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PhD defence November 14, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, PhD.

My “colleague”, both at work and at home, Thomas Ryberg from e-Learning Lab is defending his PhD thesis this Friday. This will take place at 1.00 pm in room 1.104 (the auditorium) at Kroghstraede 3, Department of Communication, Aalborg University.

Supervisors are Professor Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld and independent researcher Etienne Wenger. The assessment committee consists of:

Here is the abstract for the thesis:

“Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue”

The old saying and wedding tradition cited above captures well the essence of metaphorically understanding learning as a process of patchworking. The metaphor of patchworking highlights how learning processes can be seen as processes of stitching and weaving together different ‘patches and pieces’ into something new. The patches and pieces may not all be new, but can be old borrowed and of a widely different fabric; yet in their combination they form a new patchwork.

During 8-10th of August 2005 six teams of young ‘power users’ worked intensively on addressing different open-ended learning challenges. This took place within a larger event and symposium arranged as part of the ‘Power Users of Technology Project’ – a research project formed around the hypothesis that young power users of technology might be learning, working and solving problems in new and innovative ways due to their intensified use of technology; and that we can gain valuable insights about the future design of education by studying young people and their use of technology in relation to learning and problem solving processes.

On basis of a close empirical examination of the Danish team of Power Users and their work on a self-chosen learning challenge this thesis argues how we can theoretically understand, analyse and methodologically approach learning processes through the metaphorical lens of ‘patchworking’. Furthermore, the thesis critically discusses the relations between youth, learning and technology and what valuable insight, for the future design of education, we might gain from studying young ‘power users of technology’.

See more here.


1. Mikala Hansbøl - November 16, 2007

Hi Malene (and Thomas),
Congratulations to both of you :-). The thesis sound really interesting. I look forward to reading it. I’ve been visiting your blog for a while Malene. I find both your PhD project and your blog style very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your work.

2. phdblogmiester - November 18, 2007

I can’t wait to hear how the defence goes. Any chance it will be posted online?

3. Malene Charlotte Larsen - November 20, 2007

Hi Mikala,
Thank you very much 🙂 I have also come across your name in my search for people doing multi-sited ethnography. It seems we have many common interests :-).

phdblogmiester – you can read about how the defence went in my recent blog post here. I am not sure it will be online. It was not video taped (even though that was the original plan), but it was audio-taped, so perhaps a time-consuming podcast will be uploaded to e-Learning Lab’s homepage 🙂


4. Thomas Ryberg - November 20, 2007

Yes maybe – depends on how stupid I think I sounded when answering the questions 😀 I will, however, upload a PDF-version of the thesis…or did you already link to one – can’t remember; but I am working on uploading and making available some of the material and thoughts 🙂

5. Mikala Hansbøl - November 21, 2007

Congratulations, once again. How exciting and what a shoulder clap (is it called that in English?) to be asked to write a book. That’s great!

Yes, Malene, I do believe we have a lot of shared interests. We even share our supervisor (your co-supervisor), Birgitte Holm Sørensen.

6. Malene Charlotte Larsen - November 21, 2007

Ahh – great, maybe we should meet next time I’m in Copenhagen or at DPU… 😀

7. Mikala Hansbøl - November 28, 2007

Yes, let’s do that.

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