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Improvable objects and attached dialogue: new literacy practices employed by learners to build knowledge together in asynchronous settings

Ferguson, Rebecca; Whitelock, Denise and Littleton, Karen (2010). Improvable objects and attached dialogue: new literacy practices employed by learners to build knowledge together in asynchronous settings. Digital Culture & Education, 2(1) pp. 103–123.

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Asynchronous online dialogue offers advantages to learners, but has appeared to involve only limited use of new literacy practices. To investigate this, a multimodal approach was applied to asynchronous dialogue. The study analysed the online discussions of small groups of university students as they developed collaboratively authored documents. Sociocultural discourse analysis of the dialogue was combined with visual analysis of its structural elements. The groups were found to employ new literacies that supported the joint construction of knowledge. The documents on which they worked together functioned as ‘improvable objects’ and the development of these was associated with engagement in ‘attached dialogue’. By investigating a wider range of conference dialogue than has previously been explored, it was found that engaging in attached dialogue associated with collaborative authorship of improvable objects prompts groups of online learners to share knowledge, challenge ideas, justify opinions, evaluate evidence and consider options.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 Digital Culture & Education
ISSN: 1836-8301
Extra Information: This paper is published in an open access journal. The full text is therefore available by clicking through to the journal's website via the above link.
Keywords: asynchronous dialogue; collaboration; exploratory talk; improvable objects; literacies; online learning; pedagogy; sociocultural discourse analysis; visual analysis
Academic Unit/School: Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI)
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 21460
Depositing User: Rebecca Ferguson
Date Deposited: 28 May 2010 08:04
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2018 11:55
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