Understanding Pedagogic Collaboration in Online Settings

Helen Coker

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review

58 Downloads (Pure)


Lecturers working in Higher Education are increasingly engaging with digital technology when teaching (Adekola, 2016, Stott, 2016); working with students in online spaces and supporting academic work with digital tools. Technology has changed the ways in which we access information and, like the knowledge driven workforce, has implications for Education (Bates, 2016). The change of setting mediates practice, breaking down geographic and temporal boundaries (Jung and Latchem, 2011, Kim et. al., 2015). Research has identified the importance of online social presence (Kehrwald, 2008) and explored the factors which influence student engagement (Park, 2015). Lecturers, teaching online, are positioned differently to students, as well as creating presence themselves and interacting in the online space they also support student engagement. The online setting presents the potential for Lecturers to utilise collaborative activities when teaching, capitalising on the lack of physical and temporal boundaries in online interactions.
There are now a generation of experienced online lecturers, particularly in institutions who were quick to take up online delivery. Their experience and knowledge of practice can add to the knowledge base, on effective online learning. This research focused on understanding pedagogic collaboration: the use of collaborative activities when teaching. Focusing on Lecturers’ approaches to collaborative activity, when teaching online, the research sought to understand the changing setting and inform effective development of online modules.
The research asked:
What influences collaboration in the online environment?
What is the nature of the online learning experience and to what extent is it collaborative?
Do Lecturers approach online collaborative activities with the same aims and purpose?
What effect does digital technology have on collaboration, in the educational setting?
In what ways does digital technology influence the teaching experience?
Teaching online was observed to be a culturally situated practice, the online space mediated participation but did not determine it; lecturers were observed to use the same online tools in qualitatively different ways, and with fundamentally different purposes. Digital tools mediated experiences, but the intentions and congruity of purpose, in relation to the participants involved, ultimately defined their usefulness. The observations which the research drew highlighted the layers of context in which Lecturers were situated, when teaching online. The structurally framing context, the wider epistemological context and the individual specific context situated Lecturers practice, resulting in different approaches to online collaborative activity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
EventEuropean Educational Research Association : Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent roles of policy and educational research - University College UCC, Copenhagen , Denmark
Duration: 21 Aug 201725 Aug 2017


ConferenceEuropean Educational Research Association
Abbreviated titleECER
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding Pedagogic Collaboration in Online Settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this