I am a full professor of technology enhanced learning at the Department of Continuing Education Research and Educational Technologies at the University for Continuing Education Krems, Austria.
I studied computer science and applied knowledge management at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, and did my PhD in computer science at the Technical University Vienna, Austria in 2010. I was an assistant/associate professor of business informatics at Johannes Kepler University Linz from 2010 to 2019. In 2016/17, I was a visiting research fellow at Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.
In 2019, I joined the University for Continuing Education Krems, where I was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Education, Arts and Architecture in 2021.
Download my resumé .
Venia Docendi in Business Informatics, 2017
University of Linz
PhD in Computer Science, 2010
Technical University of Vienna
MBA in Applied Knowledge Management, 2007
University of Linz
MSc in Computer Science, 2004
University of Linz
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced higher education institutions to implement their programs in an online setting, different groups of students were influenced to different extents. In many cases, the main locus of learning moved to students’ homes, and their learning experiences were suddenly contextualized in their residential situation and immediate physical learning environment. The present study consequently examines the role of physical learning environments on different factors influencing students’ learning when pursuing their study from at home. It contrasts the situation of traditional students in a higher education institution and non-traditional students in an academic continuing education institution, which address target groups with different living conditions and needs in learning support. Data were collected via an online survey sent to students enrolled in these two institutions, with a total of 353 students participating during a timeframe impacted by COVID-related lockdowns. We found that stress and well-being is strongly linked to the quality of the surrounding environment of the learning place, whereas perceived motivation is more strongly related to the quality of the learning place itself. How strongly students are affected by these factors is moderated by their overall socio-spatial context. Academic continuing education students are more resilient to sub-optimal physical learning environment than traditional students. Altering the design of the immediate learning environment consequently can help to mitigate factors that negatively impact students’ well-being and learning motivation, which is particularly important for traditional students, who primarily dedicate their time to pursuing their studies.
Providing access to higher education for people in marginalized communities, in particular for refugees, requires to re-think the traditional ways of teaching and learning in higher education institutions. The challenges of these circumstances both in terms of access to learning materials and the opportunity to collaboratively learn with others require specific support via appropriate didactical settings. Blended learning arrangements, i.e., settings that bring together online learning activities with synchronous, co-located settings show potential for addressing these requirements. In the present study, we examine the success factors in the design of blended learning settings for supporting higher education in marginalized communities. Based on an established model of blended learning success, we explore the specific challenges of the target group via a survey which was distributed to students of different subject areas and of the higher education programs of Jesuit Worldwide Learning. The 80 survey participants analyzed in this paper live in refugee camps, or marginalized areas located in rural and remote areas in Afghanistan, Guyana, India, Iraq, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. While we could confirm the success factors that also apply for blended learning scenarios in traditional settings, we also found evidence for the crucial role of facilitation in both, online and co-located learning phases, and challenges regarding the access to suitable infrastructure. Both need to be considered during design of blended learning programs for this target group.
The lack of commonly accepted models of educational Design-based Research (DBR) hinders the effectiveness of knowledge transfer and theory development in this field. Such models are well established in information systems (IS) research. The structured approaches to DBR in IS research have the potential to inform educational research practice for facilitating the interplay between theoretical and practical advancements.
We compare existing approaches to identify compatibility in terms of objectives and structured process designs in the two fields based on a literature review. Having established common ground, we examine the role of theory as a result of DBR and identify potential for synthesis of existing concepts. Finally, we transfer an DBR contribution types model from IS and evaluate its applicability by reflecting it against outcomes in educational DBR.
We show a compatibility of the goals and characteristics of DBR in both disciplines and identify a common underlying understanding that enables a transfer of concepts and models. The nature of DBR outcomes in educational research is found to be ambiguous, in particular with respect to the role of theory. This hampers the development of generalizable and transferable findings. DBR in IS provides more coherent models of the role of theory and the processes that lead to its development and validation. We show that these models can inform the implementation of educational DBR.
The paper contributes to the advancement of educational DBR by transferring models from IS research after thoroughly examining the compatibility of DBR in both fields. The more structured approach to examine and assess DBR outcomes enables to improve the generalizability and transferability of findings in educational research
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, digital technologies for distance learning have been used in educational institutions worldwide, raising issues about social implications, technological development, and teaching and learning strategies. While disparities regarding access to technical equipment and the internet (‘the digital divide’) have been the subject of previous research, the physical learning environment of learners participating in online learning activities has hardly been investigated. In this study, the physical-spatial conditions of learning environments, including technical equipment for distance learning activities and their influence on adult learners in academic continuing education during initial COVID-19 restrictions, were examined. Data were collected with an online survey sent to all students enrolled in an Austrian continuing education university, together with a small number of semi-structured interviews. A total of 257 students participated in the survey during the 2020 summer semester. Our findings provide insights in two infrequently-studied areas in learning environment research: the physical learning environment for online learning and the learning environment in academic continuing education. The study illustrates that students in academic continuing education have spacious living conditions and almost all the equipment necessary for digitally-supported learning. According to gender and household structure, significant differences were found regarding technical equipment, ergonomic furniture and availability of a dedicated learning place. In their learning sessions during the restrictions, students reported low stress levels and positive well-being. The more that they perceived that their physical learning environment was meeting their needs, the higher were their motivation and well-being and the lower was their stress. Their learning experience was further improved by the extent to which they had a separate and fixed learning place that did not need to be coordinated or shared with others. The study contributes to the literature on creating conducive learning environments for digitally-supported online learning for adult learners.
Over the last decades, a shift towards participatory approaches could be observed in cultural heritage institutions. In co-curation processes, museums collaborate with public audiences to identify, select, prepare, and interpret cultural materials. This article focuses on the question how to engage and motivate local communities or individuals in rethinking dominant discourses or expert narratives regarding cultural heritage and bringing in their own experiences and knowledge. Based on four case studies of cultural co-curation, we delineate two basic challenges for this process: (1) Authority—even though museums strive to involve the public, there is still an imbalance in participation due to the museums’ authoritative status. (2) Motivation—participation in co-curation processes requires high levels of motivation, which are difficult to achieve. Based on the media synchronicity theory, we discuss which characteristics of new media technologies can be helpful to overcome these challenges. Media can increase awareness on counternarratives and blind spots in cultural collections. They can provide a setting where the participants can easily contribute, feel competent to do so, are empowered to rethink dominant discourses, develop a sense of relatedness with other contributors, and maintain autonomy in how and to which degree they engage in the discourse.
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