Learning technology in context: a case for the sociotechnical interaction framework as an analytical lens for networked learning research

Creanor, Linda and Walker, Steve (2012). Learning technology in context: a case for the sociotechnical interaction framework as an analytical lens for networked learning research. In: Dirkinck-Holmfeld, Lone; Hodgson, Vivien and McConnell, David eds. Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning, Volume 5. Springer, pp. 173–187.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-0496-5_10

Abstract

Persistent gaps between claims made for learning technologies and the reality of their use are in part attributable to widespread implicit technological determinism. While the concept of networked learning goes some way to redress this, a more systematic use of sociotechnical finding theories developed in the fields of technology studies and information systems can help us to avoid mechanistic accounts. We illustrate this with the concept of the “sociotechnical interaction network” (Kling et al., J Am Soc Inf Sci Technol 54:47–67, 2003) from the social informatics literature in analysing case material from the world of transnational trade union education. This draws our attention to the social, as well as technological, accomplishments in accessing online learning activities and the ways in which learners draw on prior technological knowledge in overcoming difficulties they encounter. Such approaches are increasingly salient as educators seek to position learning technologies in learners’ ever more elaborate sociotechnical environments.

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