Universidad Panamericana (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 492-498
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
From the sociocultural perspective, learning comes through interaction: with peers, with teachers, and with the environment. For learning to take place, students must share goals, responsibilities and outcomes, as well as generate knowledge. In other words, they must constitute a learning community.
This talk describes doctoral research carried out among students in a Business English class in a Mexican university. The purpose of the study is to understand the factors that foster a learning community among students working face to face. While a number of studies (e.g., Brown, 2001; Pallof & Pratt, 2007) have explored the creation of virtual communities in online environments, few studies have investigated how a community evolves in the classroom, fewer still in the language
The specific task the participants worked on was to send a proposal to present a paper at an international conference. Thus, they were to find an appropriate conference, decide on a topic, research the topic, and write up the proposal, as well as find funds to attend the conference. The participants were 19 students in the seventh semester of an undergraduate program in Accounting, divided into three teams.
The study uses Interaction Analysis (Jordan & Henderson, 1995) for an in-depth qualitative analysis of student interactions, looking for indicators of community creation and knowledge construction, in an attempt to answer the research question: What factors influence the creation of a learning community in a classroom environment?
Interaction Analysis uses video recordings of classroom interactions as its primary data. Video allows the researcher to observe the interaction as often as necessary, to understand how the participants work together to construct new knowledge.
The findings show that a learning community is not a natural by-product of collaborative work; rather, it occurs around an engaging task.
The speaker will explain the theoretical framework of her research, and describe the tasks and findings, as well as some difficulties encountered during the study.
Learning communities, Interaction Analysis.