Title: Students' web-based actions when linking theory and practice

Authors: Linda Reneland-Forsman

Addresses: Department of Pedagogy, Linnaeus University, 351 95 Växjö, Sweden

Abstract: This study used representational affordances of IT to trace meaning making as the semiotic actions of training teachers in a web-based educational practice. Eighteen weeks of asynchronous communications were analysed using mediated discourse analysis. Results showed a process orientation in communication. Students were exposed to a variety of experiences and opinions, helping them to find ways to relate to theory. The link between theory and practice was helped by strategies as: 1) building upon the collective - from I to we; 2) introducing a cultural or historical shift; 3) making 'different' known and shared by the group; 4) revisiting earlier established concepts from the course. Results point towards the importance to address design aspects of working with the impact of other's represented experience and 'distance' as representations of actions providing distance to self, practice and thought as pedagogical aspects of the web-based environment.

Keywords: collaboration; meaning making; mediated discourse analysis; MDA; participation; professional training; student strategies; higher education; web-based education; semiotic actions; teacher training; web based communities; virtual communities; online communities; e-learning; online learning; electronic learning; virtual learning environments; VLEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2013.057220

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2013 Vol.9 No.4, pp.448 - 464

Published online: 30 Jan 2014 *

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