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Online teaching practices: Sociomaterial matters in higher education settings
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8390-7975
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Undervisningspraktiker online : Ett sociomateriellt perspektiv på högre utbildning (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to describe and analyse online teaching practices in the Swedish higher education context. The study had an online ethnographic approach and was based on empirical data on the teaching in two university courses. The study rested primarily on observational data but interviews and available documents also formed the basis for analysis. Empirical data were analysed with a perspective of practice theory – a perspective within a sociomaterial account. The results showed that online teaching was characterised by an embodied sociomaterial practice. The teacher’s body could be understood as both multiple and closely interwoven with technology. Furthermore, the teacher’s body was used in the teaching situation to reduce technological complexity but also, along with other forms of materiality, to prefigure what kind of teaching would take place. Teacher interventions in online environments could furthermore be understood as relational to both technology (that is the virtual material arrangement) and teachers’ doings and sayings (that is the teaching practice). Teacher interventions were aimed at making the arrangement intelligible for the students. The study showed that teacher interventions arranged both students and information and communication technology (ICT) in order to make them work as a teaching practice. The teaching practice that emerged was characterised as an interplay between virtual materiality and social practice, where asymmetricrelations between teachers and the ICT prevailed.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med föreliggande studie var att beskriva och analysera undervisningspraktiker online i svensk högre utbildningskontext. Studien har en onlineetnografisk ansats och baseras på empiriska data av undervisningen i två kurser på universitetsnivå. Studien stödjer sig främst på observationsdata men även intervjuer och dokumentstudier ligger som grund för analysen. Empiriska data har analyserats med ett praktikteoretiskt perspektiv – ett perspektiv inom sociomateriell teoribildning. Resultatet visar att undervisning online kännetecknas av en förkroppsligad sociomateriell praktik. Lärarkroppen kan förstås som både multipel och tätt sammanvävd med teknologi. Vidare används lärarkroppen i undervisningssituationen för att reducera komplexitet men även för att, tillsammans med annan materialitet, prefigurera vad det är för typ av undervisning som kommer att utspela sig. Vidare kan lärarinterventioner i onlinemiljöer förstås som relationella till både tekniken (det vill säga det virtuellt materiella arrangemanget) och lärares göranden och säganden (det vill säga undervisningspraktiken). Lärarinterventioner syftar till att göra arrangemanget begripligt för studenterna. Studien visar att lärarinterventionerna arrangerar både studenter och informations- och kommunikationsteknologi (IKT) i syfte att få dem att fungera som en undervisningspraktik. Den undervisningspraktik som uppstår är inte given på förhand utan emergent. Den karaktäriseras av ett samspel mellan virtuell materialitet och social praktik där asymmetriska relationer mellan lärare och IKT råder.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 120 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 190
Keyword [en]
Practice theory, sociomaterial, ICT, distance education, e-learning, online ethnography, internet research, higher education, virtual worlds, LMS, VLE
Keyword [sv]
Praktikteori, sociomaterialitet, IKT, distansutbildning, e-lärande, onlineetnografi, internetforskning, högre utbildning, virtuella världar, LMS, VLE
National Category
Pedagogy Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117275DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-117275ISBN: 978-91-7519-123-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-117275DiVA: diva2:806805
Public defence
2015-05-22, Eklundska salen (sal 101), Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-04-21 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Teachers' embodied presence in online teaching practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teachers' embodied presence in online teaching practices
2016 (English)In: Studies in Continuing Education, ISSN 0158-037X, E-ISSN 1470-126X, Vol. 38, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study aims to examine teachers’ embodiments online. The analysis is based ononline ethnographic data from two online courses in higher education settings usingdifferent information and communication technologies. The perspective of practicetheory and the concepts of being a body, having a body and the instrumental body wereused to analyse how teachers step into an embodied presence. The embodied presencedepends on both teacher judgements and what the technology offers. The finding addsto the understanding of the concept of teacher presence online, in showing that teacherembodiment occurs online and furthermore that the body could be understood asmultiple. The result also shows how online and offline bodies hang together,actualising the offline body in the online setting, which in turn raises questions onthe dualism of online and offline. Teachers also deliberately used their embodimentsand bodily traces online in order to sustain presence and to bring about certain teachingpractices. Their bodily positioning signalled what kind of teaching that would takeplace. A deliberate positioning of the online body in a virtual world also helped toreduce the complexity of the arrangements for the students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016
Keyword
teacher embodiment, teaching practices, sociomaterial, online ethnography, higher education
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112886 (URN)10.1080/0158037X.2014.988701 (DOI)000370629900001 ()
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Teacher interventions in online teaching practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teacher interventions in online teaching practices
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses teacher interventions in online teaching practices through the lens of practice theory. The analysis has its point of departure in an online ethnographic study comprising two settings, each focusing on a university course carried out entirely online. In this article, it is argued that the mode of teacher interventions is relational to the particular ICT that was used in each course. Furthermore, teacher interventions arranged both human and non-human entities to work as an interrelated teaching practice. This structuring of the teaching practice could be seen as a complex interplay of pedagogy, technology and the coconstitution of these. Teachers’ actions were organised by teleoaffective structures producing a calm and safe climate. Teachers fostered students’ learning by forcing the technology into the background so that students could focus on subject matter.

Keyword
Teaching practices; sociomaterial; online ethnography; higher education; internet research
National Category
Pedagogy Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117193 (URN)
Available from: 2015-04-21 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-21Bibliographically approved
3. The emergence of online teaching practices: A sociomaterial analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The emergence of online teaching practices: A sociomaterial analysis
2016 (English)In: Learning, Media & Technology, ISSN 1743-9884, E-ISSN 1743-9892, Vol. 41, no 3, 444-462 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article was to analyse relations between online teaching practices and their virtual material arrangements. Two higher education online settings were studied using an online ethnographic approach in which observation of the teaching process was of central importance. The first setting was a course in education carried out on itslearning© (a learning management system) and the second setting was a language course in Second Life® (a virtual world). A sociomaterial perspective based on practice theory was used in the analysis, and the focal point was the co-constitutive relation between teaching practices and material arrangements in online settings. A number of relations between practice and arrangement were identified and analysed in the results section. It is argued that the relation between online arrangements and practice is not fixed and determined beforehand, but emerges and alters as the teaching unfolds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016
Keyword
Arrangement; teaching practice; sociomaterial; higher education; internet research
National Category
Pedagogy Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117194 (URN)10.1080/17439884.2015.1044536 (DOI)000381359100002 ()
Note

On the day of the defence date the status of this article was Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-04-21 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Teaching practices in Second Life: Sociomaterial matters
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching practices in Second Life: Sociomaterial matters
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, technology use in a higher education setting online are analysed with a sociomaterial approach. The overarching aim with the study reported is to analyse the relation between teaching practice and technology in online pedagogy and the paper seeks to answer the question on how the online setting studied becomes intelligible as a teaching practice. A single subject university course in spoken language carried out online in the virtual world of Second Life® constitutes the setting. An online ethnographic approach with a major focus on participant observation of the teaching in the course has been used. Theoretical concepts on practice based on Schatzki are used in the analysis. The result shows that teaching practices in online settings are made intelligible through intentional, causal, spatial and prefigurative relations between teaching practices and material arrangements. The intelligibility of a setting is not created in advance, but is emergent and multifaceted.

Keyword
Practice theory; sociomaterial; virtual world; higher education; educational technology; internet research
National Category
Pedagogy Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117195 (URN)
Available from: 2015-04-21 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-21Bibliographically approved

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