Networked Learning Conference 2020


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    Symposium Introduction - Methodological considerations for research on networked learning

    In one of the earliest collective writings on networked learning, Goodyear et al (2004) introduces networked learning as an area of both practical and theoretical importance which is said to offer a site for advancing research in the learning sciences. This has indeed proved to be an introduction that has come to be a fact. Over the years the collective writings in the area has increased substantially, and today the Research in Networked Learning series of Springer is a key publication in the area.

    • Professor J Ola Lindberg, Department of Education, Umeå University, Sweden,
    • Professor Johan Lundin, Department of Department of Applied Information Technology, Gothenburg University, Sweden,

    Symposium Introduction - Methodological considerations for research on networked learning.pdf



    Link to presentation (opens in Adobe Connect)

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    S2. Theoretical Framework and Methodology for Exploring Instructional Videos for Cashier Work

    researching work and work-based training and learning in connected workplaces. The specific case is sales assistants' work and skills in connected stores, focusing personal customer meeting practices on the sales floor and at the checkout. The first study explores work-based training for cashier work through instructional videos. In the second study, the focus shifts to explore work-based learning through apprenticeships education in the connected checkout. The third study explores sales assistants' work in connected stores focusing on the personal customer meeting on the sales floor and at the checkout. Theoretical framework and analytical tool in all of the three studies is the theory of practice architectures(Kemmis et al., 2014; Mahon, Francisco, & Kemmis, 2017). This recently developed practice theory builds on Schatzki's (2001) concepts of practice and the critical insights of Habermas (1974) and assumes that social reality consists of a variety of practices that we daily, without further reflection, engage in and take for granted.

    • Charlotte Arkenback, Department of Applied IT, University of Gothenburg,

    Arkenback - Theoretical Framework and Methodology for Exploring Instructional Videos for Cashier Work.pdf

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    S3. Exploring Behaviorism A Networked (Re)integration

    Skinner claimed when outlining his behaviorist philosophy, that concepts exist in the world before anyone identifies them, yet that they are inherently linked to social and cultural descriptions and predictions. The perspective has been dismissed by many researchers in the learning sciences as an important but obsolete relic in origin narratives introducing perspectives. In such a narrative, behaviorism is portrayed ontologically as incompatible with complex domains related to agency, emotion and engagement. However, researchers have started to consider its relevancy to clearly specify sequential learning tasks on a materialistic level integral to a networked sociocultural perspective.

    • Fabian Gunnars, Department of Education, Mid Sweden University,

    Gunnars - Exploring Behaviorism A Networked (Re)integration.pdf

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    S4. Actor-Network theory and a methodology for inquiring the onlineoffline of education

    The paper explores what the methodological considerations are for a study of educational practice and networked learning in technologically dense classrooms. The approach of the discussed study is informed by Actor-Network Theory (ANT) (Latour, 2005) and the paper outlines the methodological consequences for adopting principles associated with ANT and post-humanist critiques of representational epistemology. The discussion is organised around overcoming an offline/online binary of educational practice and the use of screen recording software for data collection in ethnographic fieldwork in upper secondary classrooms. In this example, ethical ramifications are brought to the fore in relation to post-humanist traditions (Barad, 2003). The paper argues that the uncertainties exposed by troubling the two categories of human and language, by way of ethno-graphy, can serve as resource for a research practice informed by ANT.

    • Sara Mörtsell, University of Gävle and Umeå University,


    Actor-Network Theory, Ethnography, Digital dualism, Sociomateriality, Post-humanism, Educational practice

    Mörtsell - Actor-Network theory and a methodology for inquiring the onlineoffline of education.pdf


    Presentation (pdf)

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    S5. An Indigenous Strategy of Inquiry supporting Networked Learning

    This paper answers two questions: What philosophical ideas in an Indigenous research paradigm serve as relational 'spaces' for a boundary-crossing Strategy of Inquiry? How do these underpinnings align with Wenger's expanded theory of Communities of Practice, a common theory within Networked Learning? Finding easily available guidance into theoretical frameworks and methods working from Indigenous philosophical underpinnings has proven to be a challenge. However, in Networked Learning there are several theories aligning well with Indigenous philosophy of which Wenger's expanded theory on Communities of Practice serves as one example highlighted in this paper. In finding relational 'spaces', ontological, epistemological and axiological underpinnings in an Indigenous research paradigm has been identified through Indigenous researchers' writings, relating those to Wenger's ideas. The findings in this paper are to be considered as a starting point for further discussions and investigations. They are not aimed at offering a complete picture, rather as something that can be widened as the boundaries between different paradigms are crossed. The readings show that an Indigenous research paradigm is called for when conducting research within an Indigenous context, especially as an Indigenous researcher, but can also inform other research paradigms, offering a boundary-crossing paradigm proliferation. Several relational 'spaces' are identified and accounted for. By looking for relational 'spaces' between an Indigenous research paradigm and Networked Learning, this paper serves as a boundary-crossing object between different paradigms, providing an outline of an Indigenous Strategy of Inquiry for a research study on remote, 1-9, Sami language education where networked learning is promoted.

