Portraits of the activity systems of postsecondary international students in online learning: From tensions to transformations in activity
Maria Angeles Rodriguez Manzanares, Memorial University of Newfoundland , Canada
Memorial University of Newfoundland . Awarded
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.
Rodriguez Manzanares, M.A. Portraits of the activity systems of postsecondary international students in online learning: From tensions to transformations in activity. Ph.D. thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Retrieved March 19, 2019 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/117341/.
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