SUPPORT FOR LEARNING - POSSIBILITIES AND OBSTACLES IN LEARNING APPLICATIONS
Abstract: In this thesis an overarching analysis is made of four articles published in refereed international journals. The articles are describing the development and implementation of learning support systems/learning support applications. The text which summarizes and retrospectively analyzes the projects described in the articles has been condensed into yet another article, which has been placed at the end of the thesis. This makes a total of five articles. In the analysis that is made of learning support applications the following questions are in focus: What results have the projects achieved and how have the experiences gained been utilized? What factors in the described projects have facilitated or hindered the idea, vision, design and implementation of the learning support systems? How have university intentions of supporting entrepreneurship and the commercialization of ideas and products benefited the projects? The results show that there are a great many similarities in the ideas and visions that have initiated and affected the learning support work. Improved communication and availability are expected from all the applications, as well as coordination, creating order and an overarching view. In spite of a large number of positive users, it has been difficult for the applications described to become integrated into the organizations. One possible reason for this is the bad anchoring of the projects in the management organization. Further, there was a lack of funding in the final phases of the projects, which considerably reduced the chances of establishing and continuing operating them. In the gap arising between the end of the implementation phase and the possible application for and granting of new funding, the project dies out of itself. One way of reversing this trend is to grant means for continued work and to get the organization and administration to upgrade the value of a learning application that has become established in the organization.
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