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Ola KnutssonUniversitetslektor

Om mig

Ola Knutsson disputerade 2005 i Människa-datorinteraktion på KTH i Stockholm. Nu är han docent och arbetar som universitetslektor på Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap vid Stockholms universitet. Hans forskning fokuserar på deltagande design av lär- och arbetsmiljöer, designmönster och digital kompetens. Knutsson är biträdande redaktör för open access-tidskriften Designs for Learning




I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Components of learning in upper secondary teachers’ pedagogical patterns

    2022. Elisabeth Rolf, Ola Knutsson, Robert Ramberg. Technology, Pedagogy and Education


    This article presents and analyses pedagogical patterns, a design support resource, proposed to upper secondary teachers for technology-supported solutions to educational problems intended for teachers with limited experience of teaching with technology. It analyses pedagogical patterns to understand how they reflect the characteristics of learning theories. The analysis is done by applying an existing framework that gathers three spectra consisting of key components of learning: Information–Experience, Individual–Social, and Reflection–Non-reflection. In a workshop series, pedagogical patterns were created by teachers recognised for their use of technology in teaching, and these patterns constitute data for analysis. The components of learning in the pedagogical patterns have been derived from 23 solutions, or learning activities, for effective use of technology through deductive thematic analysis. The analysis reveals that the solutions involve various pedagogical components but that individual and reflective solutions are most common, thus indicating the kind of pedagogy that is considered suitable for less experienced teachers. We conclude that the method suggested for analysis contributes to research within technology-enhanced learning TEL. It can expand knowledge about the pedagogy involved in learning designs that support the use of technology in education. Adopting a participatory design approach in workshops can moreover contribute to the collegial learning of teachers.

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  • Coordinated individual care planning and shared decision making: staff perspectives within the comorbidity field of practice

    2021. Amanda Jones, Ola Knutsson, Ulla-Karin Schön. European Journal of Social Work


    Integrated treatment is recommended for users with a comorbidity of mental illness and substance misuse. However, due to a divided support system, coordinated individual care planning (CIP) and user participation are emphasised to provide users with the necessary support. One way of increasing user participation is through shared decision making. However, the challenges are evident why coordination and user participation are not used in practice as intended. To contribute with knowledge to bridge the gap between the intended CIP process and practice, this study examined the problems and solutions perceived by staff. Future workshops were conducted with 17 staff members from social services and health care. Problems and solutions were identified within three main areas: organisation and staff knowledge, coordination among staff, and staff attitudes and user participation. The problems are in agreement with previous research, but this study contributes with knowledge regarding solutions. Overall, the solutions expressed relate to improving collaboration between providers and users and having more resources to conduct this work. However, the study also assents to the question if CIP is the best way to coordinate support or if integrated treatment should be the future.

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  • Teachers’ Design Processes

    2021. Elisabeth Rolf, Ola Knutsson, Robert Ramberg. IxD&A 49, 135-160


    Research on how teachers design to support learning and how teachers use different learning designs is still in its infancy. The explorative study reported here aims to approach an understanding of how teachers design learning activities by analysing upper secondary teachers’ design work while using pedagogical patterns. Ten teachers working in pairs of two were invited to design and document learning activities based on pedagogical patterns. The findings reveal that (1) pedagogical patterns inspire teachers to embark on a design process that aligns with their own context, and (2) teachers’ design processes share common general design characteristics and are, among other things, different, dynamic, unpredictable, and unsystematic. It is concluded that knowledge about teachers’ design processes and the use of learning designs may inform researchers on how to develop design-supporting tools and resources.

