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Open access
Guest Editorial
Digital transformations with “Nordic characteristics”? Latest trends in the digitalisation of teaching and learning in Nordic higher education
(page 225-233)
by Vito Laterza, Cathrine Edelhard Tømte & Rómulo M. Pinheiro

In this introductory essay, we build on the articles in this special issue to provide a novel theoretical framework for the understanding of current and future trends in the digitalisation of teaching and learning in Nordic higher education (HE). We highlight three key elements. Context is critical and should be systematically expanded to include not only the immediate context of the virtual and blended classroom, but also the broader organisational and national contexts within which digital learning takes place. The involvement of individual actors, higher education institutions and national policy-making agencies in the development and implementation of digitalisation policy ideas and practices is also shaped by multiple mediations, which include the mediating role of technology itself, but also of other human, organisational and policy actors, ideas and practices. Finally, digitalisation of HE teaching and learning can lead to a variety of gradual or more radical digital transformations, operating at multiple scales and with multiple potential positive or negative effects. This framework helps put into focus the key question of how to go about searching for a flexible set of “Nordic characteristics” that might affect digitalisation of teaching and learning in the Nordic region, albeit in uneven and diverse ways. While it is too early to provide a systematic analysis of the impact of the rapid digitalisation of Nordic HE teaching and learning spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, we make some preliminary observations that offer this emerging theoretical framework as a way to assess these trends both before and after the pandemic.

Open access
Is there a Scandinavian model for MOOCs?
Understanding the MOOC phenomenon in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
Research publication
(page 234-245)
by Cathrine Edelhard Tømte, Vito Laterza, Rómulo M. Pinheiro & Aleksandar Avramovic

This article is guided by the following overarching question: Is there a Scandinavian model for massive open online courses (MOOCs)? We study MOOCs in the Scandinavian context and investigate digital transformation in higher education (HE). Based on a review of the current academic literature on MOOCs in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden and a document analysis of government reports and white papers, we identified similarities and differences between MOOCs at higher education institutions (HEIs) in these countries. We found that the delivery of MOOCs is linked to new forms of negotiations and tensions between academic, administrative, and ICT staff and, to some extent, government involvement. We also found that the governments’ roles differ in terms of the development of MOOC offerings and their overall engagement with digitalisation at HEIs. Moreover, MOOCs have developed at their own pace and have brought renewed attention to teaching and learning with technology, with some spill-over effects on campus-based programmes at HEIs.

Open access
Research publication
(page 246-258)
by Sanne Haase & Lillian Buus

The Danish national government (2018) prioritises a proactive digitalisation of the public sector, including higher education institutions (HEIs). HEIs are facing major changes and need to integrate increasingly advanced digital technologies, and might soon be significantly different from what they are today. The mechanisms linking national policy discourses and the implementation of actual, new practices are not well documented. Drawing from the insights of Scandinavian neo-institutionalism and discursive institutionalism about the travelling and translation of ideas in specific national and organisational contexts, the article investigates one aspect of this broader problem—that is, how national digitalisation policy is discursively translated into institutional policy at the level of HEIs. We focus on three large, comprehensive research universities and on two of the profession-oriented university colleges. Based on our analysis of digitalisation policies, we conduct a comparative analysis to illuminate the translation of national policy ideas into the digitalisation policies of HEIs Findings indicate that the what, the how and the why of Danish HEIs’ digitalisation policies do not come together in a coherent order of discourse. Rather, Danish HEIs catch on to singular elements of national policy ideas in an eclectic and fragmented manner. This might also be connected to the vagueness of definitions of digitalisation in national policy documents, which might be acting as an obstacle for more coherent translation processes at the HEI level.

Open access
Online or offline – Does it matter?
A study of in-service teachers’ perceptions of learning outcomes in Norway
Research publication
(page 259-273)
by Cathrine Edelhard Tømte & Cay Gjerustad

Policymakers and scholars are scaling up online professional development programmes for teachers. We studied how in-service teachers in Norway perceived their learning outcomes for professional development programmes conducted either as campus-based or online courses. Based on survey data, we found teachers studying online and in campus-based settings have relatively similar perceptions of the learning outcomes. This changes when indicators of collaboration and support from teachers are controlled for, suggesting that these factors are more strongly related to learning outcomes for those in campus-based studies than those in online studies. Our findings contribute new insights on how perceived learning outcomes influence study formats and how social dimensions may impact professional development.

Open access
When good intentions may not be good enough
Reflections on a case study of collaborative development of digital open educational resources in bioethics in the Nordic region
Research publication
(page 274-284)
by Cormac McGrath

This reflective article sets out to illustrate some of the difficulties involved in developing capacity in Nordic collaboration. The project involves the development of digital open educational resources (OER) focused on bioethics in the Nordic region through a close collaboration between five universities. The article presents a case study and details the rationale for the development of the digital OER, describing how they were developed, tested and implemented. The article uses a framework of change management to identify current shortcomings, challenges and critical areas for further development.

4-2020, Volume 15


Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy (NJDL) is aimed at researchers, school authorities, school leaders in primary and secondary schools, teachers in primary and secondary education, at colleges and universities, and others concerned with education and ICT.

The journal contains peer-reviewed articles and book reviews. Through dissemination of national and international research, the journal contributes to the debate on education policy. The journal aims at creating a platform for the critical analysis of digital literacy and competence, and the use of ICT in educational context. Moreover, the aim is to stimulate dialogue between different participants in the field. Upon reception, the editor evaluates all submissions. After editor screening, approved contributions are sent to at least two anonymous international reviewers.

Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy has a focus on articles that deal thematically with digital literacy and the use of ICT in educational settings. Papers can among others be targeted on the following themes:

  • ICT use and innovation in education

  • Theoretical, methodological and practical challenges around the use of ICT in education

  • ICT in subjects (didactic context)

  • Evaluation and development

  • Learners’ work and learners’ ICT skills

  • Teachers, teacher education and classroom management

  • Lifelong learning


Rune Johan Krumsvik

Editorial assistant

Øystein Olav Skaar

Editorial team

Ann-Thérèse Arstorp

Greta Björk Gudmundsdottir

Kjetil Egelandsdal

Kjetil L. Høydal

Cathrine E. Tømte

Fredrik Mørk Røkenes

Ove Edvard Hatlevik

Lise Øen Jones

Massimo Loi

Morten Søby

Editorial board

Claire Bélisle

Alain Breuleux

Kirsten Drotner

Ola Erstad

Patrik Hernwall

Michael Hoechsmann

Solveig Jakobsdottir

Michele Knobel

Colin Lankshear

Sanna Järvelä

Nancy Law

Angela McFarlane

Roger Säljö

Marlene Scardamalia

Birgitte Holm Sørensen

Barbara Wasson

Patricia Wastiau

Design: Type It AS

Typeset: Bøk Oslo AS

ISSN online: 1891-943X

DOI: 10.18261/issn.1891-943X

The journal is published in collaboration with University of Bergen

© Scandinavian University Press / Universitetsforlaget 2020

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