Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

PhD project: Teachers’ learning designs as catalysts for rethinking and rebuilding learning materials

The PhD project examines the options of making teachers design learning materials, which reflect the actual teaching and learning practice.


The purpose of the project is to examine how the teachers’ collaborative interaction with the educational tools may form a part of the ongoing improvement of the courses and materials, which may be included in their design of contextualised learning paths.

The project will challenge and modify the design based research methods by use of a mix of anthropological methods and the new user-data-based analysis methods, which are often used for this type of research. Consequently, the dual purpose of the project will be:

  • To create knowledge about the possibilities for incorporating user knowledge and behaviour in the design of educational materials.
  • To further develop methodical approaches within design based research.

The technological options such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and learning analytics (LA) will during the design process itself constitute the experimental setups, which may show the way for better learning materials in the future.

By embedding the project in an interdisciplinary approach with counsellors specialised in educational design, subject related didactics and computer supported cooperative work, a scientific dialog may be established, which may create new knowledge on how better learning materials are created without disempowering the teachers - but on the contrary using their knowledge and educational practice to design learning materials.

Background and contribution

For many years, Morten Winther Bülow has worked at the cathedral school of Aarhus, where he still teaches social science, innovation and physical geography. Since the turn of the century, he has written and edited a number of educational books for the Upper Secondary. Lately, he has focused especially on innovation didactics and has participated in the construction of new course plans and guidelines for the subject of innovation for the Upper Secondary and similar levels. Alongside, he has worked for the Danish publishing company, Systime, which co-finances his PhD.

The starting point of the PhD project is to reflect personal experiences from teaching students as well as teachers, with special attention to connecting the latest theory on learning design and digitally supported learning with the practical development of educational materials for youth education. The project is in continuation of CUDiM’s research profile, which primarily is based on general didactics but thematically merge educationally design, learning technology and pedagogy.


September 2019 - September 2022


The project is cofounded by:

  • The cathedral school of Aarhus
  • The publishing Company Systime
  • Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media (CUDiM)