The discourses of teaching and learning online

Santos, Andreia Inamorato dos (2010). The discourses of teaching and learning online. PhD thesis The Open University.



This research investigates the discourses of e-learning and the way in which these discourses underpin the practices in the field. Having reviewed the relevant literature and looked at the teaching practices in two case studies, I propose that the collaborative learning discourse is very significant in e-learning, but that the didactic and institutional discourses, although not as immediately evident, are equally important in shaping the practices of online teaching and learning.

The intertextual nature of all texts, in particular the different voices found in the language of the tasks in the case studies, reveal that the practice associated with online teaching and learning draw on texts and voices from three discourses, collaborative learning, didactic and institutional.

Drawing on a Foucauldian perspective of discourse, the investigation of how the discourses operate at the level of practice makes it possible to look at the teaching and learning practices in the field of educational technology from a discursive perspective. In so doing, the historical and contextual perspectives embedded in the teaching and learning practices are taken into account, the aim being to understand the complexity and range of elements that help construct these practices.

Finally, the contributions of the study to the field are indentified, and some suggestions are made regarding the possible direction of future research.

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