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  • Text Chat as a Mediating Tool in Providing Teachers’ Corrective Feedback in ESL Context

    2021. Piyumi Udeshinee (et al.). Asian EFL Journal 28 (1.2), 171-195


    Corrective feedback (CF) has been proven to be effective in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). With the increased usage of technology in the field of education, learning a second or foreign language in a computer mediated environment is widely discussed in current literature, thus paving the way for research on computer mediated corrective feedback (CMCF). As such, CMCF, especially through tools such as text chat, has gained increasing attention from researchers. Nevertheless, the scholarly focus has often been confined to certain aspects such as peer CF or CF given by native speakers (NS) in telecollaboration projects. As teachers could provide step by step scaffolding to make learners notice their errors and correct them, teachers’ CF in text chat environment could be more useful. However, text chat has rarely been discussed as a mediating tool to provide teachers’ CF. Addressing this potential gap in research, the present study aims to explore the perspectives of university teachers and students on the potential of using text chat for teachers’ CF, while discussing the challenges they would encounter in the process. Applying the sociocultural theoretical framework, the study discusses text chat as a mediating tool and the role teachers could play in assisting learners in the zone of proximal development. The data were collected from five Sri Lankan university teachers and two groups of university students (five in each group) through individual and group interviews, respectively. An Affinity Diagram was employed to analyse the data thematically. The study suggests that teachers’ CF through text chat could play a significant role in a context where learners have high second language anxiety which could be a result of their social, cultural and historical context. Students favour CF through text chat, mostly because it may reduce their anxiety of speaking the language. The study further reveals that teachers are still using conventional means of technology though learners prefer using the technology of their generation. Teachers, however, stated that their CF in the traditional pedagogy where most of the time, CF is given in front of the whole class does not seem to work successfully. Therefore, recognising the potential of the text chat as a mediator of CF in a particular challenging sociocultural context, they seem to be examining alternatives to their traditional pedagogy. The results also indicate that text chat, being a popular means of communication among teachers and learners, and as learners could go through the history of the text chat and learn about their language errors, provision of teachers’ CF through text chat could be possible and useful. The present study contributes to the theoretical and practical discussions on the use of computer mediated pedagogical tools in English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom. The findings of this study will be useful for teachers who are seeking interactive pedagogical tools to be used in the language classroom. Further, our results will also support future researchers to design studies to examine the interventions between teachers and students in text chat, as well as to evaluate the efficacy of teachers’ CF through text-chat to improve the language skills of adult second language learners.

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  • Co-creating a process of user involvement and shared decision-making in coordinated care planning with users and caregivers in social services

    2020. Ola Knutsson, Ulla-Karin Schön. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being 15 (1)


    Purpose: Although user participation and shared decision-making in formal statutory coordinated care planning are described as central, they remain to be implemented. The aim of this study is to explore how collaboration and shared decision-making in the social services can be realized in formal care planning activities with people with mental disabilities.

    Methods: We conducted eight workshops with 12 users and 17 caregivers to investigate existing barriers to and possible solutions for participation in coordinated care planning.

    Results: Workshop formats and techniques from participatory design generated rich research materials illustrating challenges currently experienced by users and caregivers in care planning work, as well as a large variety of solutions to these challenges. They also illustrated differences in how participation is understood and the conditions required to realize shared decision-making between users and caregivers.

    Conclusions: An improved coordinated individual plan (CIP) process emerged, based on the active participation of users and caregivers. This process is a familiar and transparent process for users and caregivers, reflecting the needs and preferences of users at all stages. It requires careful preparation and collaboration with the users, as well as caregiver flexibility.

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  • Engagement, disengagement and performance when learning with technologies in upper secondary school

    2020. Nina Bergdahl (et al.). Computers and education 149


    Students need to engage in order to learn. As digitalisation changes the conditions for learning, it is essential to consider how student engagement might be affected. This study explores the relationship between students' level of engagement in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) and academic outcomes. More specifically, we developed and validated an instrument LET (Learner–Technology–Engagement) using principal component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, and distributed this to second and third year upper secondary school students. We then matched student responses (n = 410) with their school grades. Using a bivariate correlation test, a one-way ANOVA test, and a post hoc test, we analysed the associations between low-, average-, and high-performance students and their reported engagement and disengagement when learning with technologies. The analysis reveals that high-performance students find it easier to concentrate when working with learning technologies than do average and low performers. We also found significant correlations between low grades and reported time spent on social media and streaming media for other purposes than learning (e.g., YouTube). There were also significant correlations between a decrease in students’ performance and the occurrence of unauthorised multi-tasking via learning technologies while in class: the lower the grades, the more frequently students reported using digital technologies to escape when lessons were boring. Conclusively: high-performance students seem to develop strategies to use digital technologies in supportive and productive ways. Thus, in order for schools to use digital technologies to ensure that disadvantaged students do not remain disadvantaged when learning with technologies and to not replicate problems in analogue classroom interactions, insights how different performance groups engage and disengage in TEL is critical for learning.

