ERIC Number: ED461735
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Online Learning for Labour Movement Activists. NALL Working Paper.
Sawchuk, Peter H.
A study explored informal learning in relation to online communications and working class people's use of computers as a socially situated practice rooted in collective, communal relationships. It drew on analysis of online learning workshop participation in specially initiated sessions among Canadian labor activist/educators. Findings were based on analysis of interview and survey data and content and interaction analysis of online postings. Survey data indicated participants had computer literacy levels exceeding those of the general population; the majority had access to home and/or workplace computers for workshop participation; and communication with participants and non-participants beyond the formal structure of the workshop was crucial. Interviews showed a better understanding was needed of the dynamics of informal learning in virtual space; key barriers to online learning among activist/educators were resources, time, distance, and extensive reading and writing requirements; and a less obvious barrier concerned "communication literacy," a basic appreciation of the mechanics of interaction, turn-taking, and explicit framing and re-framing of the situation. Strong evidence suggested online learning could be a valuable addition to the labor movement's education/communication capacity, an important part of which revolved around recognition of informal learning, tacit dimensions of participation, broader context of participants' lives, and linkages between the online and offline worlds. (Conains 32 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Activism, Adult Education, Communication Skills, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Attitudes, Computer Literacy, Developed Nations, Educational Research, Foreign Countries, Informal Education, Interaction, Labor Education, Online Courses, Online Systems, Telecommunications, Unions, Working Class, Workshops
For full text: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/depts/sese/csew/nall/res/46onlinelear ning.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto. New Approaches to Lifelong Learning.
Identifiers - Location: Canada