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Constructing learning spaces? Videoconferencing at local learning centres in Sweden
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Sociology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2010 (English)In: Studies in Continuing Education, ISSN 0158-037X, E-ISSN 1470-126X, Vol. 32, no 3, 183-199 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores videoconferencing in the context of local learning centres in Sweden. The practice is described as a learning space in which adult learners construct socio-spatial relations. The study goes beyond a sociological apprehension of actors and opposes the idea of the material as neutral, passive and conformed by practice. On the contrary, the classroom layouts and the technical artefacts have a profound impact on interaction, communication and learning. The results of the study concern how human actors have to take on different strategies to escape the influence of material actors. It will be argued that the learning space of videoconferencing is a network of interrelations in which control is handed over from humans to material actors. In terms of learning, we may have to rethink the roles of environments and technical artifacts and reconsider such predetermined and static roles of material objects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor and Francis , 2010. Vol. 32, no 3, 183-199 p.
Keyword [en]
videoconferencing, adult education, local learning centres, learning spaces, actor-network theory
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-64234DOI: 10.1080/0158037X.2010.517993ISI: 000285186700001OAI: diva2:388425
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2011-07-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Networks and Nodes: The Practices of Local Learning Centres
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Networks and Nodes: The Practices of Local Learning Centres
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on the practice of local learning centres in Sweden. The aim is to describe and to establish an understanding of relations and the actor-networks that surround the practice. The thesis is based on four different studies. The first two studies focus on the organisation of the local learning centres and scrutinises the relation between the local learning centres, municipal administration and business in the region. What types of relations exist and what strategies are used by the local learning centres to enrol actors into the actor-network? The two latter studies investigate videoconference in the context of local learning centres. Videoconference is described as a socio-technical environment. The studies focus on interaction and communications asking what kind of relations are created between environment, material design and people? The theoretical framework consists of actor-network theory and the notions of space and spatial relations. The methods used in the four studies are interviews and observations. Informants that have contributed to the study are headmasters, teachers and students as well as project managers, politicians and businessmen. The results of the studies show how the local learning centres fails as brokers on an educational market. The reasons are many. The main results of the studies stress a number of obstacles of involvement and shed light on different strategies of enrolment. The results connected to videoconference show how material design and technology impacts the practice. Different strategies are developed by participants to manoeuvre in the videoconferencing classrooms. In conclusion the four studies show how actor-networks influence the practice of local learning centres by representations.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling är en studie om lärcentra i Sverige. Syftet är att beskriva och öka kunskapen om de relationer och de aktörsnätverk som omger praktiken. Avhandlingen bygger på resultat från fyra olika delstudier. Fokus i två av dessa ligger på lärcentra som organisation. Hur ser relationen mellan lärcentra och omgivande aktörer ut i regionen och vilka strategier används för att skapa aktörsnätverk? De övriga två studierna handlar om videokonferens där fokus ligger på hur relationer skapas mellan miljö, teknik och människor. Särskilt studeras interaktion och kommunikation mellan dessa aktörer i en utpräglat socioteknisk lärandemiljö. Den teoretiska ramen för de olika delstudierna är aktörsnätverksteori som används tillsammans med begrepp som spatiala relationer. De fyra studierna använder sig i huvudsak av kvalitativa metoder som intervjuer och observationsstudier. Datainsamlingen berör en bred samling informanter som rektorer, lärare och studenter tillsammans med projektledare, politiker och företagare. Studiernas resultat visar att det finns skilda synsätt på utbildning och kompetens mellan olika grupper av aktörer. Trots involveringsstrategier av aktörer från omgivande aktörsnätverk lyckas man inte agera som en mäklare på en utbildningsmarknad. Resultaten visar vidare att miljö tillsammans med teknik har stort inflytande på hur studenter och lärare agerar i videokonferensklassrummen. Det är den materiella designen och den tekniska logiken som styr praktiken. Resultaten visar också på hur olika studerandestrategier utvecklas för att stå utanför interaktion i klassrummet tillsammans med hur lärares kommunikation utvecklas för att överbrygga avståndet till de studerande. Sammantaget visar de fyra studierna på hur olika aktörsnätverk inverkar på praktiken genom representationer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 63 + studies 1-4 p.
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 156
Learning Centres, adult education, videoconference, actor-networks, actors, networks, Lärcentra, vuxenutbildning, videokonferens aktörsnätverk, aktörer, nätverk
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69601 (URN)978-91-7393-249-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-01-21, Eklundska salen, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-07-05 Created: 2011-07-05 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved

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