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This was the second time that the summer course on activity theory was run at University West. Activity theory is a research method that studies tensions, conflicts or changes surrounding a particular “object”. The object may vary, which means that the theory can be applied in a wide range of fields, such as economics, informatics, education or industrial Work Integrated Learning.

The subject has attracted research students from around the world, including Brazil, the USA, Australia and India.

Kristina Johansson thinks that the reason for the course’s great popularity is largely the researchers linked to the course.

“We had several of the most prominent and leading researchers in this field working with the University’s own researchers as teachers on the course.”

The online course offered webinars at a set time, plus recorded lectures that the students could watch at any time.

“Although they had the opportunity to do both, a large number of participants chose to use the virtual classrooms.”

One reason for this was that the researchers and the teachers managed to create a dynamic that meant few students wanted to miss the live lectures.

Linda Febring, studying for a licentiate degree in work-integrated learning, agrees.

“The best thing about the course was the highly skilled lecturers and the fact that there was a lot of interaction between fellow students on the course.”

She took the course to learn more about the origin of activity theory and its application.

“As I continue working on my licentiate dissertation, activity theory, which I learned more about on the course, will be another potential theory that I can bring in.”

Jussara Reis Andersson, studying for a PhD at Mid Sweden University, was another student who signed up for the course.

“I thought they had wonderful course leaders and lecturers who have really inspired me to use activity theory.”

Kristina Johansson is delighted with the huge amount of interest the course attracted.

“The course enabled us to bring together research students and researchers in the field, which is entirely in line with our Work Integrated Learning profile.”