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ERIC Number: EJ1023765
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1449-5554
"Partly Self-Made Niches"? Student-Only Spaces in an LMS
Pettit, John
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, v30 n1 p16-30 2014
Eighty-nine students were provided with a student-only live-voice space in a Learning Management System (LMS). Would they use it and, if so, would they feel sufficient ownership to create what Havnes (2008) described as "partly self-made niches"? In this study, a substantial proportion of respondents reported that they used the space not only for social support but also for key aspects of peer-learning. They reported that these student-only sessions gave them freedom to explore module-topics in new ways, and to share professional practice. Some disliked the lack of structure, but many valued the freedom to vary the focus and pace of their sessions. Several interviewees reported setting up sessions at short notice--for example, via "Twitter"--to meet their immediate concerns and requirements. A number of respondents valued these sessions as distinctive from, and complementary to, their tutorials in the same live-voice environment. The paper links these findings to debates about whether peer-learning should be explicitly organised, and about how education can disrupt itself as advocated by Bass (2012).
Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education. Ascilite Secretariat, P.O. Box 44, Figtree, NSW, Australia. Tel: +61-8-9367-1133; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A