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CROSS-FIELD - FertilizatIon betwEen formal and informal Learning through Digital technologies



Cantoni L.


De Ascaniis S.


Rega I.



The “CROSS-FertilizatIon betwEen formal and informal Learning through Digital technologies – CROSS-FIELD” ProDoc program leverages on the experience of the RED-INK doctoral school, a ProDoc program run by the same university consortium (USI, UNISG, EPFL).

Results of the RED-INK program
:: have shown a significant success of the doctoral training strategy, proved by 11 journal articles, 45 conference papers and 11 book chapters authored by the PhD students in the first two years

:: have suggested improvements to be done to the overall organization of the program

:: have indicated a new promising research topic

CROSS-FIELD will address the subject of informal learning, and how digital technologies can help to promote it, as well as to better integrate and orchestrate it with formal learning in different learning contexts. Besides having emerged from the RED-INK experience, as its natural evolution, this new topic is attracting more and more research interest, particularly due to its importance in lifelong learning and in bridging the divide between learning technologies and online social networks.
Capitalizing on the RED-INK experience, the CROSS-FIELD ProDoc will offer a stimulating learning and sharing environment to about 20 students, 9 of them funded by the linked research modules. Doctoral researches conducted in the CROSS-FIELD ProDoc program will approach the subject at stake from different viewpoints and with different methodological strategies, yielding to a general framework of understanding of the role of formal/informal learning, and of how information and communication technologies can help harmonizing and empowering them. In particular, the PhD researches conducted within the CROSS-FIELD ProDoc will focus on three main contexts: teacher training, continuing education and tertiary education.
CROSS-FIELD ProdDoc program consists of 6 Residential Seminar followed by 6 Online Seminars. Each Residential Seminar includes 2 half-day sessions dedicated to presentation and discussion with national and international guest scholars, 2 half-day sessions devoted to methodological work and 1 half-day session devoted to student presentations and reviews. Online Seminars are events blending synchronous sessions (videoconferences) and individual and group work to consolidate what learnt in the previous Residential Seminar. In addition, the participation to methodology summer schools, such as “Swiss Summer School: Methods in Social Science” and a final colloquium are foreseen for a total of 24 ECTS equivalent. Furthermore, Academic Research Visits and a sound use of digital technologies will foster collaboration among the ProDoc participants.

Additional information

Start date
End date
46 Months
Funding sources
Swiss National Science Foundation / ProDoc