An Inspiration from Border Crossing: Principle of Boundary Activity for Integrating Learning in the Formal and Informal Spaces

  • Daner SunEmail author
  • Chee-Kit Looi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Educational Technology book series (LNET)


With the recognition of the value of learning in informal spaces, it has been proposed that learning in the informal spaces should be an integral part of the formal schooling. The ubiquitous use of mobile technology creates various opportunities for connecting learning in the formal and informal contexts. In seamless learning, different efforts have been devoted to improving the synergy of these two learning contexts supported by mobile technology, but challenges still exist in the design of seamless learning scenarios that involve the pedagogical integration of learning in formal and informal spaces with active boundary interaction. To promote the mutual interaction of learning contexts in seamless learning, and improve the smooth transformation of students’ cognition in crossing borders, we elaborate on the conception of “boundary object” which is borrowed from science education and learning sciences and inspired by the notion of border crossing from the cultural perspectives, as the knot for tightening learning in different contexts. In this chapter, we will summarize the origins of the boundary objects and discuss their application in improving the boundary interactions in seamless learning. Based on these, the principle of boundary activity-based learning (BABL) is articulated for improving the design of seamless learning activities. A BABL lesson exemplar is illustrated for BABL application, and the initial results of a pilot study are discussed. The BABL principle and the research will inform the pedagogical design of technology-supported STEM education and science learning in a seamless learning context.


Informal spaces Seamless learning Boundary object Boundary activity-based learning (BABL) STEM/science learning 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Education University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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