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  • An analysis of digital competence as expressed in design patterns for technology use in teaching

    2019. Elisabeth Rolf, Ola Knutsson, Robert Ramberg. British Journal of Educational Technology 50 (6), 3361-3375


    Teachers cannot presume that their learners have the competence to use the technology brought to the classroom. Therefore, the learners’ abilities to use technology may be a concern for teachers. This paper reports on digital competence through an analysis of designs for learning in design patterns, written by upper secondary teachers. Learning activities found in the design patterns were analysed with the aim to understand how teachers perceive the learners’ digital competence when using technology. A framework that compromises digital competence was utilised for inferring the digital competencies. The qualitative analysis of these learning activities reveals that competences of information and data literacy, and of communication and collaboration predominate. By analysing the characteristics of learning activities and hence the teachers’ ideas of technology use in teaching, it is concluded that design patterns can be used to identify the competences teachers believe are relevant for the learners to acquire. The result therefore involves aspects of how teachers perceive learners’ digital competence when using technology in teaching.

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  • Complexity and potential of synchronous computer mediated corrective feedback

    2019. W. A. Piyumi Udeshinee, Ola Knutsson, Sirkku Männikkö Barbutiu. CALL and complexity – short papers from EUROCALL 2019, 367-372


    This paper discusses a qualitative study which examines the complexity and potential of using Synchronous Computer Mediated Corrective Feedback (SCMCF) for adult learners in English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms in Sri Lanka. Chat conversation was assumed as the medium through which the teacher provides corrective feedback to the students. Five ESL teachers were interviewed for the study. The data gathered were analysed qualitatively using an affinity diagram which is discussed under an inductive thematic analysis. Findings of the study suggest that there is potential for provision of SCMCF through chat conversations, for teachers believe that SCMCF will improve language skills of the students; moreover, this approach needs only a limited use of technology. However, it was revealed that there could be some complexities, mainly due to teachers’ existing workloads, some ethical aspects, and the low level of technology that is available in certain universities.

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  • Designing for Engagement in TEL – a Teacher-Researcher Collaboration

    2018. Nina Bergdahl, Ola Knutsson, Uno Fors. Designs for Learning 10 (1), 100-111


    Hence, teachers need to consider how their practices affect student engagement. Applying design-based research (DBR), the purpose of this study was to approach influencers of student engagement and explore how teachers and researchers collaboratively could develop learning activities with learning technologies (LTs) to facilitate this. The intervention included an online assessment application, a virtual learning environment (VLE) and an additional tablet for the teacher. The teacher constantly carried the tablet around and used it to access the students’ shared workspace. The intervention was implemented in two classes in an upper secondary school. The study focuses on teachers’ experience and instruction. Three observations of the implementation of learning design and intervention evaluations were analysed. The results indicate that the teachers and researchers could design learning activities that facilitate student engagement. Engagement was facilitated as hindrances to engagement were identified and approached. The suggested solutions shaped the design of the learning activity and included LTs which provided insights into the students’ learning processes and thereby increased the teacher’s ability to scaffold learning and provide timely feedback. The LTs used opened up for additional ways for students to engage with the content, peers and contributions which motivated students to direct their energy toward task. When conditions for learning changed as a result of implementing LTs, both student interaction and teacher practices were affected. However, it was not observed that the teacher would sustain the design without support. This emphasises the need for educational goals and visions to be consistent and communicated to practitioners; otherwise, teachers will not have the guidance needed to advance or evaluate their professional development.

