Collaborating with a (Non)Collaborator: Interpersonal Dynamics and Constructions of Identity in Graduate Online Learning

Collaborating with a (Non)Collaborator: Interpersonal Dynamics and Constructions of Identity in Graduate Online Learning

Carolyn Kristjánsson (Trinity Western University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-827-2.ch017
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Abstract

In a climate of increasing globalization with calls for the development of online learning communities that thrive on diversity, it is important to consider how diversity might influence the nature of interpersonal action and the dynamics of collaboration in computer-mediated education. This chapter considers the case of problematic collaboration in an online graduate program. Discourse analysis grounded in Systemic Functional Linguistics is applied to illustrate how various aspects of stakeholders’ identities can be traced in the discourse related to online collaborative processes. A model of situated multidimensional identity is used to consider how localized constructions of identity may be linked to broader frames of reference. Findings suggest that when stakeholders from a range of backgrounds are drawn together, online collaboration becomes a complex social practice.
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Background

Good teaching and learning practice deserve strong theoretical conceptualization (Treleaven, 2004, p. 174). The framework for this discussion is drawn from studies pertaining to the conceptualization of social interaction in online learning, work that views self and identity as inextricably intertwined with social situation, and a theory of language that understands linguistic choice as being constitutive of and constituted by features of social context.

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