published in collaboration with the Norwegian team (Tømte, Kårstein, Enochsson & Buskqvist, 2015) and a conference contribution (Buskqvist & Enochsson, 2012). Follow-up study presented at ECER 2017.

Independent degree project in teacher education – developmental project

A special mission to find ways to raise the quality of the independent degree projects in teacher education. This work is at different levels; at the Department of Educational Studies, Karlstad University and in a group selected from four different Universities in collaboration.

Assessment of and Assessment with ICT in Teacher Training

The project was a collaborative research and development project between teacher trainings at Kristianstad University College, Umeå University, Linköping University, Karlstad University, Gothenburg University, Mid Sweden University and University West. The project was supported by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation, and the project leader was Lars-Erik Nilsson, University of Kristianstad.

A research review presented at NERA in Jyväskylä, 2011, can be found at Published.

ICT in initial teacher training

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) and the Swedish Knowledge Foundation joined forces to investigate the actual use of technology in initial teacher training in OECD countries. The following research questions were considered in this project:

• What are the national frameworks and requirements regarding the use of technology in initial teacher training?
• What are the local frameworks and requirements regarding the use of technology in initial teacher training?
• To what extent and in what ways are technology used in teacher training institutions in the OECD-countries?
• In what ways are student teachers prepared to integrate technology in teaching?
• If student teachers are not satisfactorily prepared, what are the main obstacles?
• How is policy evaluated?
• Does practice correspond to policy?

A research review and a Swedish case report based can be found at Published. Further information about the project (e.g. other country reports) can be found here.

P@rableProject: P_Rocess based Assessment through Blended Learning

This project builds on earlier development work at all three partner institutions. It has been designed together with students and aims to strengthen ICT use as well as pedagogical communication between campus and VFU-schools. The main objective of the project is to initiate and develop an implementation procedure of process based assessment models through which the students, supported by teacher educators, will be able to set up individual learning criteria within a framework of didactic course goals, as well as to document, reflect upon and evaluate their own learning processes. The process based model aims to develop the students' skills of critical reflection on their learning, promote their responsibility for self development and to prepare them for "life long learning".

The project was a collaborative development between the universities of Umeå, Linköping and Karlstad. The project was supported by the Swedish Agency for networks and Co-operation in Higher Education with funding of 2 million SEK over 2007-09. The project leader was professor Brian Hudson, Umeå (at this time). My direct engagement in this project finished when I started working at the OECD summer 2008.

Tweens in virtual communities

Four out of five Swedish teenagers were at this time members of the virtual community LunarStorm. The community was very popular and many teachers considered LunarStorm as a problem, since the students preferred communicating with their mates in LunarStorm instead of searching for information to their school projects while working at the school computers. In the Swedish curriculum there is an emphasis on communication and social interaction, and the aim of this project was to study the meaning of young people's use of virtual communities from a learning perspective. The ages of the informants were 10-13 years. These are the young people who are in between childhood and adolescence, and therefore are called tweens. The Knowledge Foundation funded a post doc at the Interactive Institute, which made it possible to carry out this study.

Articles based on this research project can be found at Published.

Children and young people searching for information on the Internet (1997–2004)

One of my research interests is focused on what intermediate level school children do when they search for information on the Internet and how they express their understanding of Internet searching. At the beginning of my research, the Internet was still quite new and unknown as a resource in teaching, especially for younger students. Teachers' attitudes varied concerning the pros and cons of the Internet. Some raised their voices against it, referring to information overload and the Internet's complicated structure, while others let their 10-12 year old students use the Internet to gather information. Today, the Internet is less controversial, but teachers' experience is still quite limited because of lack of well-working Internet connections. This means that my research questions are still topical in spite of rapid technological development.

In my dissertation study I followed fourth graders at school mainly in their search for information on the Internet. The approach was ethnographic. The students were observed while searching and while discussing their searches with each other. Throughout the study, the students' views were asked for. The questions were about what the Internet can add to teaching and learning at school, what search strategies they use and differences between searching at school and at home. Questions about reliability and critical scrutiny were focused on, and this was related to the students' models of the Internet as a system. The students were also asked what knowledge they consider to be important in relation to Internet searches. Since technology and computers are fenced about with gender thinking, differences between boys and girls have been analyzed. LearnIT has funded the doctoral studies, which ended in 2001.

Follow-up studies to my dissertation work are also finished. Ninth graders have been studied while doing projects about the Second World War. There were observations and interviews during spring semester 2003. In the spring semester of 2004 the fourth graders from the dissertation study had become ninth graders and they were interviewed about their views on Internet searching five years later. A group of children from pre-school class to third grade have been studied during two different project periods 2002 while searching on the Internet. The Swedish Research Council funds the follow-up studies.

Articles and a book based on this research project can be found at Published.