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Participation in a boundless activity: Computer-mediated communication in Swedish higher education
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Institution of education. Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general purpose of this thesis is to understand how participation in the activity of education relates to communication and tools. This purpose unfolds by drawing on possible conceivable consequences. In the fulfilment of this purpose communication, education, participation, and tools are analytically linked by a common denominator: human action. The commentary text expounds on these links, while the four included papers illustrate how these links operate in educational settings. The general purpose serves to frame a narrower purpose: a discussion of participation through computer-mediated communication in online settings of Swedish higher education. The theoretical departure derives from a transactional approach that embraces human action as an inseparable aspect of a dynamic whole, here defined as the activity of education. This activity is discussed in terms of its cultural, ecological, historical, and social aspects. This theoretical departure embraces ideas largely taken from ecological, pragmatic and sociocultural perspectives of human action. The papers include analyses of, variously, empirical material taken from interviews with students, online exchanges of utterances, syllabuses, and study-guides. Two of the papers are literature reviews. The findings indicate that participation in education is a complex boundless phenomenon that is best understood as a dynamic whole. In this whole, participation in education is culturally, ecologically, historically, and socially transformed by actions, agents, communication, tools, and the setting. In this thesis, concepts such as computermediated communication, communicative genres, dialogical intersections, and educational settings are utilised to reach a dynamic understanding. The dynamics of these findings, therefore, are a challenge to all dualistic conceptualisations of education, such as those building on the idea of learners operating in learning environments. Particularly, these findings challenge operationalisations of education that rely on computer-mediated communication and which build on the idea of so-called online learning environments. A more coherent understanding of participation in education is possible if educational research and design builds on a non-dualistic conceptualisation that includes the idea of participation being performed in a boundless activity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2010. , p. 88
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 93
Keywords [en]
action theory, activity, communication, computer-mediated communication, distance education, educational settings, higher education, online courses, online education, participation, tools
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-11158ISBN: 978-91-7264-874-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-11158DiVA, id: diva2:288890
Public defence
2010-01-15, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, NBVH1031, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-01-26 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2013-08-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Ett deltagande för alla?: En kritisk diskussion
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ett deltagande för alla?: En kritisk diskussion
2005 (Swedish)In: Att förstå lärgemenskaper och mötesplatser på nätet, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2005, p. 149-172Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

Detta kapitel utgår från den skenbara polarisering som finns mellan de som anser att ett deltagande i en utbildning via nätet ger stora möjligheter till utbildning och de som ser stora begränsningar i den allt större andelen nätbaserad utbildning som numera finns till förfogande. Syftet med föreliggande kapitel är att föra en kritisk diskussion om denna polarisering och om skilda förutsättningar medger olika möjligheter och begränsningar för deltagandet i nätbaserad utbildning. Ett deltagande via nätet äger rum i gemenskaper tillsammans med andra deltagare, och deras normer och värderingar formar deltagandet i gemenskapen. Deltagande blir även möjligt och begränsat av andra historiska och sociala förutsättningar såsom deltagarens erfarenhet, kunskap, livssituation, etniska tillhörighet, kön, och socialgrupp. Ett deltagande via nätet blir då en del av deltagarens identitetsutveckling och en formning av deltagarens sätt att tänka. De nämnda förutsättningarna sätter fokus på deltagarens användning av tekniken i ett socialt sammanhang. Användningen av teknik kan i sig själv därför inte sägas vara neutral och fri från värderingar i den meningen att förutsättningarna är lika för alla deltagare i en nätbaserad utbildning. Kapitlet mynnar ut i en diskussion där deltagandet blir diskuterat i termer av makt. En makt som i kapitlet ej beskrivs som ensidigt negativt laddad. Makt är en relation mellan deltagaren och den värld som denne befinner sig i. En relation där deltagaren liksom utbildningsanordnaren båda är delaktiga och kan påverka förutsättningarna för deltagandet i den nätbaserade lärgemenskapen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2005
Keywords
Deltagande, IT, lärande, makt, nätbaserad lärgemenskap
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-756 (URN)2414 (Local ID)91-44-04370-8 (ISBN)2414 (Archive number)2414 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-12-23 Last updated: 2013-08-16Bibliographically approved
2. Changes within the practice of higher education: Participating in educational communication through distance settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changes within the practice of higher education: Participating in educational communication through distance settings
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Web Based Communities, ISSN 1477-8394, E-ISSN 1741-8216, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 173-187Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is about changes within the practice of higher education. These changes relate to students’ and teachers’ participation in educational communication through distance settings. Here, this communication is analysed and described in terms of different dialogical intersections, which embrace the tools used in educational communication and the locations where students and teachers are physically situated. The Swedish practice of higher education illustrates these changes in participation in educational communication. In short, the number of intersections has increased, and the use of tools and locations has changed over the years. This is visible both in discourse and in the practice of higher education. Finally, this paper questions whether the distinction between distance, face-to-face and online education nowadays is meaningful.

