Contradictions in Learner Interactions in a Blended-Learning Writing Course in the ODL Context: An Activity Theory Analysis
Keywords:Activity theory, contradictions, advanced writing skills, Open and Distance learning, blended learning
This paper reports on the use of Engeström’s (1987) Activity Theory (AT) framework to gain insights into the contradictions that emerge within the activity system of the online component of an advanced writing skills course, delivered in a blended-learning mode using the Process Approach. Activity theory, with its principle of contradictions, has been used successfully to identify tensions that arise in interactions between and among participates in online environments. The focus of this mixed-method study was to identify challenges participants experienced due to externally imposed conditions when engaging in the online activities. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and the online log reports from the Learning Management System (LMS). Contradictions emerged between and among the elements of two activity triangles within the activity system of the online writing course. Implications of these contradictions were noted to take steps to improve the design of the online component of the writing course.
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