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Educational Research - Learning and Media

Objective of the research programme

The objective of the research programme is to study the opportunities of lifelong learning and education for all in the interplay between institutional and non-institutional settings. To challenge the borders between the institutional and non-institutional, the research programme will critically explore the pedagogical opportunities and challenges of opening up education. We interpret ‘opening up education’ both as the open provision of education for all, and as a metaphor for opening up and rethinking the concept of education.

The research programme will revisit the aims and purposes of educational institutions, and explore opportunities for establishing new educational designs that transgress traditional borders of institutional and non-institutional settings.


Digital media influence all aspects of society, and are increasingly embedded in the private, social and work life of individuals. Whereas digital infrastructures also provide new opportunities for learning, the influence on traditional institutionalised education is limited. However, alternative opportunities for educational activities are challenging traditional institutional thinking. Individuals participate in online communities and networks and access information and educational content outside institutions. Consequently, educational institutions are on one hand challenged as the sole provider of education, and on the other hand institutions can potentially utilise technologies to open up education and reach new learner groups beyond the confines of courses and classrooms.

As a central perspective of this changed landscape for education, the research programme will examine opportunities for lifelong learning and education for all.

Key questions

To address the challenges and opportunities of education for all in an information and knowledge society dominated by digital media communication structures, the research programme will explore these questions:

  • How to develop institutions that can nurture and foster education for all?
  • How to support empowerment of independent learners that are able to navigate digital media cultures and utilise technology for lifelong learning?
  • How to design educational technologies and environments that enable education for all?

An interdisciplinary approach to educational studies

The research programme will address these challenges from an interdisciplinary approach that integrates educational theory, design theory, and technology and media studies.

Drawing on these research areas, the programme offers a unique approach to educational studies by integrating didactics, learning theory, design theory and methods, and technology, information and media studies.