Volume 11, Number 3

Swedish Student-Teachers in Digital Activities: Digital Competence Through
Development-Oriented Thesis Projects


Peter Karlsudd, Linnaeus University, Sweden


This article defines attempts using development-oriented thesis projects to increase teachers’ and pupils’ digital capability. To offer a more practice-oriented focus in the teacher education, the elementary school student-teachers were stimulated to participate in thesis projects with the purpose of developing the school events.Thirteen of the development-oriented thesis projects carried out during 2015-2018 involved testing the student-teacher’s ability to study and formulate the competence needs regarding digital learning at the practicum-school, as well as the results of carrying out activities for increasing the digital competence. The investigation is based on a review of completed thesis projects, process journals, and presentations and discussions in subsequent reports. An initial analysis of the thirteen development projects reveals two clear goal directions. One focus is on traditional knowledge goals and the other on more social goals. The outcomes clearly show that development-oriented thesis projects can be an effective way to increase the digital skills of teachers and pupils. Projects with distinct goals for collaboration and shared learning have reached further goal attainment than the projects focused more on discrete instruction and learning.When digital tools were used as a means to work with another area, for example, physical activity or democracy issues, the developed competence in digital skills became more pronounced and lasting. Digital competence is an important development area for school activities, and this study shows that development-oriented thesis projects can be an effective means toward a successful project.


Development-oriented, Digital tools, Teacher education, Teacher training, Thesis projects