Stockholms universitet

Ulrika BennerstedtUniversitetslektor

Om mig

Ulrika Bennerstedt är universitetslektor och forskare, samt samordnare för PAO-programmen (Kandidat- och Masterprogrammet Personal, Arbete och Organisation), vid Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik. Hon har en tvärvetenskaplig bakgrund inom lärande, informations- och kommunikationsteknologi, samt media- och kommunikations studier. Hennes generella forskningsintresse omfattar social interaktion, samarbete, digitala teknologier, lärande och utveckling av specialiserad kunskap och kompetens. I tidigare forskning har relationen mellan spelande, spelutveckling och lärande utforskats med empiriska material från vardagligt datorspelande, spelutbildning på eftergymnasial nivå, samt professionell spelutveckling. Pågående forskning fokuserar i huvudsak på mötesinteraktion med empiriska material från professionell spelutveckling, lärarlag (i högre utbildning) och ledningsgruppsmöten (på gymnasium). Teman som fokuseras i mötesmaterialen inkluderar tvärprofessionellt samarbete, gemensamt beslutsfattande, kollektivt minnande och hög/låg personalomsättning.



Ulrika Bennerstedt is a senior lecturer and researcher, as well as coordinator of the PAO programs (Bachelor's and Master's program Personnel, Work and Organization), at the Department of Education. She has an interdisciplinary background in learning, information and communication technology, and media and communication studies. Her general research interests include social interaction, collaboration, digital technologies, learning and the development of specialized knowledge and skills. In previous research, the relationship between gaming, game development and learning has been explored with empirical materials from everyday computer gaming, game education at post-secondary level, and professional game development. Current research mainly focuses on meeting interaction with empirical materials from professional game development, teaching teams (in higher education) and management team meetings (in upper secondary school). Themes addressed in the meeting materials include interprofessional collaboration, joint decision-making, collective remembering, and high/low staff turnover.


Teaching interests

Ulrika is teaching in courses on communication and learning, mainly in courses linked to the PAO-programs.


Communication, interaction, learning, collaborative work, joint decision-making, digital technology, game development, video-based studies in qualitative research, ethnomethodology, sociocultural studies.

Selection of publications

Bennerstedt, U., & Svärdemo-Åberg, E. (2022). Lärarrörlighetens betydelse vid digital omställning - en studie av hur arbetslag hanterar didaktiska utmaningar. In S. Lundmark & J. Kontio (eds.), Digitala didaktiska dilemman, p. 257. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur.

Bennerstedt, U., & Bivall, A-C. (2018). Kollegialt skärmarbete som lärpotential i digitala yrkesverksamheter. In O. Granberg and J. Ohlsson (eds.), Lärande organisation 2.0 (pp. 127-152). Stockholm: Studentlitteratur AB.

Bennerstedt, U. (2013). Knowledge at play: Studies of games as members’ matters. Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis.

Bennerstedt, U., Ivarsson, J., & Linderoth, J. (2012). How gamers manage aggression: Situating skills in collaborative computer games. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(1), 43-61.

Bennerstedt, U., & Sjöblom, B. (2011). Spelvärldars kontinuitet och förändring: Gemensamt minne i ett onlinerollspel [Gameworlds and their continuity and change: Collective memory in an online game]. In R. Säljö (Ed.), Lärande och minnande som social praktik (pp. 207-231). Stockholm: Norstedt.

Bennerstedt, U., & Ivarsson, J. (2010). Knowing the way. Managing epistemic topologies in virtual game worlds. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). An international Journal, 19, 201-230.



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Collaborative assessment and game development

    2014. Ulrika Bennerstedt. 4th International Conference Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice


    This paper address assessment practice as part of professional activity and learning in the domain of game development. A growing body of research has been concerned with the professionalization of games production knowledge, frequently attributed to the coordinated work of numerous actors in technology dense settings. While previous accounts of games development list a multifaceted body of knowledge, there is a gap in the literature focusing on game developers’ professional knowing and learning in situ. With an analytical approach informed by ethnomethodology, this paper aim to make visible professional knowledge and learning when collaboratively evaluating games-in-development. It is focusing on game developers’ assessment work as a way to gain insight in the practical reasoning when orienting towards games and gaming as subject of assessment, and as a way of making professional knowledge bases explicit.

