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Digitalisation, technologies, media and learning

The digitalisation of society brings with it both opportunities and challenges nationally, regionally and individually. The research programme Digitalisation, Technology, Media and Learning (DTML) studies and develops the terms on which various stakeholders use digital technologies.

Digitisation changes the terms and conditions for work, learning and leisure. Digital technologies generally offer the user so-called affordances, or possibilities of action. As these need to be discovered and tested, the DTML programme places great emphasis on investigative and experimental research – design-based research, for example – in order to study how the conditions for learning can be created in various formal and informal contexts. One priority of this work is to study how digital technology can be used to support teaching and learning that addresses societal problems such as climate change.

The DTML programme is a collaboration with regional stakeholders, often focused on their present-day or potential future use of digital technologies and how this can take place in an innovative, efficient and sustainable manner in the context in question. Explorative studies are conducted in various occupational contexts and in collaboration between different subjects, such as social work, caring sciences, media and communication studies, business studies, computer science and didactics. This creates the conditions for interdisciplinary research collaborations and results with relevance regionally, nationally and internationally. The DTML programme is linked to the research group ICT in Learning.

Can virtual reality be used as a teaching aid in schools?

Jörgen Holmberg and Göran Fransson discuss possible applications for virtual reality (VR) in the classroom and how practice-based research may prove to be an accessible route to studying the opportunities and challenges of doing so. They present examples of the experiences of teachers, researchers and student teachers from various research and collaboration projects. Sadly, Göran Fransson passed away shortly after the recording. The movie is in Swedish.

Current research

Pilot studies

Samtalsträning i virtuella miljöer

Communication training in virtual environments

Purpose: To, based on educational research, and with the help of technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), develop, test, and evaluate training scenarios for professional conversation training in virtual environments, where AI-driven avatars act as interactive conversation partners.

The target audience consists of students and newly employed individuals who, as future professionals, need to develop the ability to lead and analyze personal conversations on potentially sensitive topics.

Collaboration is taking place with the company Fictive Reality, with whom we can create custom cases for virtual conversation training to test and develop as an integrated part of the curriculum in some of the University's programs.

The conversation training scenarios will be developed, tested, and evaluated in three programs. Subject teacher students and social work students in both national and international programs at the University will, as part of their education, undergo and assess the virtual conversation training.

Förskollärarstudenters och nyblivna förskollärares digitala kompetens

Digital skills for student and recently graduated preschool teachers

A starting point for the project is that there is currently no definition of what professional digital competence is or can be in Swedish preschools. Additionally, there is a lack of research on how newly graduated preschool teachers develop professional digital competence. As an essential part of Sweden's ambition to become the best in the world at harnessing the possibilities of digital technology, preschools play a crucial role in realizing this ambition.

An initial study is conducted in several phases. It begins with a survey followed by group interviews. The questions in the survey and interviews will revolve around the project's main inquiries: What does professional digital competence mean in preschools? How do newly graduated preschool teachers develop their professional digital competence in preschool settings? How does the professional digital competence of preschool teachers contribute to children's learning and development?


Digitala teknologier i verksamhetsförlagd utbildning

Digital technologies in work-based education

I projektet fokuseras hur digitala teknologier kan användas som stöd för den verksamhetsförlagda utbildningsdelen i lärarutbildningar. Genom att använda en applikation för multimodal dokumentation och reflektion kan studenter, yrkesverksamma lärare och lärarutbildare genomföra longitudinella trepartssamtal där samtliga aktörers perspektiv, yrkesförståelse och yrkesspråk kan komma till uttryck och studeras.

Doctoral projects

Doctoral projects
  • Sara Mörtsell (PhD candidate, GRADE). Studying the use of digital technologies in upper secondary school.
  • Amelie Nebes (PhD candidate, UPGRADE). Studying the use of digital systems in quality work in preschools.

