Portraits of the activity systems of postsecondary international students in online learning: from tensions to transformations in activity

Rodrigues-Manzanares, Maria A. (2012) Portraits of the activity systems of postsecondary international students in online learning: from tensions to transformations in activity. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to portray the activity systems of postsecondary international students enrolled in online courses in order to identify opportunities for positive transformations in the activity of learning. Data collection and data analysis were guided by Activity Theory (AT) and relied on individual interviews. The five students who participated in the study were speakers of English as an Additional Language enrolled at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Findings were reported as individual portraits of the activity systems of the students. Cross analysis of the portraits revealed the following themes: Asynchronous, Text-Based Interaction; Synchronous Interaction; Time and Place Flexibility; Social and Cultural Interaction; Teaching Presence; and Independent Learning. The themes were analysed in relation to AT's five principles. A more in-depth focus on the principle of contradictions or tensions supported the identification of opportunities for positive transformations in the activity of learning which included: students' preference for asynchronous interaction; inclusion of face-to-face and online synchronous interaction in online courses; inclusion of a greater variety of media; students' preference for independent learning; support and facilitation of independent learning; enhanced teaching presence; inclusion of first-language online resources; enhanced language-related services and supports; cultural inclusivity; social interaction; and networks of international and domestic students for social and cultural interaction.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6150
Item ID: 6150
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 220-254).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Students, Foreign--Education (Higher); University extension; Interaction analysis in education; Transformative learning;

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