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Accounts of assignment writing in Further Education classrooms

Literacy Research Discussion Group, Lancaster University, 11 November 2014, 1.00-2.00 pm, C89 (County South)

Ibrar Bhatt

on 27 March 2015

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Transcript of Accounts of assignment writing in Further Education classrooms

Accounts of assignment writing in Further Education classrooms
"The success of a university’s e-learning strategy is ultimately in the hands of the users of the technologies implemented to achieve its goals: how deeply they embrace a suite of technologies will determine the impact it has. It is essential then, to understand these users and their relationship with technology in implementing a successful strategy."

(Kregor, Breslin, and Fountain 2012: p. 1382)
Ibrar Bhatt | University of Leeds
Lancaster University, 11th Nov 2014
Main influences:
Literacy as social practice
Digital literacy theory
Actor-network theory
Video analysis
Further Education (inc. HE)
Literacy practices in digital environments
Recent work in Literacy Studies (e.g. Ivanič
et al
. 2009)
What actually happens when students use the Web to get work done?
To open up the 'black-box' of student assignments:
The (digital) literacy practices
The bricolage
The workarounds
The sociomaterial work (actor-network theory)
= focussing on the practices, the mundane
= the interstices
Tools &
Participatory interviews
Multimodal recording (screen-in-screen)
Document collection
the 'mess' of methods and data
A 'dynamic transcript'
(From Bhatt & de Roock 2014)
“First attend to practices. Look to see what is being done. In particular, attend empirically to how it is being done: how the relations are being assembled and ordered to produce objects, subjects and appropriate locations. Second, wash away the assumption that there is a reality out there beyond practice that is independent, definite, singular, coherent, and prior to that practice. Ask, instead, how it is that such a world is done in practice, and how it manages to hold steady. Third, ask how this process works to delete the way in which this sense of a definite exterior world is being done, to wash away the practices and turn representations into windows on the world. Four, remember that wherever you look whether this is a meeting hall, a talk, a laboratory, or a survey, there is no escape from practice. It is practices all the way down, contested or otherwise. Five, look for the gaps, the aporias and the tensions between the practices and their realities – for if you go looking for differences you will discover them.” (Law, 2012: p. 169)
1 - enhance our understandings of '
digital literacies
', as we explore how student work gets done: how students use the literacies of their own choice when left to their own devices
strategies - tactics - bricolage - literacies within literacies - cobbling together of work - writing as 'assembling'.

2 - show that practices with digital media are changing the nature of 'assignments' as evolving pedagogic forms. Eg DLPs such as '
' need to problematised and incorporated into pedagogies.

3 - show that digital media are '
' (Bhatt, forthcoming) as well as '
' (Christensen
et al
. 2011)-
as literacies flow in which otherwise could not.

4 - are a useful way to evaluate and
ICT 'Acceptable Use' policies, digital literacy frameworks, and digital learning strategies.

5 - highlight a methodological contribution: using
video analysis
techniques with
Barton, D. (2001) 'Directions for Literacy Research: Analysing Language and Social Practices in a Textually Mediated World', Language and Education, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 92-104.
Bhatt, I (forthcoming) A sociomaterial account of assignment writing in Further Education classrooms, PhD thesis, School of Education, University of Leeds.
Bhatt, I. and de Roock, R. (2014).
Capturing the Sociomateriality of Digital Literacy Events
, Research in Learning Technology.
Bhatt, I. (2013).
The sociomaterial workings of a college writing assignment
, The Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Annual Research Conference 2013 (Dec, 2013).
Bhatt, I. (2012)
Digital literacy practices and their layered multiplicity
, Educational Media International, vol. 49, no. 4, pp. 289-301.
Ivanič, R., Edwards, R., Barton, D., Martin-jones, M., Fowler, Z., Hughes, B., Mannion, G., Miller, K., Satchwell, C. and Smith, J. (2009) Improving learning in college: rethinking literacies across the curriculum. London: Routledge.
Kregor, G., Breslin, M., & Fountain, W. (2012) Experience and beliefs of technology users at an Australian university: Keys to maximising e-learning potential. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(8), 1382-1404.
Knoblauch, H. (2012) 'Introduction to the special issue of Qualitative Research: video-analysis and videography', Qualitative Research, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 251-254.
Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2008) Digital literacies: concepts, policies and practices, Peter Lang, Oxford.
Law, J. (2012) 'Collateral realities', in The Politics of Knowledge, Rubio, F. D. & Baert, P. (Eds.), Routledge, London, pp. 156-178.
Sørensen, E. (2010) The materiality of learning: technology and knowledge in educational practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
de Roock, R., Bhatt, I. & Adams, J. (forthcoming: 2015).
Video analysis in digital literacy studies: Exploring innovative methods
, In ‘Digital Methods for Social Sciences: An Interdisciplinary guide to research innovation’, Snee, H., Hine, C., Morley, Y., Roberts, S. & Watson, H. (eds.), Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
2. How do these digital literacy practices relate to the learners’ everyday digital literacy practices and habits?
3. Are there any discrepancies between the way students carry out work and the requirements and expectations of the course and, more broadly, the college?
1. What are the digital literacy practices of adult learners emerging as they work on writing assignments, in a classroom setting?
How are course assignments constructed?
Research Questions
Tech developments
new understandings of literacy
evolution of methodologies
What about an exploration of innovative methodological approaches to capture and track practices with digital literacy as they happen?
@ibrar_bhatt | ibrarspace.net
"When you wish to discover the new unexpected actors that have more recently popped up and which are not yet bona fide members of ‘society’, you have to travel somewhere else and with very different kinds of gear."(Latour, 2005: p. 22)

My findings...
Thank you :)
FELTAG (2013) report:
“learners must be empowered to fully exploit their
own understanding
of, and
familiarity with digital technology
for their own learning” (p. 5).
The report consistently refer to the “
under-exploitation of learners’ skills, devices and technical knowledge
” in their own learning practices, and that “[m]ore effort needs to be made to engage and
empower learners’ use of digital technology
– and the use of their own devices – in the learning process”
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