           The empirical material is drawn from three settings: 1) a vocational game education, 2) a national game award event, and 3) a professional game development company. Based on fieldwork augmented with video-recordings, the study investigates how games-in-development are collaborative assessed and specifically the ways professionals evaluate co-workers views and understandings with respect to what constitutes problems and potentials of games-in-development.

           Assessments are at stake in a number of internal and external work practices, such as gate reviews, playtests, and the activity of pitching not-yet-finished-nor-financed games to publishers. Games assessments are a common preoccupation at game companies and game education but also at so-called game awards. Games assessments share similarities with assessment practices in other professional and educational settings, such as design reviews in architectural practices. Both are events where proposals are assessed by externally recruited professionals. However, the assessment activities and object of assessment largely differ. In architectural education, proposals are assessed by considering the qualities visible in the designed material (such as plans, paper posters and digital slideshows) in relation to articulated intentions. This can be contrasted with the object of criticism in games presentations: the object constitutes both digitally visual material and designed ‘playable/interactive’ activities. This means that the qualities of a game cannot only be judged by interpreting the idea communicated in plain words together with some visual layout, it also has to be discovered when engaging with the designed ‘experience’. Hence, professionals’ in the gaming domain are required to account for what hinders or make possible appealing experiences during assessments of digital games.

           By focusing on professionals’ collaborative assessments, the analysis unpacks some recurrent orientations towards games and gaming in professional settings. It is shown that the professionals are faced with a number of institutional and organizational demands with respect to time, technology, conventions, and innovations.

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  • Searching for the best game

    2014. Ulrika Bennerstedt. The Second International ProPEL: Professional Practice, Education and Learning Conference, June 25-27, 2014


    This study investigates jury-based assessment work as part of professional activity in an emerging profession, the gaming industry. Drawing on prior studies of professional learning (Mäkitalo, 2012), jury deliberations (Garfinkel, 1976), and assessment practices in related settings, assessment is approached as a way of making professional knowledge and learning visible. With an analytical focus informed by ethnomethodology, the paper builds on the idea that detailed studies of local orders of collaborative assessment in creative organizations could contribute to the understanding of assessment in professional learning.

    Although previous research on games development point to a multifaceted body of knowledge and considered its development in terms of professionalization (cf. Bennerstedt, 2013), there is a lack of empirical studies of professional game developers practices, particularly addressing the key object of criticism - the games. Games assessments are not only a common preoccupation at game companies and in game education, but also at so-called game awards where novices send in playable demos. Games evaluations share similarities with assessment practices in other professional and educational settings, such as design reviews in architectural practices (Lymer, 2010). However, the assessment activities and object of assessment largely differ, as the qualities of playable games have to be discovered interactively and therefore include a range of learning trajectories and troubles.

    Based on fieldwork augmented with video-recordings at a game café, the paper explores a small group of invited professionals’ assessment when reviewing a large number of game demos for a national game award event. By focusing on collaborative work conducted in private deliberations, it is shown that the professionals are faced with a number of challenges when ranking and grading the demos. They discover problems and qualities with the games by taking departure in fixed categories, established standards and emergent criteria, but make collaborative decisions that are governed by the jury members’ varied access to the assessed demos. The variations with respect to access are tightly related to the time schedule of the reviewing, but also the design of the interactive material. They accomplished their work by drawing on jury members’ as well as organizers’ access to, and knowledge of, demos in terms of playability, progression, emergence, visual appearance, technical solutions, etc. Critical for overcoming knowledge gaps are the ways the jury manages access by engaging in hybrid activities, i.e. moving between assessments and instructions/demonstrations of demos.

    Pedagogical implications of the analysis are discussed, and it is suggested that the jury-based assessment of digital material shed new light on how professionals deal with ad hoc learning and instruction.



    Bennerstedt, U. (2013). Knowledge at play: Studies of games as members’ matters. Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis.

    Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

    Lymer, G. (2010). The work of critique in architectural education. Göteborg, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis.

    Mäkitalo, Å. (2012). Professional learning and the materiality of social practice. Journal of Education and Work, 25(1), 59-78.

