These workshops are offered at the preconference:

In order to sign up for the workshops, please first contact the organizers to see if there is space in the workshops and then register for the preconference here. Registration is possible until August 15.

Please note that it is possible to take part only in the preconference! 

Methodologies for examining expanding conceptualizations of learning

August 26th, 11:00-17:00

Organizers/Contact: Crina Damsa, University of Oslo, Norway (, Antti Rajala, University of Helsinki, Finland

Workshop theme:

Ongoing changes in the private, public, and working lives change how learning takes places, its context and framing conditions. This situation and its dynamics pose challenges to learning scientists and others concerned with researching and designing for learning (Rajala, Ritella, Kumpulainen, & Wilkinsson, 2016; Damşa & Jornet, 2016; Wegerif, 2013). This workshop addresses some limitations of dominant research perspectives that define learning in terms of effective and efficient activities aimed at producing measurable learning outcomes.

The following cross-cutting themes allow addressing an expanded conceptualization of learning more concretely:

  1. Expanding time-space contexts of learning: Learning is increasingly considered not only as a lifelong but also as a lifewide endeavour, with space-time contexts being restructured and expanded by new digital tools that create continuously evolving spaces for learning activities;
  2. Expanding the dialogical space of learning and co-creation: dialogical theories of learning challenge the supposedly neutral and one-sided grounding of learning. The dialogical space of learning is expanded when students are provided opportunities for negotiating difference and constructing new meanings.
  3. Expanding agency of learners: to engage in learning in unbounded settings requires learners to connect diverse knowledge resources, navigate knowledgeably across various contexts, transform activities and themselves as part of expanding learning ecologies;

This workshop aims to consolidate expansive conceptualizations of learning and to provide an opportunity for exploring and discussing together novel methodologies suited for  empirical examinations of learning addressing the themes presented above.


Call for participation: Authors are invited to submit original (preferably unpublished) research as extended abstracts (500 words). The proposals should address one (or more) of the identified themes and discuss issues of empirical research design or methodology that follow from the proposed conceptual framework. The proposals are expected to include a description of a) aims of study, b) theoretical framework, c) design and methods, d) results or illustrative empirical examples (preferred, if available), e) theoretical and methodological implications of the study. The author(s) should also indicate the option of sharing data for the joint data session. Submit your paper by June 20th to The submission will be reviewed for alignment with the workshop theme and the decision will be communicated fast, to make possible the early bird registration. Please note that it is possible to attend the workshop as a non-presenting participant! 

Workshop format: The accepted contributions will be clustered according to the cross-cutting themes. The full-day workshop will consist of three sessions: a) short presentations (10-15 minutes) of accepted papers, b) a data session, and c) a synthesizing discussion. The outcomes will be (1) a repertoire of consolidated conceptualizations of learning viewed from an expansive perspective, (2) suggestions for methodological approaches, and (3) an outline of shared interests for a future research agenda.

Programme committee

Crina Damsa (Organizer), University of Oslo
Antti Rajala (Organizer), University of Helsinki
Ola Erstad, University of Oslo
Alfredo Jornet Gil, University of Oslo
Kristiina Kumpulainen, University of Helsinki
Hanni Muukkonen, University of Oulu
Giuseppe Ritella, University of Helsinki
Rupert Wegerif, University of Cambridge 


Damsa, C., & Jornet, A. (2016). Revisiting learning in higher education—Framing notions redefined through an ecological perspective, Frontline Learning Research, 4(2), 12–20.

Rajala, A., Ritella, G., Kumpulainen, K., & Wilkinson, L. (2017). Expanding conceptualizations for the study of learning. Frontline Learning Research4(4), 1–6.

Wegerif, R. (2013). Dialogic: Education for the Internet Age. London: Routledge

Exploring lived experience in classroom situations: gathering and analysis of second-person data

August 26th, 11:00-17:00

Organizers/Contact: Gilles Dieumegard, LIRDEF (EA3749), Univ. Montpellier, France (

Topic and rationale: Lived experience is delineated as an ongoing process of coupling which is lived “from within”, it emphasizes what “a singular subject is subjected to at any given time and place, that to which she/he has access in the first person” (Depraz, Varela, & Vermersch, 2003, p. 2). As methods exploring it are currently being developed in psychology and neuroscience (Hurlburt, Alderson-Day, Fernyhough, & Kühn, 2017; McAuliffe & McGann, 2016), it is worth looking at the potential of such methods for learning research.  Particularly, the activity in which an individual is engaged in a learning situation is only partly accessible by observation or interaction analysis. Indeed, there are many dimensions – such as what learners are concerned about, how they perceive a given situation, what they pay particular attention to and the meaning arising in relation to their past – which can difficulty be accessed or documented using these approaches. We present a method endorsing lived experience as a fundamental unit of analysis, allowing to gain access to these non-directly observable features of individual learning processes.

