Bennett, Elizabeth (2012) Web 2.0 and its impact on pedagogy: radical or reined in? In: British Educational Research Association Annual Conference), 4-6 September 2012, Manchester, Uk. (Unpublished)

This paper is based on a small scale study set in the north of England in a post ‘92 university. It explores lecturers’ practice in relation to their use of web 2.0 tools in their teaching. (Web 2.0 tools are web tools that allow participation and collaboration.) The study uses phenomenological principles to examine lecturers’ lived experience and to draw meaning from that experience (Taylor, 2008). There are several new pedagogies of online learning, for instance participatory learning, connectivism, learning 2.0, emergent learning that have been made possible or encouraged through the affordances of new technologies. This paper explores the extent to which these new pedagogies are visible in practice. These models of learning have some common features; all make use of the possibilities of technology to connect with other people, to build a learning community and to contribute to discussions through online participation. All place emphasis on the role of the learner as the agent in the learning process. As such they fall within Sfard’s participation metaphor of learning (rather than learning as acquisition of knowledge) (Sfard 1998). Epistemologically they locate knowledge as being fluid and participatory. Hence the focus is on learning how to do things, and how to learn with other people rather than about transmission of knowledge from the institution to the learner. Indeed there is a blurring of the distinction between teacher and learners, between knowledge makers and knowledge users
Land and Bayne in their study of students’ experiences of wiki technologies noted that how the radical potential of the medium was curtailed or ‘reined in’ by both lecturers and students, challenging effects of new media formations “to control and constrain them within more orthodox understanding of authorship, assessment, collaboration and formal learning” (2008 p.678). This paper evidences and analyses the ways that the radical aspects of the web are harnessed and curtailed through the pedagogic process.


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