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  • Teachers’ Collaborative Pattern Language Design

    2018. Ola Knutsson, Robert Ramberg. Designs for Learning 10 (1), 1-17


    Teachers in their practice make choices grounded in their teaching experience resulting in what could be labelled design solutions. An identified problem is that these design solutions stay at the level of individual solutions and do not reach the teaching community. The aim of this article is to study how teachers´ design solutions can be systematically captured, organized, and communicated through design patterns and a pattern language. Building on participatory design we have together with teachers used and adapted the concept of design patterns and pattern languages as a way of capturing, documenting and communicating design problems and solutions to these. This structured approach led to the teachers seeing connections and interrelations between problems, and that a solution to one of these also helped in alleviating other problems. The formulation of design patterns and proposed pattern languages thus gave the teachers an overview of their practice that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. The content of the design patterns show what problems that are dealt with by the teachers through their design solutions. The structure of the final pattern language shows how problems and solutions are connected to larger goals for the teachers, such as improving the communication with students, as well as the importance of sharing good examples between colleagues.

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  • The Use of Learning Technologies and Student Engagement in Learning Activities

    2018. Nina Bergdahl (et al.). Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy 13 (2), 113-130


    As digitalisation spreads in education, it is vital to understand its relation to student engagement. We used student diaries and observation data to approach student engagement and explore the use of learning technologies on a lesson-to-lesson basis. Results show that a less thought-through use of technologies might lead to unconsidered effects. Positive indicators of the facilitation of student engagement included making the learning process accessible and visible to teachers.

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  • ‘So, You Think It’s Good’ - Reasons Students Engage When Learning with Technologies – a Student Perspective

    2018. Nina Bergdahl, Uno Fors, Ola Knutsson. EDULEARN18, 9556-9563


    Student engagement is significantly related to school success. With the increasing digitalisation of education, it is essential to explore if student engagement is affected by the uptake of learning technologies (LTs). The aim of this study was to approach what factors students perceive to influence their engagement when learning with technologies. This was done by asking students to report their level of engagement and fill in a questionnaire to evaluate a classroom intervention designed to facilitate engagement. The intervention included a learner assessment application, a virtual learning environment (VLE) And a separate tablet the teacher used to access the shared workspace. These LTs facilitated instant feedback between the teacher and the students and enabled multiple simultaneous dialogues which allowed all students to engage with both content and peers. Results show that students’ invested effort in learning activities were related to their reported levels of engagement. Surprisingly, in this intervention, control and stress showed no correlation with engagement. Some aspects of peer modelling and feedback showed weak correlations, albeit these were non-significant. Instead, students reported that feeling ‘content with one’s outcomes’ and ‘engaging in learner-centred dialogues’ were their main reasons to engage. Moreover, students’ reasons to engage in short tasks were not the same as their reasons to engage with long-term goals, such as completing their assignment. The results show that conditions for learning changed when implementing LTs. As conditions for learning changed, so did students’ reasons to engage. Moreover, insights into students’ reasons to engage and reported levels of engagement to suggest that obtaining this information can be useful to identify students in at-risk zones and offer them the support needed. Orchestration of inclusive engagement and implications for future designs are discussed.

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  • The implicit pedagogy of teachers’ design patterns

    2017. Elisabeth Rolf, Ola Knutsson, Robert Ramberg. Data Driven Approaches in Digital Education, 584-587


    This paper presents an analysis of upper secondary teachers’ design patterns portraying their technology use in teaching by answering the question: What pedagogy is implicit in technology supported learning activities designed by teachers? Building on a framework defining key characteristics of contemporary learning theories, seventeen design patterns describing technology use in teaching were analyzed. The analysis reveals that individual activities are dominating the patterns. In addition, there is a trend towards activities favoring students’ non-reflection, but also activities being more informative than experiential.

