Designs for Learning, established in 2008, is now taking a step forward. During 2015 we have worked with a new publishing format and a new editorial structure, and from 2016 we will be an online, Open Access journal published by Stockholm University Press in (technical) collaboration with Ubiquity Press. The Editorial Board has been extended to a deeper collaboration and a joint editorial structure between Stockholm University, University of Bergen and Aalborg University. These changes enable new possibilities not only for readers, but also for authors and reviewers. Let us explain why.
Designs for Learning will take advantage of the new online format to engage authors, reviewers, and readers in discussions by opening for commenting on articles. Thus, we aim to have Designs for Learning develop into a forum for hot-spot discussions. All articles (also earlier ones) will be available for indexing in different databases, and we will work hard to meet the requirements for these databases. The new online interface also makes it possible for us to make the content available in more formats. All new articles will be available in both XML and PDF formats. The XML format opens up for reading on mobile platforms, as well as enabling further search engine optimisation. In order for authors and readers to understand more about how our publications are used by others, the website will show up-to-date usage statistics per article. It will also be possible to see if content has been mentioned in other digital media or if it as been cited in other academic publications. Our new website can host any digital format such as video, audio clips, software, or data sets. From now on authors, to a greater extent, are able to link to and embed these new media in their written texts. The Open Access licencing of material will further encourage the sharing of these new or enhanced ideas beyond the traditional distribution channels. In addition to these new technical enhancements, the new Editorial management will focus on excellence in the evaluation process, and will therefore ensure that we follow the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines for ethical editing and reviewing.
The background of the journal Designs for Learning is Scandinavian experiences and traditions in both design and learning. Scandinavian design is not only well-known for its elegance and innovative approaches, but also for the development of different kinds of interactive and collaborative designs that can be used to develop products and activities for change. Scandinavian education, likewise, has developed a broad, democratic approach to learning, with a focus on aspects such as collaboration, creativity, inclusion, and problem solving, as well as on learner participation and responsibility. We also have a long tradition of evening courses and study-circles, not to mention alternative higher education (“folkhögskolorna”) and work place learning. Hence, the focus of the journal is the interface of design and learning. This approach can give insights that go beyond a narrow, instrumental and test-oriented thinking in education. This broad approach to design and learning involves an understanding for deep commitments to democracy and democratisation, discussions of values in design and imagined futures, and how conflict and contradictions are regarded as resources in design.
Designs for Learning thus addresses a broad range of questions and research perspectives related to learning, both in terms of designs for learning and designs in learning processes. This theoretical multiplicity allows for theoretical contributions as well as practice-oriented work to develop learning resources and learning environments, including different organizational levels. Different kinds of research with focus on questions related to designs and learning are thus welcome, may it be game oriented learning designs including the development of scenario pedagogy, the development of apps for learning purposes, new ways of testing collaborative as well as cognitive skills, or research with a focus on activities related to learning in different learning environments.
We hereby would like to welcome you –readers, writers and reviewers – to the new Designs for Learning, and to a forum for reflected discussions and new insights related to designs and learning.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.