Department of Information Technology

Education & Didactics

Professionals in information and communication techniques need knowledge within many areas in addition to computer science. Examples are ethics, critical thinking, and international co-operation. We develop research based teaching methods both for industries and universities to achieve this. We also investigate and develop theories of learning and interfaces for efficient distance education.

Within Education & Didactics we focus on how people come to obtain and master the knowledge and skills needed to become successful IT professionals, as well as how we can use ICT for distance learning and create better learning environments where the needed knowledge and skills can be developed. IT professionals in this context denote people in different positions and roles who work with IT in the organization, these includes for example procurers of IT, software developers, project managers and usability experts. Developing the necessary knowledges and skills to become a successful IT professional is not easy as the area is more or less boundless and IT is an integrated part of all aspects of life. First of all being a successful IT professional requires extensive knowledge in the area of computer science. This includes for example knowledge of programming languages, visualizations, usability and software development methods. In addition an IT professional needs to master numerous skills and competencies. Some of these skills are related to ethics, creativity, critical thinking, teamwork, communication and international collaboration. The research area of Education & Didactics includes education and understanding of IT professionals in higher education as well as in industry. These two areas of research will be presented briefly below.

IT Professionals

The studies in Education and Didactics done in industry include the establishment of a user centred perspective generally in organisations through seminars, lectures and other educational activities. This research is done in an action research setting with the overarching goal is to improve usability of the computer systems built, and at the same time do research on the change and learning in the organisations. This research includes studies of how usability is interpreted and integrated by the IT professionals, and studies where the aim is to create better learning environments where the understanding and knowledge of usability aspects can be developed. Some previous studies in this area have focused on specific methods of learning the usability aspect of the work of an IT professional. These methods include for example usability mentoring and the use of field studies by non-usability experts.

Theories of Learning

Our research in the area of higher education includes development of theories of learning such as the Open Ended Group Projects (OEGP) concept and development of virtual learning system interfaces for distance education such as ICT-enabled Education for Sustainable Development (ICTeESD). We have also done much research on competences, and of intercultural competence to leverage cultural diversity in education to enhance the global research and development competences. Our research is driven by a desire to contribute to the body of Scholarship of Learning and Teaching that informs educational practice. The aim is to explore and develop undergraduate and graduate education in computing, and related fields, through the use of rigorous research methods. Research foci are chosen with a view to their potential impact on computing and engineering education as well as to the adaptation and use of ICT in learning and distance education.

Contact people

Lars Oestreicher
Associate Professor
Åsa Cajander

Updated  2013-04-05 20:43:07 by Mikael Laaksoharju.