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Online-offline learning spaces in language focused higher education: (re)visiting boundaries
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1846-858X
Dalarna University.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As Technology Mediated Communication increasingly becomes a dimension of everyday life in different parts of the globe, human-beings have access to substantially different ways of engaging in learning and instructional practices “on the go”. Logistical issues take on newer dimensions here. Learning gets more clearly framed in terms of participation in distributed networks of relationships across both geopolitical and virtual spaces. From a researcher position, this allows for an analytical focus upon externalizing human experiences through a range of practices, inscriptions and technologies.

The study presented in this paper has a dual aim: (i) present salient features of virtual institutional spaces where language learning is focused within higher education; (ii) discuss issues of fieldwork boundaries in netnography and theorise methodologies that follow participants both across time and space and across language varieties and modalities that are afforded when human-beings communicate in synchronous online-offline spaces (Bagga-Gupta, Messina Dahlberg & Gynne, 2014).

The empirical data focused here is drawn from a large project at the Communication, Culture and Diversity, CCD research group in Sweden (www.oru.se/humus/ccd/) which includes 80 hours of naturally occurring interactional materials, generated through screen recordings of online sessions of an Italian for Beginners course offered by a Swedish university (www.oru.se/english/research/CINLE, Dahlberg & Bagga-Gupta, 2013). The study investigates analytical and theoretical-methodological issues related to languaging and participation in virtual institutional environments across micro-macro scales. Sociocultural and postcolonial framings are deployed with the aim of throwing light upon netbased language learning and social positionings therein.

The language varieties used in the virtual glocal community we focus are framed in terms of complex ”mobile resources” (Pennycook, 2012:27) that shift fluidly across contexts, modes, time and space (Bagga-Gupta, 2013). Mobility “affects the nature and function of the conventional conception of language in linguistics” (Blommaert, 2010:21) when human-beings are not required to leave their physical settings in order to participate in the physical sites where a course is delivered.

Our preliminary findings suggest that interactional spaces of virtual courses are co-created by members in the situated-distributed practices across space and time. The epistemologies of ‘Timespace’ in such open-spaces are contingent upon members’ (im)mobility in that they are participants in different constellations distributed in online-offline spaces simultaneously. Here the notion of mobility is twofold: on the one hand, participants negotiate their rights as members of online glocal spaces of the virtual classroom across the boundaries of different geopolitical locations; on the other hand mobility is framed in terms of the manipulation of offline-online information and artifacts in the virtual collaborative setting. Attending to the fallacy of thinking in terms of fieldwork in static geopolitical spaces and communities, our take on mobility is also related to dismantling the dichotomies real/virtual, face-to-face/technology-mediated, etc in favour of a nexus-like perspective. Here the focus lies on the distributed-discursive constitution of the participants’ worlds in concert with artifacts where the boundaries of what is real and tangible and what is curtailed and obscure become both fluid-diffuse and concrete-tangible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
virtual learning spaces, language education, boundary-turn, postcolonial, Technology Mediated Communication, nothnography
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-33518OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-33518DiVA: diva2:1047532
Conference
EARLI, European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction, SIG 10, 21 & 25 "Social Interaction in Learning and Instruction","Learning and Teaching in Culturally Diverse Settings" and "Educational Theory" 27-30 August 2014. Padova, Italy
Projects
CINLE
Note

Paper presented at the joint SIG 10, 21, 25 EARLI, European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction conference: Open spaces for interaction and learning diversities. 27-30 August 2014. Padova, Italy.

Available from: 2014-11-13 Created: 2016-11-17 Last updated: 2017-07-12

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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