The Literacies of Online Learning: a linguistic-ethnographic approach to research on virtual learning communities
Revisited Robin Goodfellow’s research paper on using the linguistic ethnographic approach, after sitting on this study for a year. I considered it because I felt that getting to the bottom of the undercurrents in online communications can provide deep insight to coaxing participation from normally online-reticent Pinoy participants. I’ve expressed that I find it challenging to coax participants to post on collaborative forums.
Goodfellow states that linguistic-ethnographic approach can address the fact that social context in virtual communities is invisible and has to be inferred from linguistic evidence. This may be useful for researching heterogeneous communities, though it would be interesting to see how there is different online cultural altogether created by even homogeneous communities.
What interests me in this approach is the approach to read between the lines of interaction. Goodfellow is not as concerned with identifying learning outcomes for individuals. He wishes to understand what characterises practice and the way this structures individual experience, and especially the experience of marginalisation and/or exclusion.
Anne Hewling’s research on cultural aspects of electronic literacies in virtual learning environments presents a way to better understand participant interaction . She asserts that traditional literacy practices do not guarantee success in the virtual world. She identifies 5 key elements : aloneness, boundaries, text, technology and time. With these she proposes a framework (more like a wrapper) for electronic literacies. Self-presence is crucial to establishing an online identity. Apparently, it takes a person sure of himself/herself to find a strong, online ‘voice’. More on this at later postings. . .