Objectives: This workshop aims at offering insights and discussing learning research endorsing lived experience as a unit of analysis. Investigating lived experience supposes to gather “second-person data” consisting in accounts that are relationally constituted: to this end, researchers need interview methods helping interviewees to retrieve and evoke their past lived experience in natural learning situations.  We will discuss conditions for the validity of such data, and reliability of their analysis through the hands-on examination of a short but complete corpus.

Planned activities and duration: (5 hours)

1) Validity of the data (2 hours)

Introduction: The concept of lived experience.

First exploration of the corpus (a  two-minutes stretch in a teacher education program; data are available for the teacher and three students).

Presentation: Theoretical framework for lived experience and interview methods informing it.

Discussion: The interactional and socio-political conditions enhancing the validity of second-person data.

2) Reliability of the analysis (2 hours 30)

Presentation: Propositions for analyzing second-person data.

Practice and discussion of comprehensive analysis: describing lived experience of an individual.

Practice and discussion of comparative analysis: producing results about individual and collective activity.

3) General discussion. The potential of the study of lived experience for learning research. (30 minutes)

Target audience (3-12 participants): Every researcher or doctoral student interested in qualitative research in natural learning situations.

Expected outcomes:

  • Deep scrutinizing of a method investigating lived experience.
  • Put the unfinished work of qualitative research in natural learning situations back on the bench!


Depraz, N., Varela, F. J., & Vermersch, P. (2003). On Becoming Aware: A Pragmatics of Experiencing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

Hurlburt, R. T., Alderson-Day, B., Fernyhough, C., & Kühn, S. (2017). Can Inner Experience Be Apprehended in High Fidelity? Examining Brain Activation and Experience from Multiple Perspectives. Frontiers in Psychology, 8.

McAuliffe, A., & McGann, M. (2016). Sampling Participants’ Experience in Laboratory Experiments: Complementary Challenges for More Complete Data Collection. Frontiers in Psychology, 7.

Design research: Methodology and theoretical background

August 26th, 11:00-17:00

Organizers/Contact: Arthur Bakker (Utrecht University, the Netherlands) ( and Rich Lehrer (Vanderbilt University, USA)

Topic and rationale: To overcome the gap between educational research and practice, new kinds of educational research have been developed and are still in progress. An interesting genre of practice-oriented approaches aiming for improvement and sustainable change is educational design research (Van den Akker et al., 2006), also called design experiments (Cobb et al., 2003; Collins, 1990). Where most educational research is about how education was or is, design research is about how education could be. One of its key criteria is ecological validity (Brown, 1992) and another is a focus on “humble” theory development—working toward theories of learning and change grounded in the particulars of design.

Objectives and planned activities: The objectives are to give participants insight into the rationale behind design research and to provide opportunities to discuss challenges and possible solutions. This five-hour workshop entails round tables and personal consultation to ensure ample live interaction with participants and the workshop leaders. Furthermore, there will be discussion of successful as well as unsuccessful cases and brief lectures on the following topics (Bakker, 2018):

  1. What is design research (design experiments, design-based research, formative experiments, design studies) in comparison to action research, other intervention studies, and formative interventions?
  2. How to conduct design research? Possible research questions, delineation in studies, use of design principles, conjecture maps, and hypothetical learning trajectories.
  3. What are common challenges and ways to handle these? Think of co-design with teachers, lack of control but an emphasis on comparison, and reporting results.

Target audience (between 8 and 25 participants): The target audience is early career researchers who consider doing design research, or already use it. However, we also welcome educational researchers who want to know more about it, for example because they supervise students or teachers who want to combine design and research. We ask all participants to read a few core texts and send us a document with their research proposal or plan with a wish list of what they like to be discussed during either round tables or personal consultation, depending on the participant’s preference. If overbooked, early career researchers will be given priority.

Expected outcomes: Better understanding of the theory and practice of design research; increased enthusiasm to tackle perceived hurdles; ideas about how to partition the study of a learning ecology (tasks, tools, forms of argument, forms of interaction).


Bakker, A. (2018). Design research in education: A practical guide for early career researchers. London: Routledge.

Brown, A. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2(2), 141–178.

Cobb, P., Confrey, J., DiSessa, A., Lehrer, R., & Schauble, L. (2003). Design experiments in educational research. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 9–13.

Collins, A. (1990). Toward a design science of education. Technical report. New York: CTE.

Van den Akker, J., Gravemeijer, K. P. E., McKenney, S., & Nieveen, N. (2006). Educational design research. London: Routledge.

Qualitative Content Analysis Program QCAmap – an open access text analysis software

August 26th, 11:00-13:30

Organizer/Contact: Prof. Dr. Philipp Mayring, Department of Applied Psychology and Research Methodology and Centre for Evaluation and Research Consulting, Alps-Adria University Klagenfurt, Austria (

Topic and rationale: The workshop introduces into computer assisted social science text analysis and demonstrates and trains on a newly developed open access software for qualitative content analysis.

