Candidate Monica Johannesen's avhandling for graden Ph.D.

Avhandlingens tittel er:

The Sociomateriality of Teaching. Virtual Learning Environments in Teaching Practice.

The aim of this study is to contribute with insight into teaching practices with virtual learning environments (VLEs). The study addresses the question of how the use of VLEs plays a part in the teaching practices of primary school teachers and higher education lecturers. This has been approached by empirical studies of teachers' practices with VLE, in terms of interviews about and logging of daily teaching practice. Theoretically the study employs a sociomaterial perspective, based on actor-network theory, to analyse the teaching activities with VLEs. The findings show that new actors, such as the VLE itself, contribute to efficient communication and work as allies for student information gathering. The findings suggest that changes have taken place in the roles of the existing actors, such as assignment drafts, evaluation criteria, student study routines and teaching schedules.

The findings also show that professional identities and epistemic cultures are shaped both by human and non-human actants. The inscription of pedagogical beliefs of a professional community (such as a department/faculty) plays a key role in the general inclination among this community to questioning the inscribed functionality of implemented VLE tools, such as the multiple-choice-test tools.

The findings from data gathered in primary schools show that VLE enrols parents, students and teachers into a network of assessment by means of the written evaluation form. Accordingly, the VLE is an active actant in educational reforms, in terms of supporting both summative assessment and formative assessment.

Finally, the findings identify three major types of actor-networks that are relevant to processes of sociomaterial agency in teaching practice with VLE, namely that of: the network of meeting national and local expectations of how education is supposed to be organised, the network of supporting good learning and teaching strategies and the network to realise pedagogical beliefs.

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Publisert 18. feb. 2013 14:10 - Sist endret 18. feb. 2013 14:15