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Contexts, codes and online communications : exploring issues related to using and analysing computer-mediated communications in educational contexts
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Susan Davis
Many educators are currently interested in using computer-mediated communications to support learning and creative practice in various fields. In my work I have been looking at how we might create drama through using cyberspaces, working with teachers and students in secondary school contexts. In trying to understand issues that have arisen and ways of working with the data I have found a number of frameworks helpful for analysing the online interactions. These frameworks draw from O’Toole’s work on contexts negotiated in the creation of drama and other frameworks drawn from Bakhtin and Vygotsky’s work on speech utterances, dialogic processes and internalisation of learning. What has emerged has been the understanding that whilst students may regularly use various online spaces outside of the educational context, this doesn’t mean they will automatically know how to communicate with others in ‘similar but different’ spaces used for learning. The contexts and factors which must be negotiated are quite complex and educators may need to provide parameters and protocols to ensure appropriate languages, genres and utterances are utilised. It would seem that there is also real value in finding ways to use the specific ‘dramatic’ or fictional frame which provides participants with the permission to take on roles that may be quite different to their own, to experiment and to explore possible situations that they never would ‘in real life’ (IRL). This paper is of relevance to those whose research strategies may involve the use of computer-mediated communications as well as those utilising cyberspaces in their creative practice.