ERIC Number: EJ812591
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Activity Theory as a Framework for Analysing Knowledge Building
Van Aalst, Jan; Hill, Cher M.
Learning Environments Research, v9 n1 p23-44 Apr 2006
Content analyses of computer databases parsed into notes or ideas do not shed adequate light on the role of collaboration and the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning environment in knowledge building; analysis of what is happening in the classroom and how students interpret that is also needed. This study used ethnographic methods to explore activity theory as an analytic framework for knowledge building, drawing from a class of Grade 4 students' contributions to online and face-to-face discourse over a period of five months, as well as end-of-year interviews with the students. The analysis focuses on four issues: community; rules; mediating artefacts; and division of labour. The findings indicate how understanding such issues can lead to better understanding of collaboration and of the role of the online environment. The use of activity theory as a framework for improving pedagogy aimed at knowledge building is also outlined.
Descriptors: Computer Mediated Communication, Ethnography, Cooperation, Grade 4, Content Analysis, Educational Environment, Interviews, Databases
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 4
Authoring Institution: N/A