NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1039908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 78
ISSN: ISSN-1556-1607
The Dialectical Potential of Cultural Historical Activity Theory for Researching Sustainable CSCL Practices
Timmis, Sue
International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, v9 n1 p7-32 Mar 2014
This article explores conceptual and methodological challenges in researching sustainable computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) within authentic educational settings. It argues that to investigate the sustainability of CSCL in such settings, we need to understand how new innovations become enculturated as part of educational communities and the shared repertoires and practices of learners and teachers. The potential for Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) as a relational, dialectical framework for researching collaborative learning is examined. The article argues that, although CHAT is increasingly being used for researching educational settings, it is often employed only descriptively or as a set of guiding principles and the dialectical method, which focuses on emergent contradictions and tensions, is not always fully explored. An integrated conceptual and methodological CHAT framework is proposed for understanding the complex interrelations between discourse, actions and community and as a result how new technological innovations and knowledge creation practices can be appropriated and sustained. This is illustrated through the analytical processes undertaken in a recent empirical study of undergraduates working on an online collaborative research project. The article concludes by arguing that the dialectical method at the heart of CHAT is both unifying and problematizing and could allow us to develop a richer, more integrated and explanatory picture of sustainable CSCL activities.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; 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