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  • Genre pedagogy for digital learning environments

    2016. Sofia Hort, Ola Knutsson, Mona Blåsjö. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Designs for Learning, 79-97


    The design of digital learning environments is not a neutral enterprise. The design tells about the designers’ and developers’ view of a learning activity. The main idea in this paper is to map knowledge about genre pedagogy in practice, in prospect of new applications of technology in future teaching practices. The research questions were: How is genre pedagogy implemented in traditional classrooms? How could digital learning environments be designed in order to take advantage of how genre pedagogy is implemented in traditional classrooms? The point of departure for our study is an analysis of three existing case studies of use of genre pedagogy in the classroom. The analysis indicated that genre pedagogy was adapted to the students differing writing experience. Moreover, the different stages of the method could be implemented at various times during the process and they could also be present in varying degrees. On the basis of these results, we argue for certain ways to design digital learning environments based on genre pedagogy. We use design patterns as means for making our design suggestions concrete, and available for communication and development.

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  • Materiality of Online Students’ Peer-Review Activities in Higher Education

    2015. Teresa Cerratto-Pargman, Ola Knutsson, Petter Karlström. Exploring the Material Conditions of Learning: The Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Conference 2015, 308-315


    In spite of the widespread use of technology in higher education, discourses on learning technologies commonly account for their features as disembodied from their use. There has so far been few theoretical approaches which have delved into "the technology question" in CSCL. We present an empirical study that investigates how students’ peer-review activities are entangled with sociomaterial aspects of mediated collaborative learning. The students' peer-review activities were analyzed according to the Collective Instrument-mediated Activity Situation (CIAS) model, and findings show that the materiality of two different tools had considerable influenced how students engaged with the texts and how they interacted with each other.

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  • Using smartphones and QR codes for supporting students in exploring tree species

    2013. Johan Eliasson (et al.). Scaling up Learning for Sustained Impact, 436-441


    Smartphones are increasingly being used on field trips to support students in exploring the natural world. In this paper we present a design and analysis of an inquiry-based learning field trip for primary school students. One problem for design is how to make use of smartphones to support, rather than distract, students in interacting with the physical environment. We approach this problem by comparing two alternative designs, where students use smartphones for identifying tree species either by using an identification instrument or by reading a text description. The results show that students made use of the instrument for identification, QR codes, for identifying tree species and made use of the text descriptions for searching for tree species. In this sense, QR codes, connecting contextual information on smartphones to the physical environment, work as a learning tool that may be used for orienting students in their interaction with the physical environment.

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  • Evaluating Interaction with Mobile Devices in Mobile Inquiry-Based Learning

    2012. Johan Eliasson (et al.). WMUTE '12 Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE Seventh International Conference on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technology in Education, 92-96


    We evaluate to what extent students are interacting with mobile devices in one of four ways intended in the design of a mobile learning activity. Video data from one class of fifth grade students were analyzed using a model of four different types of interaction. The evaluation shows that the students interacted with the devices in the ways intended in design 64% of the time. The contribution is an approach for translating learning goals to interaction design goals in mobile learning research. We conclude that this approach can be of value in designing and evaluating interaction with mobile devices for an entire mobile learning activity.

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  • Exploring the Design Space of Genre Pedagogy and Virtual Learning Environments

    2012. Mona Blåsjö, Ola Knutsson, Teresa Cerratto-Pargman. Designs for Learning 2012, 75-77


    This paper explores the design space of genre pedagogy and virtual learning environments. This is done by examining the cornerstones of genre pedagogy and the main activities they give raise to, and how the activities are transformed when they are partly or completely moved from the classroom to virtual learning environments, and what implications for interaction design they give raise to.

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  • Identifying different registers of digital literacy in virtual learning environments

    2012. Ola Knutsson (et al.). The Internet and higher education 15 (4), 237-246


    In this paper social semiotics, and systemic functional linguistics in particular, are used in order to identify registers of digital literacy in the use of virtual learning environments. The framework of social semiotics provides means to systemize and discuss digital literacy as a linguistic and semiotic issue. The following research question was investigated in the paper: What different registers of digital literacy could be identified when students and teachers communicate and interact in a VLE? The research question was answered by. initially, an application of social semiotics to virtual learning environments, and its relation to the knowledge domains of everyday, specialized and reflexive digital literacy. This application was then further developed, using an analysis of a course specific use of a virtual learning environment in a case study. The study identified discrepancies between the digital literacies of teachers. designers and students. These discrepancies mean that a shared semiotic register was sometimes difficult to maintain. The conclusion is that the designers and teachers as co-designers of virtual learning environments need a better understanding of everyday digital literacy in order to design more sufficient learning environments. The paper shows that digital literacy must be considered as a situated practice, and that it concerns functional and communicative competencies rather than acquiring a set of technical skills.

