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Teaching practices in Second Life: Sociomaterial matters
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8390-7975
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, technology use in a higher education setting online are analysed with a sociomaterial approach. The overarching aim with the study reported is to analyse the relation between teaching practice and technology in online pedagogy and the paper seeks to answer the question on how the online setting studied becomes intelligible as a teaching practice. A single subject university course in spoken language carried out online in the virtual world of Second Life® constitutes the setting. An online ethnographic approach with a major focus on participant observation of the teaching in the course has been used. Theoretical concepts on practice based on Schatzki are used in the analysis. The result shows that teaching practices in online settings are made intelligible through intentional, causal, spatial and prefigurative relations between teaching practices and material arrangements. The intelligibility of a setting is not created in advance, but is emergent and multifaceted.

Keyword [en]
Practice theory; sociomaterial; virtual world; higher education; educational technology; internet research
National Category
Pedagogy Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117195OAI: diva2:806800
Available from: 2015-04-21 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-21Bibliographically 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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