UV9414 – Emerging knowledge and literacy practices in the digital age

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course is given by the Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway. 

Responsible: Åsa Mäkitalo, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Roger Säljö, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Ingvill Rasmussen, University of Oslo, Norway.

In the digital age theoretical and analytical approaches to learning, literacy and knowledge practices need to extend beyond simple retention, comprehension and processing skills. In terms of practical policy education should foster the development of in-depth learning, information management and evaluation skills and the ability to apply knowledge to solve complex and interdisciplinary problems.

In this course students will be introduced to theoretical concepts, methodological tools and empirical studies of emerging literacies and learning in the digital age. Through this PhD students will be enabled to carry out research on emerging digital literacies, and connect their research to emerging societal trends.

In the course learning and literacy are perceived as interactionally constituted phenomena that emerge in practice. The issues addressed concern

  • new and emerging forms of literacy and learning in the digital age
  • the functions of digital literacy practices in schooling and other institutional activities
  • the connections and boundaries between emerging digital literacy and learning practices and the institutional production and reproduction of knowledge and skills in society.

Learning outcome

After completing the course the students will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse emerging literacy and learning practices in institutional and informal settings and relate them to human and societal development.
  • Explain how new digital technologies mediate the development of literacy and learning in education, in museums and science centres and in everyday life.
  • Identify and account for different positions and themes in current debates on digital literacies and learning, and relate them to their own research problems and interests.
  • Write literature reviews and summarize research findings.  


All students who are registered as PhD students in the educational sciences and neighbouring fields are invited to participate. 

International students are welcome to participate. It is the ambition of the course to have students from other countries enrolled. The course is inter- and multidisciplinary, and students enrolled in PhD training outside education and educational research, for instance, in fields such as media studies, psychology, applied informatics, communication sciences and youth studies are encouraged to apply.

If there are more applicants than the 15 admission places available, a selection will be made based on an assessment of the relevance of the course for the student’s research plan and qualifications in the relation to the objectives of the course. The course leaders carry out the selection process.

Candidates admitted to the PhD Programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences should apply through Studentweb 

Other applicants may apply using this application form

Registration deadline: September 2, 2018.


The course has two physical meetings, one in Oslo (two days) and one in Gothenburg (two days). Between the meetings, there will be webinars and online discussions.

Time and place: 

September 21, 2018, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. (online meeting) 


October 22-23, 2018, Gothenburg (House B, Room - TBA)


November 29-30, 2018, Oslo (Forskningsparken, Room Infra)




1 credit point for course participation (80% attendance is required).

5 credit points for course participation and submitted paper (80% attendance is required). 

The paper will be discussed at the second physical meeting where the examination takes place. The paper has to be uploaded on the course web-site at least one week ahead of the examination. In addition, candidates have to lead the discussion on one of the papers authored by fellow students. Active participation in physical and Internet meetings are required. 

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2018


Autumn 2018

Teaching language