The research group at Umeå University has been initiated between 2011-2015, "Digital Didactics". Since then, we continue studying tablet enhanced teaching and learning.

We have studied teaching and learning practices in educational institutions, schools and higher education, in formal, non-formal and informal settings. Teaching and learning practices are sociotechnical-pedagogical activities. To study the "doing" of teaching and the practice of learning, we use the approach of Digital Didactical Designs /#DDD/ that includes five elements (see Figure in the header): teaching goals, student learning activities,  process-based assessment, social relations/roles, and technology use (e.g., tablets). These five elements can be used to design for deep, meaningful learning with technologies (Howland et al., 2012).

Our main approach "Digital Didactical Designs" comes from German and Scandinavian conept of Didaktik. We argue that teaching is a design activity.  Looking at teaching and learning from a design perspective gives new potential for understanding and changing teaching and learning from teacher-led towards student-centred classrooms that supports different forms of deep, meaningful learning.

From the DDD approach, we created an observation sheet and a coding scheme for analyzing classroom practices. This can be used by schools, teachers or researchers. Schools, principals and teachers, can reflect on their current 1:1 tablet classrooms and may start a dialogue on how to improve toward meaningful learning.

We are now located in different parts of the world now, some of us are still at Umea University in Sweden, Eva Marell-Olsson, Peter Bergstrom and Lars Norqvist.  Isa Jahnke moved to the University of Missouri/USA. Further information:

Theoretical Lens

It is not possible to deliver learning as to deliver products such as packages but we often act in education as if this would be possible. Instead, we can provide learning opportunities and situations in which students are able to learn, motivated and willing to learn (cognitive, affective and conative issues). Teaching may provide such situations to support students to become 'pro-sumers': They are not only consumers of information but also use the information from textbooks to produce and construct new knowledge. Student roles are changing from consumer to producer to 'co-designer of learning'.

We argue that it is relevant to view learning with and not from technology. Learning in the digital age is more or less supported by digital technologies. It is a matter of how much and in what quality. A rather low integration is seen when information such as articles or presentations are provided in electronical forms (e.g., in Intranets or other learning management system) - learning from technology. It is rather a high integration when diverse multimodal functions of technology have been used to support learning with technology.

IT or ICT (Information Communication Technology) it is more than just a tool. It can be considered as a tool but when people use web-based technologies, then new co-located communication spaces emerge: CrossActionSpaces (Jahnke, 2015). These spaces become mediators for learning and give potential for new teaching ways and learning opportunities.

Learning is relative, and process-based assessment supports learners in their learning progress. Learners start their journeys from different starting points with different background and context. One learner might be faster, another needs more time. Not only the pace of learning is different also the quality differ. Process-based assessment is a useful design element to help the different students to grow in their learning processes. Instead of only telling students in the end of a course how good or not good they were, the concept of formative assessment supports them during the learning process to reflect, to get feedback (from peers, the teachers or also guided self-reflections) and to continue with the learning process ("feedforward").

The heart of Digital Didactical Design is the cultivation of social relationships. It is the central component in the #DDD. Without this, a didactical design would be mainly teacher-led instead of learner-centred.

Publications (selection)

Isa Jahnke, Peter Bergström, Eva Mårell-Olsson, Lars Häll, & Swapna Kumar (2017).
Digital Didactical Designs as Research Framework – iPad Integration in Nordic Schools. In: Computers & Education (2017). Volume 113, October 2017, pp. 1-15. Open Access

Peter Bergström, Eva Mårell-Olsson, & Isa Jahnke (2017).
Variations of Symbolic Power and Control in the One-to-One Computing Classroom: Swedish Teachers’ Enacted Didactical Design Decisions. In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research (30 May 2017), Open Access

Isa Jahnke (2015). Digital Didactical Designs. Teaching and Learning in CrossActionSpace. New York & London: Routledge.

Isa Jahnke, Lars Norqvist, Andreas Olsson (2014). Digital Didactical Designs of Learning Expeditions. In: The 9th ECTEL2014 conference proceedings (full paper).

Lars Norqvist, Isa Jahnke, Andreas Olsson (2014). The Learners’ Expressed Values of Learning in a Media Tablet Learning Culture. In: 9th ECTEL2014 conference proceedings (short paper).

Isa Jahnke, Niels V. Svendsen, Simon K. Johannsen, & Pär-Ola Zander (2014). The Dream About the Magic Silver Bullet – the Complexity of Designing for Tablet-Mediated Learning. In: ACM GROUP 2014 conference proceedings. (full paper)


The Odder kommun in Denmark - media tablets for all:

Our Grant by the Swedish Research Council (

More about our research on Digital Didactics:

Our group website:

Our publications:


digitaldidacticaldesign Prof. Dr. Isa Jahnke
University of Missouri-Columbia