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Public Defence: Jo Inge Johansen Frøytlog

Master Jo Inge Johansen Frøytlog at the Department of Education will defend the dissertation "Participation in classroom dialogues mediated by microblogging technology: Multidimensional investigations" for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD).

Photo of Jo Inge Johansen Frøytlog.

Jo Inge Johansen Frøytlog (photo: Anki Strøm).

Trial lecture

See trial lecture

Adjudication committee

  • 1st Opponent Professor Adam Lefstein, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

  • 2nd Opponent Dr Judith Kleine-Staarman, University of Exeter, UK

  • Committee Chair Professor Anders Mørch, Department of Education, University of Oslo

Chair of Defence

Professor Palmyre Pierroux, Department of Education, University of Oslo



Digital tools provide new pedagogical opportunities in the classroom; however, there is limited research on how digital tools can be used to support student participation in productive dialogues.

This thesis explores how the microblogging tool Talkwall, developed by researchers and educators in collaboration, can be used in lower-secondary classrooms to get students involved in productive dialogues. The empirical material consisted mainly of video observations of 14 teachers and their students from four schools in the Oslo area in Norway. Three overarching questions are discussed in the thesis: 1) How microblogging is purposely used to get students actively involved in productive classroom dialogues, 2) How communicative processes in dialogue-based learning activities mediated by microblogging can be conceptualized, and 3) How participation in classroom dialogues mediated by microblogging can be approached methodologically. These questions are discussed in part one of the extended abstract and connected to the main findings from three empirical studies in part two of the extended abstract. These studies constitute the empirical basis of the thesis. 

The main point in the first article is to explore the potential of microblogging for supporting the teacher in ensuring that whole-class dialogues are both distributed and productive. A mixed-methods approach shows how many teachers chose to use microblogging as a means to connect learning activities in the classroom, and at the interactional level, we show how microblogging contributes to strengthening the collective aspects of learning activities in a specific whole-class context where productive dialogues are distributed to many students.

In the second article, we investigate how a teacher uses microblogging to help his students realize their voices and perspectives in productive discussions about a sensitive science topic. Analysis of microblogging and dialogues at the interactional level shows how microblogging changes the conditions for meaning-making when the tool introduces new principles of sequentiality in the communication dynamic. We argue that these new principles are key explanations for why microblogging also changes conditions for realizing voice about a sensitive science topic in the current context.

In the third article, I explore how a network approach to teachers’ interactional management in digitally supported whole-class discussions can provide distinct and educationally relevant insights into the relation between teacher– student and student–student interactions in the current context. The network approach is combined with indicators of interactional productivity and shows how teacher mediation of interactions in this context is important to get productive interactions distributed to different students. There are good reasons for giving students a greater sense of agency and responsibility in classroom discussions by letting them control more of the turn-taking; however, the article highlights how important teacher-mediated interactions are for making productive discussions inclusive.

Taken together, the articles illustrate the educational value of a multidimensional approach to classroom dialogues in a microblogging context.The thesis is written within the field of education, and the work has been conducted at the Department of Education, University of Oslo.

Published Sep. 16, 2022 11:30 AM - Last modified Sep. 18, 2022 8:05 PM