FD9 Building a learning culture in higher education | Autumn 23

HSPED802 Optional module

In the module, building a learning culture in higher education are examined in the light of cultural-historical theory and knowledge of what good learning cultures can be.

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    Admission and how to apply


    Introductory course, as part of basic competence.

    Admission to HVL

    This optional module is part of HSPED802 Optional modules.

    Module description

    Teaching is not something that happens in isolation. Teaching takes place in social practices, which in turn are incorporated into learning cultures creating opportunities and limitations for the implementation and development of learning activities.

    In learning cultures, knowledge sharing, learning and competence development are integrated parts of established social practice. Learning must be a core value for both teachers and students. The students must feel that the knowledge to be learned and the path to future competence has value for them.

    Key factors to make this happen are good communication, collaboration, openness and knowledge sharing. A strong learning culture will ensure the necessary continuity in the work and be what is characterized as a developing educational practice.

    In the module, teaching and the students' learning are examined in the light of socio-cultural theory and knowledge of what good learning cultures can be.

    Key concepts

    • Learning culture
    • socio-cultural approach
    • activity theory
    • learning environment
    • teaching

    Learning outcome

    • Recreate what characterizes good learning cultures.
    • Understand how teaching is incorporated into learning cultures, and what that means for your and your colleagues' teaching
    • Actualize teaching in your subjects through analysis of the learning culture
    • Be able to use knowledge of learning culture to renew own teaching.

    Learning activities

    The module consists of three digital meetings and two intermediate assignments:

    • In the first meeting, learning cultures as a phenomenon are introduced, and how we can create good learning cultures in higher education
    • Between the first and second meeting, you must analyze and make a presentation of your own teaching and learning activity, based on the activity system as an analytical tool. You must describe each component in the figure, and examine the whole as a framework for the students' learning.
    • In the second meeting, we will discuss their various analyzes and presentations, and use them as a basis for discussing similarities and differences in systems that drive the students' learning. Here we will begin to look at contradictions, which can limit the students' learning in their own teaching practice.
    • Between the second and third meeting, you must analyze and begin to transform contradictions into new solutions in your own teaching and learning practice. The goal is to start creating a "better" learning culture for student learning.
    • In the third and final meeting, we will discuss the consequences of renewing our own teaching practice as an opportunity to create a learning culture for our own teaching and the students' development.


    • Feedback on your presentation of the learning culture that creates a framework for teaching in your subject (feedback from fellow students)
    • Final assessment: Openness to what the development of learning cultures entails, and can document that you have begun work on developing a learning culture for your own students.

    Organization of the module

    Three digital meetings + two intermediate work.

    Learning platform: ZOOM

    Location: ZOOM

    Digital lectures

    • First session: 08.11.23, at 09.15-12.00
    • Second session: 22.11.2023, at 09.15-12.00
    • Third session: 13.12.2023, at 09.15-12.00

    Relevant literature

    Engeström, Y. (2000). Activity theory as a framework for analyzing and redesigning work. Ergonomics, 43, 960–974.
    Jacobson, W. "Learning, Culture, and Learning Culture." ADULT EDUCATION QUARTERLY 47, no. 1 (Fall 1996): 15-28. (EJ 535 222)
    Jonassen, D. H., & Rohrer-Murphy, L. (1999). Activity theory as a framework for designing constructivist learning environments. Educational https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF02299477.pdf
    Manikutty, S., Anuradha, N. S., & Hansen, K. (2007). Does culture influence learning in higher education? International Journal of Learning and Change, 2, 70–87.
    Marambe, K. N., Vermunt, J. D., & Boshuizen, H. P. A. (2012). A cross-cultural comparison of student learning patterns in higher education. Higher Education, 64, 299–316. doi:10.1007/s10734-011-9494-z