    • Katarina Parfa Koskinen, Department of Education, Umeå University,


    Indigenous research paradigm, Communities of Practice, relational accountability, boundary crossing, Strategy of Inquiry, Networked Learning.

    Parfa Koskinen An Indigenous Strategy of Inquiry supporting Networked Learning.pdf

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    S6. Understanding meaning-making through technology use—a multimodal layer perspective

    Previous research has highlighted that technology implementation in schools may lead to increased complexity, as digital hardware and software offer a variety of possibilities for sign-making activities. Moreover, recent studies argue that since classroom practices are facilitated increasingly by screen-based activities, digital technology opens a multitude of ways to represent meaning, as an abundance of sign systems becomes available for communication through various digital visual user interfaces (DVUIs) (Jewitt, 2017). In addition, research indicates that technology implementation has a strong impact on school practice (Säljö, 2013) and that knowledge on how to take advantage of technology in learning settings from a more comprehensive perspective is needed (Bezemer & Kress, 2016). To gain a more comprehensive picture of technology use in educational environments, the main goal of the thesis is to explore the use of hardware and software by teachers and students in sign-making activities from a multimodal layer perspective. The main aim of this paper is, in particular, to discuss how multimodal methodology can be used to explain detailed aspects of technology use in networked learning (NL) settings. Concerning the various means used in school and their affordances in semiotic mediation (Norman, 2007; Wartofsky, 1979), all are considered in relation to the users and results of use. From a technology perspective, the multimodal layers, therefore, include things-to-things, things-to-human/human-to-things and human-to-human connections (Bonderup Dohn, Cranmer, Sime, de Laat and Ryberg, 2018; Goodyear, Carvalho & Bonderup Dohn, 2014) and focus on technologies, communication resources (i.e. sign systems), representations and activities. The technologies and their functions are therefore regarded as important. In addition, the multimodal layers relate to the semiotic properties of technology, how they inhere and prompt sign systems in different ways as interpreted by the actors and are reshaped into modes of representation in different activities. The conclusion is that multimodal methodology, particularly the multimodal layer approach, seems to be beneficial to unpack the relationships and connections between the means used and the actors in NL environments via its coherent approach. A greater understanding of the detailed aspects of technology use in teaching and learning may also be obtained if the existing multimodal layers are accounted for and connected. Insights can guide stakeholders on how to integrate technology in future practices and inform technology choices in relation to specific activities.

    • Karoline Schnaider, Department of Education, Umeå University,


    Multimodality, multimodal layers, digital technology, hardware, software, use, activities, representations.

    Schnaider - Understanding meaning-making through technology use—a multimodal layer perspective.pdf

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    S7. Researching adequate digital competence for school leaders from a perspective of pedagogy

    The paper is begun with an outlining of two pedagogical principles that carry specific weight into research aimed at understanding digital competence in schools in general. Networked learning is exemplified in terms of connecting teachers and learners through remote teaching in rural municipalities. The specific research focus of the PhD project is on the knowing that individuals in schools need to facilitate digitalization. After the pedagogical principles are described, their weight is then considered in regard to research on digital competence and school leadership. A particularly complex issue discussed in the paper is that digital competence is in substantial ways a politically driven concept, rather than primarily pedagogical. A reconceptualization of digital competence for school leaders is suggested for pedagogical research: focus on knowing when it happens on pedagogical terms, rather than on knowing about implementation in schools. Remote teaching in rural municipalities is argued to carry pedagogical objects of specific relevance for pedagogical research, where the focus need not be on implementing, or effects of implementation. Rather, the knowing that is argued to be required to make remote teaching happen in rural municipalities may have pedagogical knowing of digitalization in schools as a foundation. The paper is concluded, firstly, with a section reflecting on what the pedagogical objects suggests for research design. Secondly, with what the pedagogical principles suggests for methods and methodology, specifically regarding politically charged concepts such as digital competence. To the former, a case study research design is suggested to find difference and variance in the knowing of making remote teaching happen. To the latter, reflection about the process of bringing theory and frameworks into practice (methodology) is suggested as one key in relation to the principles. Another key point of reflection is on the assumptions that specific methods, theories and frameworks themselves carry. The relevance of the pedagogical principles in relation to networked learning, and research focusing on digitalization in schools in general, is primarily as a reflective communicative tool. By bringing to the front basic values on which knowledge ought to be built on, in a research discipline such as pedagogy, other values are made invalid. One effect implied through present paper is that, In a PhD research project such as the one presented, research discipline disciplines. Both concerning research subject, as well as bringing assumptions into practice in research design and methodology.

    • Josef Siljebo, PhD Student, Department of Education, Umeå University, Sweden,


    Pedagogy, digital competence, school leadership, research design, methodology

    Siljebo - Researching adequate digital competence for school leaders from a perspective of pedagogy.pdf

NLC 2020 Submissions