Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 85–102 | Cite as

Boundary objects in collaborative work and learning

  • Mikhail Fominykh
  • Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland
  • Monica Divitini
  • Sobah Abbas Petersen


Boundary objects are artifacts, processes, concepts and other entities that provide bridges across boundaries and act as shared references that are meaningful for learners and collaborators with different backgrounds. In this paper, we explore cooperation in a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural context, focusing on the opportunities for learning that arise at different boundaries and on corresponding boundary objects to facilitate both collaboration and learning. We present and discuss a study we conducted within a Cooperation Technology course. The discussion provides implications for collaboration support across boundaries, including insights on why they are important, how to facilitate their creation, and how to use technologies for that. The implications are formulated as instruction for designing university courses, but can be used in a wider context.


Cooperation technology Boundary objects Collaborative learning Course design 



Part of the work presented in this paper is funded by EU LLP CoCreat and SIMOLA projects. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. The study has been done with the support of the Program for Learning with ICT at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The writing of the paper was supported by the Volga State University of Technology. We thank all the study participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program for Learning with ICTNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of Information Science and Computer EngineeringVolga State University of TechnologyYoshkar-OlaRussia
  3. 3.Department of Computer and Information ScienceNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  4. 4.SINTEF Technology & SocietyTrondheimNorway

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