General Description

The aim of the Centre for Research on Networked Learning and Knowledge Building is to improve the quality of Finnish education by performing high-quality research on computer-supported collaborative learning in particular and the educational use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in general. The Centre functions at the Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki.

The Centre integrates theoretical and practical expertise on learning, instruction, and innovative educational technology. Deep roots in cognitive sciences, and especially in psychology and other learning sciences, facilitate development of cognitively and pedagogically sophisticated, new models and practices of technology-enriched learning. Practical experience from pedagogical and professional development projects, in turn, supports extensive testing and dissemination of these models. The multi-disciplinary nature of the research centre allows effective scientific research and development work in the rapidly changing field of educational technology. We are not only committed to create academic knowledge of these issues, but also to use our scientific expertise for facilitating pedagogical and cultural changes at schools and workplaces that improve the quality of learning, support knowledge sharing and enhance collaborative efforts to solve problems and build knowledge together.

The director of the Centre is Docent Kai Hakkarainen Ph.D. Researchers working in the Centre have functioned as an informal research group for several years and founded the Centre in the spring of 2000. We have conducted various investigations in schools, universities, and enterprises. The research group has

  • carried out a longitudinal research the Schools of Helsinki 2001 project that was one of the biggest educational technology projects in Finland (in collaboration with Erno Lehtinen);
  • assumed responsibility for the pedagogical evaluation of the NetD@ys Europe 1999 project;
  • initiated and intensively participated in the European collaborative learning network project (CL-NET, TSER 1998-2000);
  • investigated networked expertise in the context of Innovation Networks Programme funded by the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (SITRA);
  • participated in pedagogical development of the Future Learning Environments (FLE) project coordinated by the Medialab, Helsinki University of Arts and Design (UIAH).

The members of the research centre are continuously publishing both internationally and nationally refereed articles and research reports as well as regularly taking part in numerous international and national conferences. The Centre collaborates intensively with many leading international research centres, such as the University of Toronto, the University of Athens, the Universities of Nijmegen and Utrech, and the University of Rome. A commitment for collaborating with all interested Finnish universities, research institutions or other parties characterizes the Centre. Particularly intensive collaboration prevails with the universities of Turku, Oulu, Jyvaskyla, and Joensuu.

Presentation of the Centre (PowerPoint, 2.1 MB)

Centre for Research on Networked Learning and Knowledge Building