Experimental activities in collaboration with diverse stakeholders

In the interests of increasing our ability to conduct interdisciplinary research and collaborations with external partners, it is important that we perform experiments and hold workshops and other activities related to cutting-edge digital technologies (such as VR, AR, AI) together with diverse national and regional stakeholders. This will create opportunities and increase understanding with regard to:

  • the opportunities and challenges for companies, organisations and individuals associated with the use of new technologies;
  • the specific affordances created when technologies are used in different ways and for different purposes by different stakeholders;
  • identifying important areas for study, development and evaluation on behalf of external stakeholders; and
  • identifying key research questions and potential research collaborations in relation to the above.

Digital Learning Lab

The principal arena for the experimental activities of the DTML programme is the Digital Learning Lab (DLL) at the University of Gävle. DLL has a number of concept rooms that facilitate innovative lesson design and game-based learning using using physical and digital solutions, in order to create new possibilities for teaching, study and other forms of human meaning-making; for example, innovative learning environments in which students can interact with both human and virtual actors, participating in the classroom and/or online, and in real time of asynchronously. The DTML research group leads the investigative and explorative work at DLL in collaboration with both internal and external regional stakeholders in the fields of education, healthcare and social work. Digital Learning Lab also functions as an experimental environment for national graduate schools and research programmes.

National and international collaboration

As the primary focus of the DTML is design-based research in collaboration with practitioners in various fields, the programme collaborates with a number of stakeholders in schools, healthcare, social work and the business community.

DTML conducts research in collaboration with an innovation network of researchers from all Scandinavian countries.

The programme also collaborates with the Education and Learning Sciences (ELS) group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and with research groups at Aarhus University in Denmark and Shahid Beheshti University in Iran.

Graduate schools

The DTML programme collaborates with GRADEresearch, a network that arranges three national graduate schools:

  • The Graduate School for Digital Technologies in Education (GRADE)
  • Teacher Education and the Digitalization of the School System (UPGRADE)
  • The Graduate School for Learning, Interaction and Knowledge in a Digitised World (LIKED)

More information about GRADEresearch and the three graduate schools

Logga Grade

Facts about the DTML research programme

About Digitalisation, Technology, Media and Learning


The program aims to investigate, and also develop, the conditions and prerequisites for various actors' use of digital technologies in teaching and learning. This is often achieved through what is known as design-based research, where researchers and actors in the specific research context contribute their respective expertise. In this way, conditions are created to generate direct practical utility in the given context and theoretical knowledge with relevance in other contexts.

Target group

The program's intended target group is private and public societal actors who, in some way, wish to enhance their understanding and ability to create conditions for learning using digital technologies. This collaboration can take place through educational, development, and research projects.


Ola J Lindberg, professor of education, guest professor
Pia Tham, professor of social work
Aihie Osarenkhoe, professor of business administration
Eleonor Kristoffersson, professor of law
Daniella Fjellström, docent företagsekonomi
Komal Singh Rambaree, associate professor of business administration
Peter Mozelius, associate professor of computer and systems Science, guest researcher
Jörgen Holmberg, senior lecturer in curriculum studies (deputy program coordinator)
Niklas Humble, senior lecturer in computer science (program coordinator)
Davoud Masoumi, senior lecturer in curriculum studies
Maryam Bourbour, senior lecturer in education
Per Vesterlund, senior lecturer in media and communication sciences
Åsa Vidman, senior lecturer of social work
Johan Liljestrand, senior lecturer in education
Johan Christensson, senior lecturer in Swedish language
Sara Mörtsell, PhD student in education

Kristina Walldén-Hillström, lecturer
Claes Westelius, lecturer
Jan Sjölund, lecturer
Nessica Nässén, lecturer

Programme coordinator

Please contact us if you are interested in participating in or if you would like further information about the Digitisation, Technology, Media and Learning research programme.

Niklas Humble, datavetenskap.

Niklas Humble

Senior lecturer in Computer science

E-mail: niklas.humble@hig.se
Phone: 026-64 84 60

Researcher presentation Niklas Humble

Jörgen Holmberg, adjunkt i didaktik vid Högskolan i Gävle. Bild tagen 190218.

Jörgen Holmberg

Senior lecturer in Curriculum studies

E-mail: jorgen.holmberg@hig.se
Phone: 026-64 50 91

Researcher presentation Jörgen Holmberg

Published by: Camilla Haglund Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2023-11-10
Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)