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Base Project Seamless Learning in Lake Constance Region

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Projects under the EU Interreg-V funding shall foster (1) sustainable cross-border research collaboration within specific thematic areas, (2) linking of academia with business and public administration, and (3) innovation appropriate to the Lake Constance region .

To address the aims, this project will utilise a design-based research approach with cross-border cooperation to develop, implement and evaluate various seamless learning (SL) higher education projects, in both the social and natural sciences across the Lake Constance region. This base project is part of the overall "SeaL Lab", jointly run by two units of ZHAW, that hosts the whole project with its subprojects.

Rationale for the project: Most of the project partners are universities specialising in Applied Sciences, preparing students for working in commercial sector companies, with many students in part-time employment. Most partners also cooperate with commercial enterprises for R&D and/ or consulting, with some of these companies part of the consortium as business partners. Company employees, students and commercial businesses often feel there is a breach between the two contexts – that is, learning in a higher education institution, and learning or applying knowledge in a business context. In particular for students employed part-time, it would be desirable to embrace their commercial knowledge, skills and experience within the education context to apply during their studies as a means to enrich and deepen the learning processes. More generally, a seamless flow of learning, application and exchange of experiences between an applied HE context and commercial business seems mutually beneficial in various respects.

Conceptual framework of the project: Seamless learning, made popular in particular by Lung-Hsiang Wong, as a concept focuses in particular on “the continuity of individual learners’ learning experience across multiple learning spaces, particularly to connect formal and informal learning spaces” (2015, p. 5). The defining feature of SL as a learning approach is the “bridging of cross-space learning efforts” (2015, p. 33); therefore, SL seems particularly suitable as a conceptual framework for developing solutions to bridge or address the breach, as relevant to the project, between the worlds of Higher Education and commercial enterprise.

Structure and design of the project: The base project will be run by instructional designers and experts in instructional technology including programmers who will support the sub-projects in their developing and implementing of SL approaches tailored to their respective requirements. A design-based research approach will be utilised within which prototypes for the subprojects will be developed, implemented, evaluated, and were necessary, refined accordingly. The project will commence with two subprojects: (1) “Modelling and Visualisation realised as Seamless Learning and Working in STEM subjects and economy with decentralised energy systems as a concrete example”; and (2) “Network for Training and Knowledge Exchange in Geometrical Product Specification and Verification”. Further projects are at the proposal and preparation stage.

Main target groups of the project: Practitioners from HE institutions and companies that want to implement seamless learning within their institutions, companies. Researchers interested in seamless learning. Students that could benefit from an improved learning experience.

Significant public results: The project expects results and insights within the following areas: (1) Application of SL in HE, with a focus on applied sciences functioning as a bridge between academia and commercial business; (2) Specific requirements arising for SL application in Lake Constance region including trans-national application; (3) Potential and limitations of a design-based research approach for developing SL prototypes; (4) Assessment (formative, summative) of SL projects; (5) Electronic infrastructure for SL projects, allowing for ubiquitous learning, for application in HE and business contexts (in part, new software will be developed); (6) Each of the subprojects will result in one SL pilot that has been implemented, tested and refined; and (7) Adding to the state of knowledge of SL as a conceptual framework.

Wong, L. H. (2015). A Brief History of Mobile Seamless Learning. In L. H. Wong, M. Milrad, & M. Specht (Eds), Seamless learning in the age of mobile connectivity (pp. 3-40). Singapore: Springer.


Prof. Dr. Bernadette Dilger, Institute of Business Education and Educational Management, University of St. Gallen.

Prof. Dr. Oliver Haase, Prof. Dr. Ralf Schimkat, Faculty of Informatics, Hochschule Konstanz, University of Applied Sciences.


Total Budget of Base Project for all partners approx. 900.000 Euro.

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