Investigating the difference in participation in discussion within class and online settings

Cooke, Lauren (2016) Investigating the difference in participation in discussion within class and online settings. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

This is a continuing qualitative action research inquiry which explores the different participation in class discussions compared to online discussions. The discussions are based on interpretations of set texts by an A Level English group. This paper describes the action research that has been carried out in this first cycle. The research is framed by socio-cultural and socio-constructive theories of language as a tool for learning. The implementation of research methods, namely student questionnaires, an audio-recording of a class discussion and posts from an online discussion forum, are discussed, accompanied by an analysis of findings. The findings reveal that students understand the purpose of discussion to facilitate learning and features of effective discussion. The principal conclusion is that online discussion can foster egalitarian, collaborative participation by creating an alternative dialogic space, though there are technical barriers to overcome. Moreover, findings suggest the presence of a virtual symmetrical intermental development zone. The findings also highlight implications of negative and ambivalent attitudes towards online discussion. Reflections on my findings from this action research cycle compel a further spiral to continue exploring participation in class discussion, with particular regard to identity and personal views and feelings.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gigg, Diane
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2017 13:32
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 18:13
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/43746

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