Development of a pedagogical design matrix for ICT-based boundary crossing in dual VET

Marianne Riis, Anna Brodersen, Carsten Lund Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearch


Research on networked learning is concerned with finding new and productive ways of connecting people and their practice across boundaries in different contexts. Particularly in dual Vocational Education and Training (VET), there is a need to focus continuously on learning in and between boundaries of domains, practices and the school-workplace contexts. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have been proposed as artefacts that enable mediation and bridge the gap between different boundaries.

In this paper, we present findings from a research project aimed at understanding Danish VET teachers’ use of ICT as boundary objects in relation to boundary crossing activities. In the first phase of the research project, interviewed VET teachers pointed to the need for new materials directed at the planning stage in their work with design for boundary crossing. As part of the research project a pedagogical design framework, including design principles and a design matrix that focuses on boundary crossing mediated by ICT-based boundary objects, was developed and tested. While the research project has been designed as a multiple case study, the development and testing of the design matrix has been inspired by Educational Design Research (McKenny & Reeves, 2013). Theoretically, the research project is founded on a sociocultural perspective with research on boundary work, boundary crossing and boundary objects (Akkerman & Bakker, 2012, 2011a, 2011b) and research on mediating artifacts (Henningsen & Mogensen, 2013) as the backdrop. By way of combining four dialogical boundary crossing activities (identification, coordination, reflection and transformation) with four main affordances (documentation, simulation, construction and interaction) of the ICT-based boundary objects, the pedagogical design matrix was developed and tested in three iterations.

Selected findings show that the participating Danish VET teachers do not fully realize the potentials of using ICT-based boundary objects in their boundary work. Our data show that the VET teachers designed ICT- mediated activities aimed at boundary crossing through identification, coordination and reflection, whereas data point to no activities directed towards transformation. In terms of ICT-based boundary objects, the VET teachers were mainly focused on ICTs that afford documentation with sparse focus on construction and interaction, and no explicit focus on simulation as boundary activity. In the final discussion we point to possible explanations as to why the VET teachers’ use of ICT in boundary work is relatively limited and we suggest further research.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventNetworked Learning Conference 2020 - Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 18 May 202020 May 2020


ConferenceNetworked Learning Conference 2020
Internet address


  • learning, educational science and teaching
  • information and communication technologies and e-learning

Cite this