Methodological perspectives on applying activity theory to CSCL research and practice

Mwanza, Daisy (2003). Methodological perspectives on applying activity theory to CSCL research and practice. In: Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL 2003), 14-18 Jun 2003, Bergen, Norway.



This workshop will examine current methods for operationalising concepts of Activity Theory (AT) in relation to the design and analysis of CSCL tools. At least three methods will be presented by invited speakers. These methods will be explored further in small group and plenary discussions.

Workshop Description

The workshop will be offered in three 2-hour slots. In each slot, the facilitators will give a brief introduction to basics of AT and systems design. Thereafter, an invited speaker will present a method for operationalising AT in CSCL. Following this, participants will break up in small groups to discuss the presented method. Finally, plenary discussions will take place to share ideas and reflect on issues raised. Materials required to support workshop activities will include a computer running PowerPoint for presentations, paper note-pads, pens, a flip chart and marker pens.

Discussion in this workshop will explore practical challenges of applying AT to CSCL by addressing questions concerned with:

How to use AT to account for pedagogical and collaborative issues when designing and analysing CSCL tools?
How to decide on which concepts of AT to focus on?
How to map theory onto design?
How to validate the method used to map theory onto practice?
What part of design to focus on?
What form to present output or analytical findings?
How to evaluate the usability of an AT informed method used

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