Keywords
convergence; distance education; educational communication; educational settings; face-to-face education; higher education; online education; online learning communities; participation; tools.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-7337 (URN)10.1504/IJWBC.2008.017671 (DOI)2-s2.0-78651564696 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2008-12-04 Created: 2008-12-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Sharing the distance or a distance shared: Social and individual aspects of participation in ICT-supported distance-based teacher education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sharing the distance or a distance shared: Social and individual aspects of participation in ICT-supported distance-based teacher education
2005 (English)In: ICT in teacher education: Challenging prospects, Jönköping: Jönköping University Press , 2005, p. 142-160Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter is about ICT and participation. Our aim is to initiate a discussion about student participation in a web-based learning environment. The chapter contains some results of a philosophical hermeneutical study of a distance-based teacher education in which ICT is used for sharing materials and teaching. Data was collected by interviewing 19 students, who had been using ICT in their teacher education for more than two years. As a framework for understanding, interpretations about student participation were made based on an explicit description of three different perspectives of learning � social constructivist, social constructionist, and sociocultural - and the divergent assumptions these perspectives could be claimed to hold. The findings indicate that students participate in distance-based teacher education in such a way that their participation is not part of a social, but rather, an individual process of learning. The findings also suggest that there is a need to be more explicit about expectations inherent in the use of ICT as a learning environment, and that the current design of such environments for collaboration and learning are challenging.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University Press, 2005
Keywords
design, ICT, participation, social constructivist, social constructionist, sociocultural
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-2581 (URN)3073 (Local ID)91-974953-4-4 (ISBN)3073 (Archive number)3073 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-12-23 Last updated: 2017-02-23Bibliographically approved
4. Participation and genres of communication in online settings of higher education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Participation and genres of communication in online settings of higher education
2008 (English)In: Education and Information Technologies: Official Journal of the IFIP technical committee on Education, ISSN 1360-2357, E-ISSN 1573-7608, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 129-146Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on written utterances in online settings of higher education. It concerns the constitution of the initiation, turn taking and the steering of exchanges of utterances; and it describes these patterns in terms of different genres. The study also concerns participation in higher education and, specifically, participation in educational settings where students and teachers rarely meet face-to-face. Their participation is thus dependant on written utterances in online settings. Overall, this paper discusses constitutive aspects of these written utterances. The educational communication between students and teachers embraced both behaviourist and constructivist genres. The distinction between these two genres relates to the functionality of the utterances, the main metaphor for learning and the responsibilities for the communication taken by students and teachers. The emergence of these genres seems to be affected by interplay between the composition of the study-groups, the structure of the task and other aspects of participation through online settings.

Keywords
acquisition/participation, Bakhtin, discourse analysis, higher education, learning management systems, online settings
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3985 (URN)10.1007/s10639-008-9057-9 (DOI)2-s2.0-43249115817 (Scopus ID)4404 (Local ID)4404 (Archive number)4404 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-12-23 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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