Learning in the wild: a phenomenological investigation of online volunteer translation

Comas-Quinn, Anna (2018). Learning in the wild: a phenomenological investigation of online volunteer translation. In: didTRAD PACTE 2018: Fourth International Conference on Research into Didactics of Translation, 20-22 Jun 2018, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

URL: http://grupsderecerca.uab.cat/pacte/sites/grupsder...


In this presentation I consider how translation education might respond to the technology-led changes that have given rise to online volunteer translation (O’Hagan, 2016).

The use of digital tools and content, many of which are openly available, and the learning opportunities these afford (Lerga & Aibar, 2013) have widened the choices for those who want to become professional translators, enabling them to pursue a variety of routes into the profession, which may or may not include formal learning. At the same time, educators might want to provide a more situated and authentic learning experience for their learners (Kiraly et al, 2016), or even dare to embrace a hybrid pedagogy (Stommel, 2012) that is mindful of the key role of less traditional, teacher-centered pedagogical approaches whilst capitalizing on the digital, open, situated, experiential, collaborative and process- and community-based learning experiences already available to learners.

A phenomenological investigation, part of a doctoral research project, was carried out with TED Translators (https://www.ted.com/participate/translate) volunteers from across the globe to tease out the characteristics of their experiences and understand how these experiences fit in with their educational and professional aspirations and trajectories.

With a particular focus on learning in the context of TED Translators, I will discuss various ways in which teachers and learners may involve themselves in this volunteer activity to develop translation, digital and collaboration skills whilst contributing to society through the creation of civic value (Shirky, 2010).

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