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  • Six ways of interacting with mobile devices in mobile inquiry-based learning

    2012. Johan Eliasson, Ola Knutsson. Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning 2012, 67-74


    We design a mobile learning activity with the aim of supporting inquiry-based learning and analyze it to understand how students interact with mobile devices. For analysis we use a model of contextual human-technology interaction, which is an expansion of an older model by Buxton (1995). Our research question is: How can student interaction in a mobile learning activity be described in the model of contextual human-technology interaction? We approach this question by analyzing an eight minute long video clip of a group of three students using mobile devices for calculating the distribution of trees in a forest area. We categorize the results in six different ways of interacting with technology according to the model. The analysis shows how the model of contextual human-technology interaction can be used for describing placement of technology in mobile learning activities when students are mobile in and between contexts relevant for their learning goals.

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  • Designing and developing a language environment for second language writers

    2007. Ola Knutsson (et al.). Computers and education 49 (4), 1122-1146


    This paper presents a field study carried out with learners who used a grammar checker in real writing tasks in an advanced course at a Swedish university. The objective of the study was to investigate how students made use of the grammar checker in their writing while learning Swedish as a second language. Sixteen students with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds participated in the study. A judgment procedure was conducted by the learners on the alarms from the grammar checker. The students’ texts were also collected in two versions; a version written before the session with the grammar checker, and a version after the session. This procedure made it possible to study to what extent the students followed the advice from the grammar checker, and how this was related to their judgments of its behavior.

    The results obtained demonstrated that although most of the alarms from the grammar checker were accurate, some alarms were very hard for the students to judge correctly. The results also showed that providing the student with feedback on different aspects of their target language use; not only on their errors, and facilitating the processes of language exploration and reflection are important processes to be supported in second-language learning environments.

    Based on these results, design principles were identified and integrated in the development of Grim, an interactive language-learning program for Swedish. We present the design of Grim, which is grounded in visualization of grammatical categories and examples of language use, providing tools for both focus on linguistic code features and language comprehension.

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  • Tool Mediation in Focus on Form Activities

    2007. Petter Karlström (et al.). ReCALL 19 (1), 39-56


    We present two case studies of two different pedagogical tasks in a Computer Assisted Language Learning environment called Grim. The main design principle in Grim is to support ‘Focus on Form’ in second language pedagogy. Grim contains several language technology-based features for exploring linguistic forms (static, rule-based and statistical), intended to be used while writing. Our question is, in what ways does Grim support Focus on Form in actual classroom use. We have explored this question within sociocultural theory, emphasizing tool mediation and how tools shape the learner’s activity. The first case concerns a text-reconstruction exercise in which students worked in a pair within the Grim environment. The second case was conducted with another group of students, who engaged in collaborative revision of texts, written in advance by one of the students, in student pairs. In both studies, students were instructed and encouraged to use the different features of Grim. Data was collected by recording dialogue during the sessions with Grim. Our results show how learners put the features of Grim into use in their writing tasks. In some instances, the program was used creatively, in combination with external tools such as the users’ own dictionaries, knowledge of other languages, or teachers. In other instances, we note that Grim was used for error correction, rather than as a language resource. The learners’ activities are thus transformed by their use of the program, from the tasks of revision and text-reconstruction into error correction. The application shapes the activity, in conjunction with the pedagogical tasks. We argue for studying the activities of students with CALL tools, in order to find out in detail how tasks and technology concur in use and what view on language and pedagogy they mediate.

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