Idea management - Development of a student-centred and open digital learning environment

Jörg Pareigis, Johan Netz
CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Sweden


Learning management systems (LMS) have become an essential teaching tool in the higher education sector, and almost all universities use one or more different systems (Pomerantz et al., 2018). Students are generally satisfied with the use of the LMS, although satisfaction is falling in terms of interactive activities and collaboration (ibid.) Teachers, on the other hand, use the LMS primarily as an administrative tool such as informing students about tasks, providing feedback on them and posting slide shows (Dobbin, 2016). The use of the LMS as a digital learning environment seems to be a given to many teachers, without considering different options. Educational research, on the other hand, advocates a completely different approach. Bates (2015) points out, for example, that the starting point in the choice of digital learning environment should always be the target audience for which the course is aimed and what the learning objectives are.

In this presentation we are presenting an externally funded course development project that developed, among other things, an open, student-centred digital learning environment, based on the target group and learning goals. The course Idea Management (FEAD74) at Karlstad University, Sweden, is aimed at professionals from the public and private sphere and concerns the initial phases of an innovation process, where ideas are generated, developed and assessed. To enhance the learning, the developed digital learning environment reflects this process and builds on active student participation throughout the process and in its different steps. Moreover, the course is offered in two different versions, running at the same time; as an “official” credit bearing distance course as well as an open networked learning course. This course design has also been referred to as “hybrid-mooc” (Kahlroth et al., 2016). The development process and lessons learned for other courses will also be discussed and should provide valuable insights for teachers, educational developers and other stakeholders with an interest in technologies and methodologies supporting lifelong learning.