Sociotechnical mediation in learning communities by Xavier Inghilterra
Research supported by a French agency supporting technology development.
The study is focused on corporate training and to address key challenges in distance training:
- high drop out rates
- attendance at lecture courses declining
- active engagement in training also declining
Problem is on how to retain student interest through social network and “play-based” [gamification]. So postulate Twitter key tool for students to actively take part in courses. Twitter better enable social, informal and group learning – plastcity of the Twittersphere. [But, oh dear, has just used digital natives tag!! But latter refers to low level of mastery of digital skills]
Twitter enables asynchronous learning in a personal space that is integrated with the learning platform (Moodle). So Twitter is part of the digital ecosystem of the online course that includes other synchronous and formal “academic” components. [talks about a clear division between the academic and the ‘private’ sphere, but I’m not clear that these stand up].
Used a participative ethnographic study of three groups of bachelor students.
Found that without their knowledge, students developed skills in interacting with peers and tutor “outside the institutional conventions”.
This approach could be used to identify actors in learning communities for emulation [partly identified through SNA]
Found that Twitter was mainly used to foster/ develop a dynamic community of learners (synchronous learning platform stated as audio only so Twitter augments those synchronous events through link sharing etc.)