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New Interactive Environments

General information

Course code: IFI7144
Facilitator: Dr. Terje Väljataga (researcher at Tallinn University)
Credit points: 5 ECTS (minimum work load 135 hours total)
Language of instruction: English
Level of course: MA
Program: Interactive media and knowledge environment (IMKE) master program (an elective course), Institute of Informatics, Tallinn University
Assessment: Pass/fail assessment based on the tasks performed during the course
The purpose of the course is to provide participants the opportunity to develop dispositions (conceptual knowledge, procedural skills, orientations):
  • for analysing new interactive environments;
  • for representing (visually, textually, etc.) new interactive environments;
  • for redesigning and re-instrumentalising interactive environments as human activity systems with digital technology and new media for one’s own purposes;
  • for working in international groups mediated by digital technology on an educational problem.

The course focuses on the (re-)design of new interactive environments for collaborative work and study. Particular attention is paid to the analysis, representation, and (re-) instrumentalisation of human activities and activity systems with digital technology. The course facilitator and participants will analyse a series of theories, concepts and ideas and evaluate it against their own experience with the intent of developing a comprehensive understanding of new interactive environments and some of the related concepts. The purpose of this course is to ponder about what constitutes 'an interactive environmentʼ, and to explore the ways in which 'interactive environments” are used for communication, consumption, control and study. During the course the participants are going to reconstruct the picture of interactive environments in the midst of the continuous digital development and create oneʼs own interactions.

The course is divided into 12 weeks and the minimum workload for every week is around 11 hours. 7 weeks out of 12 is dedicated to individual tasks in which basic theoretical knowledge and skills about interactive environments will be acquired. Individual work consists of independent study of reading material and externalisation of ideas and questions regarding weekly topics in personal weblogs. 5 weeks out of 12 is planned for an international group work.
Upon completion of the course, the participants will:
Disciplinary skills:
  • demonstrate an understanding of key concepts, theories and themes within the field of interactivity and interactive environments;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which the interactions of different digital technology are produced;
  • demonstrate an overview of contemporary digital instrumentation options for interaction;
  • apply key concepts, theories and ideas to specific digital technology, processes and products;
  • assess the merits and challenges of different frameworks for analysing interactive environments;
  • reflect critically on the impact of contemporary digital technology on their own ideas, beliefs and values;
Transferable skills:
  • learn both independently and in international groups;
  • present ideas to different audiences using appropriate technology and media;
  • use technology to mediate communication and study;
  • use English as a foreign language to express ideas and thoughts


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