Staffan Selander

“Designs for learning: theoretic background, development and challenges”

Professor Dr. Staffan Selander
Stockholm University, Sweden

Abstract. I would like to present the background to our research strategy Designs for Learning, and its theoretical and methodological grounding in socio-cultural and socio-semiotic/multimodal perspectives. I will then give examples of this research of learning in formal and informal settings, and how we have used the model LearningDesignSequences designs-for-learning and designs-in-learning. Finally, I would like to present some challenges we face today, basically due to the new possibilities for knowledge representations and social communication that comes with the digital technology.


Staffan Selander is Professor at the Department of Computer- and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University in Sweden.  Since 2015, he is head of the unit IDEAL – Interaction Design and Learning. He has a background as a professor in Education at the former Stockholm Institute of Education (1996) and at the Dept. of Education at Stockholm University (2008). He is honorary associate professor at The Academy of Turku, Finland, and is also visiting professor at University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. He has been visiting professor at the different other universities like Aalborg University in Copenhagen and Esbjerg; Vestfold University in Tønsberg, Norway; University of Technology, Sydney and the Central Queensland University, Noosa, Australia; UNICAMP – University of Campinas in São Paulo; and at the University of Concepción in Chile. He has been the president of IARTEM ( and has been leading the profile program DEL – Designs for Learning at DSV/SU (2012–2015). For several years, Professor Selander has been part of the group for evaluating research application at the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet/Utbildnings­vetenskap), and he has been a member of the committee for praxis-oriented research at the Norwegian Research Council (PRAKUT). In the 70’s he studied alphabetisation in Brazil, and in the 90’s he was partly working with a master program for teacher training in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa.

His research interest focuses on designs for learning, technology enhanced learning, self-regulated learning, multimodal texts and knowledge representations, games for learning and simulations as well as rhetoric and interpretation theories/hermeneutics. Earlier on, he has been engaged in professionalization studies, curriculum theory, and textbook research.


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