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  • Co-evaluated quality in new occupational groups - Professional vision in digitalized work

    2017. Ann-Charlotte Bivall, Ulrika Bennerstedt.


    The digitalization of working life has lead to extensively changed conditions for work in both classical and emergent professional groups. In classical professional groups, e.g. within healthcare, impacts of such changes in daily work has attracted attention in various research communities focussing among other on adaptations in ways of working or changed patterns of collaboration. However, as a consequence of the society’s digitalization of work and leisure practices, new occupational settings and professional groups have emerged where it can be argued that new forms of knowledge and competence have evolved and become highly specialized. Among these professional groups a recurrent activity is assessment and evaluations of end-services and products. During assessment activities colleagues orient towards digital tools, designs and activities by negotiating understandings of quality. Yet, the work practices of such emerging occupational groups are unexplored in relation to how work is constituted and how professional knowledge becomes a subject matter among the professionals themselves. In this paper, we address these questions by exploring the conditions for collaborative work between colleagues in the IT support sector and computer game development industry. The aim is to explore how professional knowledge and competence are displayed and negotiated during different forms of assessment activities. Theoretically and methodologically we study naturally occurring activities of working life with a focus on participant interaction and the participants’ ways of orienting towards phenomena relevant for conducting work. In the paper, Goodwin’s (1994) notion of professional vision is central for teasing out the participants’ ways of assessing features relevant for the community of practice and making visible local knowledge and learning in the professional field. The empirical materials consist of video recordings from evaluation practices from a global IT support and from a game award event with participants from the computer game industry. Preliminary findings point to participant driven textual and interactional practices of negotiation. In these negotiations domain specific knowledge is displayed by participants through forward oriented reasoning and by addressing the relation between the particular case and general aspects of that case. The paper illustrates these findings by exploring practices deeply connected to work activities and settings as well as products. In the IT support milieu, collaborative assessment activities separated from the daily handling of support errands found a basis for discussing and developing ways of working. The forward oriented assessment orientation by participants is shown in cases where documented errands in IT-systems are reviewed and reformulated into suggestions of future actions by explicating local knowledge emerged within the organization. The participants in the game evaluation setting rely on hands on and “back-seat gaming” as assessment practices in order to establish shared access to the phenomena being assessed, and via such demonstrations negotiate particular game demos qualities and potentials in the future in relation to established game genres. In both settings, individual cases are used in different ways as textual and interactional resources for highlighting ways of seeing more general characters adhering to specific cultural values and organizational issues for the particular occupational group.

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  • Kollegialt skärmarbete som lärpotential i digitala yrkesverksamheter

    2018. Ulrika Bennerstedt, Ann-Charlotte Bivall. Lärande organisation 2.0, 127-152


    Digitaliseringen av samhället har i grunden förändrat dagens arbetsliv och alltmer arbete utförs i och omkring digitala enheter. Arbetsmoment är därmed på något sätt knutet till vad som i bred bemärkelse kan kopplas till skärmar av olika slag, vad som kan beskrivas som skärmarbete. Ytterligare en konsekvens av digitaliseringen är att nya yrkesroller uppstått till följd av framväxande digitala arbets- och fritidsaktiviteter. I relation till lärande innebär digitaliseringen att arbetsplatsens lärprocesser i hög grad sker i och omkring skärmarbete. Med utgångspunkt i ett sociokulturellt perspektiv på lärande är syftet i detta kapitel att bidra med kunskap om möjligheter och utmaningar med lärande i organisationer där digitala aktiviteter och redskap är det centrala kunskapsobjektet för yrkeskunnandet. Exempel tas från två olika verksamheter där kollegialt skärmarbete organiseras för att utföra utvärderings- och bedömningsaktivteter. Den första verksamheten utgörs av en IT-support där ett team använder dokumenterat skärmarbete vid återkommande organiserade lärtillfällen. Det andra sammanhanget utgår från hur en jury av yrkesverksamma spelutvecklare värderar spel på en datorspelstävling. I kapitlet diskuteras hur yrkesprofessionellas kollegiala blick är direkt kopplad till hur digitala verktyg är integrerade i organisatoriska verksamheter. Kapitlet illustrerar hur professsionella grupper organiserar såväl traditionella som nyare former av utrymme och stöd för lärande och utveckling för att tillgängliggöra privata digitala aktiviteter kollegialt.

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