Objectives: On the background of current approaches to text analysis in social sciences (e.g. hermeneutic approaches, Grounded Theory coding) the specifics of Qualitative Content Analysis will be showed, as a systematic, rule-guided and inter-subjective analysis of textual material (interview and group discussion transcripts, open questionnaire material, observation protocols and field notes, documents and files). Qualitative Content Analysis became a standard procedure of text analysis in social and behavioural sciences (Titscher et al., 2000), positioned between qualitative and quantitative approaches. This is because there are qualitative steps of analysis (the assignment of categories to text portions) and quantitative step as well (the analysis of frequencies and contingencies of category occurrences). In this respect it can be labelled as mixed methods approach (Mayring et al. 2007). Based on theoretical considerations, we have formulated clear content analytical rules. Within inductive category development the rules are the formulation of a category definition as selection criterion and a definition of the abstraction level. For deductive category application the rules are fixed within the coding agenda, comprising category definitions, anchor examples and coding rules (Mayring, 2000; 2014b). The workshop demonstrates and trains on the newly developed Qualitative Content software QCAmap. Available software programs for qualitative oriented analysis (QACDAS software tools) are traditionally based on the Grounded Theory philosophy. They usually contain a text window, a window for categories or codes, and a window for code commenting memos. For Qualitative Content Analysis procedures several problems appear within those software programs, e.g. the content analytical rules (e.g. the coding agenda) have to be implemented extensively and administered within the memo window. In our software program QCAmap the user is guided through the content analytical procedures, he has to follow the specific step models through an interactive logic. It presents to the user the necessary templates and it produces outcomes which can be inserted into the project report and which further can be analysed quantitatively. The software and a handbook are freely available via open access (, Mayring, 2014a).

Planned activities: The software program will be demonstrated with concrete textual material (a one-page interview transcript). Participants are trained in inductive category development and deductive category assignment to a given research question. Participants with laptops and internet connection available can directly use QCAmap. The possibility to discuss the possibilities of Qualitative Content Analysis within the projects of the participants is given at the end.

Target audience: researchers and people interested in working with open textual materials (minimum 5 participants)

Expected outcomes: Overview of different text analytical approaches; competences in using a new software for Qualitative Content Analysis


Mayring, Ph. (2000). Qualitative Content Analysis. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1 (2).

Mayring, Ph., Huber, G.L., Gürtler, L. & Kiegelmann, M. (Eds.). (2007). Mixed methodology in psychological research. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Mayring, Ph. (2014a). Qualitative content analysis. Theoretical foundation, basic procedures and software solution (free download via Social Science Open Access Repository SSOAR, URN: ).

Mayring, Ph. (2014b). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Grundlagen und Techniken (12th edition). Weinheim: Beltz.

Titscher, S., Meyer, M., Wodak, R. & Vetter, E. (2000). Methods of text and discourse analysis. London: Sage.

A Living Theory perspective in educational research on learning and education

August 26th, 14:30-17:00

Organizers/Contact: Marie Huxtable – Visiting Research Fellow, University of Cumbria, UK ( and Jack Whitehead – Visiting Professor of Education, University of Cumbria, UK.

Topic and Rationale: Education is concerned with more than improving grades and gaining qualifications. It is also a values-based activity concerned with enhancing people’s life-long learning to live a satisfying, productive and worthwhile life for self and others and contribute to the flourishing of humanity. Living Theory research is a form of research that enables practitioner-researchers to clarify the values that are core to their ability to understand, improve and explain their educational influence in learning and contribute to the evolution of educational knowledge.


  1. To enable participants to begin researching their practice as Living Theory researchers
  2. To develop participants’ understandings of how digital visual data can be used to clarify meanings of ontological and relational educational values and how to use the data as evidence in explanations of educational influences in learning.
  3. To engage participants in a process of validation that can strengthen the comprehensibility, evidence, normative understandings and authenticity of explanations of educational influences in learning and education.


  1. Introduction to the core ideas that distinguish a living-educational-theory and Living Theory research.
  2. Dialogues to share the values participants use to judge improvements in their educational practice and learning.
  3. Clarifying and using values as explanatory principles in educational influence in learning and education with collecting digital and other data as evidence
  4. Practice in integrating insights from other theories and methodologies in explanations of educational influence.
  5. Practice in critical discussion to enhance the validity of explanations of educational influences in learning.
  6. How to access Living Theory research resources on the web and continue the conversations in local, national and international forums.

Target Audience: 5-20 practitioners, who want to learn how to research their values-based educational practice to understand, improve and explain it and contribute to the evolution of an educational knowledgebase.


Expected Outcomes.

  1. An explicit understanding of the nature of Living Theory research and how it is useful to those who want to improve educational learning
  2. An understanding of how to use the method of empathetic resonance with digital visual data to clarify meanings of embodied expressions of values and to use these values as explanatory principles in explanations of influence.
  3. An understanding of a process of validation to strengthen an explanation of educational influence in learning in terms of comprehensibility, evidence, normative influence and authenticity.
  4. An understanding of how to access Living Theory research resources on the web and integrate insights from these into an explanation of educational influence in learning.
  5. An understanding of what makes an original contribution to educational knowledge from a Living Theory researcher and how participants could make their own original contributions with their explanations of educational influences in learning and education.