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Networks and Nodes: The Practices of Local Learning Centres
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Sociology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 156
Keyword [en]
Learning Centres, adult education, videoconference, actor-networks, actors, networks
Keyword [sv]
Lärcentra, vuxenutbildning, videokonferens aktörsnätverk, aktörer, nätverk
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69601ISBN: 978-91-7393-249-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-69601DiVA: diva2:429634
Public defence
2011-01-21, Eklundska salen, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-07-05 Created: 2011-07-05 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Lärcentra som mäklare av högre utbildning?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lärcentra som mäklare av högre utbildning?
2008 (Swedish)In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 13, no 2, 103-122 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Den här artikeln beskriver näringslivets och offentliga arbetsgivares syn på utbildning, kompetens och lärande samt diskuterar lärcentras roll som mäklare av högskolekurser. Syftet är att öka kunskapen om lärcentras verksamhet och bidra med ett teoretiskt perspektiv som lägger fokus på relationen och utbytet mellan lärcentra och andra aktörer inom utbildning för vuxna. I artikeln används aktörsnätverksteorin (ANT) för att beskriva och analysera lärcentras försök att etablera nya relationer till omgivande aktörsnätverk och stärka länkar till redan etablerade noder. Resultaten pekar både på likheter och på olikheter i uppfattning mellan lärcentra och arbetsorganisationerna. En samfälld individcentrerad bild kontrasteras mot ett produktionsinriktat perspektiv på kompetensutvecklingsfrågor. Här finns också skillnader i inriktning mellan högskolans utbildningsutbud och den efterfrågan som råder hos arbetsorganisationerna. Artikeln pekar även på förhållandevis svaga kontakter mellan lärcentra och arbetsorganisationerna i regionen. Lärcentras möjligheter att fungera som mäklare av utbildning begränsas inte i första hand av skilda uppfattningar om kompetensutveckling utan snarare av ett ensidigt kursutbud och marknadsföringsstrategier som inte tar tillräcklig hänsyn till förekomsten av olika aktörsnätverk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Institutionen för pedagogik, Göteborgs universitet, 2008
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69598 (URN)
Available from: 2011-07-05 Created: 2011-07-05 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. Constructing Actor-Networks for the Practice of Local Learning Centres in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Constructing Actor-Networks for the Practice of Local Learning Centres in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study concerns how the local learning centres (LLC) organisation constructs a network within the practice of adult education in Sweden. In a number of interviews the representatives of the LLC organisation describe the strains of networking; obstacles and strategies to involve new actors in the network. This study seeks to outline the different interest of the LLC organisation and investigate the obstacles and strategies used in the process of constructing a network of adult education. The network construction is described from the viewpoint of the representatives and the study takes on the perspective of actor-network theory. The results of the study show how actors are considered to be „self-evident‟, „interposed‟ or „reluctant‟ towards involvement in the network. The enrolment is compromised by geographical issues and the autonomy of actors. The process of translation is also constrained by formal requirements, financial problems and lack of interest from target groups. The article discusses the strivings of the organisation to receive a strong position as an indispensable actor in a network of adult education. It will be argued that actors resist involvement despite different strategies of enrolment and that the network is still under construction which gives the LLC organisation uncertain prospects.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69599 (URN)
Available from: 2011-07-05 Created: 2011-07-05 Last updated: 2011-07-05Bibliographically approved
3. Constructing learning spaces? Videoconferencing at local learning centres in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Constructing learning spaces? Videoconferencing at local learning centres in Sweden
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
Keyword
videoconferencing, adult education, local learning centres, learning spaces, actor-network theory
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-64234 (URN)10.1080/0158037X.2010.517993 (DOI)000285186700001 ()
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2011-07-05Bibliographically approved
4. In the framework of videoconference classrooms at local learning centres in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In the framework of videoconference classrooms at local learning centres in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article explores the practice of videoconferencing and draws on interaction in class based on ethnographic fieldwork carried out at local learning centres in Sweden. The study is based on participant observations focusing on communication and the role of the teacher in a videoconferencing class. The results of the study shed light on different functions of the teachers’ questions such as rhetorical, expanding and provocative. Further, talk in videoconferencing lacks systems of proper back-channel cues and communication often fails as a result of low feedback. The study also shows that there is a lack of balance in the distribution of utterances between the teacher and the students and that interaction is often one-way. The teacher becomes an actor in class reacting against low feedback. Questions and statements posed by the teacher are designed to break through the barriers of mediating technology. Also interaction patterns are impaired by misunderstandings and the practice is described as a learning space imbued with the rationale of communication technology.

Keyword
Videoconference, local learning centres, adult education, education technology
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69600 (URN)
Available from: 2011-07-05 Created: 2011-07-05 Last updated: 2011-07-05

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Lögdlund, Ulrik

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