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Teachers' embodied presence in online teaching practices
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8390-7975
2016 (English)In: Studies in Continuing Education, ISSN 0158-037X, E-ISSN 1470-126X, Vol. 38, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study aims to examine teachers’ embodiments online. The analysis is based ononline ethnographic data from two online courses in higher education settings usingdifferent information and communication technologies. The perspective of practicetheory and the concepts of being a body, having a body and the instrumental body wereused to analyse how teachers step into an embodied presence. The embodied presencedepends on both teacher judgements and what the technology offers. The finding addsto the understanding of the concept of teacher presence online, in showing that teacherembodiment occurs online and furthermore that the body could be understood asmultiple. The result also shows how online and offline bodies hang together,actualising the offline body in the online setting, which in turn raises questions onthe dualism of online and offline. Teachers also deliberately used their embodimentsand bodily traces online in order to sustain presence and to bring about certain teachingpractices. Their bodily positioning signalled what kind of teaching that would takeplace. A deliberate positioning of the online body in a virtual world also helped toreduce the complexity of the arrangements for the students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016. Vol. 38, no 1
Keyword [en]
teacher embodiment, teaching practices, sociomaterial, online ethnography, higher education
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112886DOI: 10.1080/0158037X.2014.988701ISI: 000370629900001OAI: diva2:773381
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2016-06-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Online teaching practices: Sociomaterial matters in higher education settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Online teaching practices: Sociomaterial matters in higher education settings
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Undervisningspraktiker online : Ett sociomateriellt perspektiv på högre utbildning
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to describe and analyse online teaching practices in the Swedish higher education context. The study had an online ethnographic approach and was based on empirical data on the teaching in two university courses. The study rested primarily on observational data but interviews and available documents also formed the basis for analysis. Empirical data were analysed with a perspective of practice theory – a perspective within a sociomaterial account. The results showed that online teaching was characterised by an embodied sociomaterial practice. The teacher’s body could be understood as both multiple and closely interwoven with technology. Furthermore, the teacher’s body was used in the teaching situation to reduce technological complexity but also, along with other forms of materiality, to prefigure what kind of teaching would take place. Teacher interventions in online environments could furthermore be understood as relational to both technology (that is the virtual material arrangement) and teachers’ doings and sayings (that is the teaching practice). Teacher interventions were aimed at making the arrangement intelligible for the students. The study showed that teacher interventions arranged both students and information and communication technology (ICT) in order to make them work as a teaching practice. The teaching practice that emerged was characterised as an interplay between virtual materiality and social practice, where asymmetricrelations between teachers and the ICT prevailed.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med föreliggande studie var att beskriva och analysera undervisningspraktiker online i svensk högre utbildningskontext. Studien har en onlineetnografisk ansats och baseras på empiriska data av undervisningen i två kurser på universitetsnivå. Studien stödjer sig främst på observationsdata men även intervjuer och dokumentstudier ligger som grund för analysen. Empiriska data har analyserats med ett praktikteoretiskt perspektiv – ett perspektiv inom sociomateriell teoribildning. Resultatet visar att undervisning online kännetecknas av en förkroppsligad sociomateriell praktik. Lärarkroppen kan förstås som både multipel och tätt sammanvävd med teknologi. Vidare används lärarkroppen i undervisningssituationen för att reducera komplexitet men även för att, tillsammans med annan materialitet, prefigurera vad det är för typ av undervisning som kommer att utspela sig. Vidare kan lärarinterventioner i onlinemiljöer förstås som relationella till både tekniken (det vill säga det virtuellt materiella arrangemanget) och lärares göranden och säganden (det vill säga undervisningspraktiken). Lärarinterventioner syftar till att göra arrangemanget begripligt för studenterna. Studien visar att lärarinterventionerna arrangerar både studenter och informations- och kommunikationsteknologi (IKT) i syfte att få dem att fungera som en undervisningspraktik. Den undervisningspraktik som uppstår är inte given på förhand utan emergent. Den karaktäriseras av ett samspel mellan virtuell materialitet och social praktik där asymmetriska relationer mellan lärare och IKT råder.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 120 p.
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 190
Practice theory, sociomaterial, ICT, distance education, e-learning, online ethnography, internet research, higher education, virtual worlds, LMS, VLE, Praktikteori, sociomaterialitet, IKT, distansutbildning, e-lärande, onlineetnografi, internetforskning, högre utbildning, virtuella världar, LMS, VLE
National Category
Pedagogy Educational Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117275 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-117275 (DOI)978-91-7519-123-2 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-22, Eklundska salen (sal 101), Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-04-21 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-21Bibliographically approved

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