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ACTIVITY THEORY

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Brian M Harman

on 2 April 2017

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Transcript of ACTIVITY THEORY

ACTIVITY THEORY
ARTICLE #2 REVIEW
CULTURAL HISTORICAL ACTIVITY THEORY
TINA, JEFF, DIMEIL, BRIAN

DeVane, B., & Squire, K. D. (2012). 10 Activity Theory in the Learning Technologies. Theoretical foundations of learning environments, 242.
INTRODUCTION
Activity Theory aka CHAT
("Cultural Historical Activity Theory")
Framework for how various human activities, tools, culture, and social structures constitute thought and learning that affect learning technologies

Historical Development of CHAT:
First Generation - 1920-30s
Second Generation - 1970s
Third Generation - 1980-current
Tina will explain the major characteristics of the current framework

NEXT GENERATION
1ST GENERATION
First Generation CHAT
Why was it developed?
To better understand and analyze how people learn using tools, social culture, and human nature
Vygotskian social psychology in 1920
Our thoughts are ‘mediated’ by use of symbols, objects, languages, tools, numbers and signs
This allows us a way to think and put things into context through the use of basic cognition
We create bridges in our mind with some of the tools and it’s used in learning
Equals sign = means ‘is’
Plus sign + means ‘and’
Blocks are used to explain fractions to a child

2ND GENERATION
3RD GENERATION
5: Conflict-driven theory of change drives CHAT
Contradictions in activity systems play a central role as the source of change and development
Contradictions are “historically accumulating structural tensions within and between activity systems”
Contradictions are what lead to innovation in and transformation of activity systems
Why was it developed?
By Kharov School of Russian Psychology
A.N. Leontiev, one of Vygotsky’s students and others
In practice, they found the Vygotsky’s framework was missing something
Learning activity is a mixture of the first framework, but in context of the external social world, goals, and collective activity
Larger systems and structures determine how we use the ‘tools’ described by Vygotsky to resolve problems or ‘contradictions’
Building a high school example

1: CHAT is an analytic tool that researchers use to understand learning, refine instruction, and suggest directions for instructional design
Social interaction is the basis through which we learn, so understanding these are an important basis of this theory

2: CHAT allows for multiple data collection techniques and methodologies in research
Although rooted in historical and cultural viewpoints, mixed methods approaches are typically used
CHAT emphasizes system of activity, historicity, multi-vocality, and dialogic processes
Researcher needs to allow time for understanding the greater context and broad patterns that emerge in the activity system
ACTIVITY THEORY
Tina, Jeff, Dimeil, Brian
APPLICATION OF CHAT
IMPLICATIONS
3: CHAT is a structured and ideationally driven research approach
It is a framework for analyzing learning and activity with a focus on activity systems as a unit of analysis, with
context
of that system as key for understanding the nature of the activity system
Activity systems consist of activity, actions, and operations that are multi-vocal and historical, and exist in a dialectical relationship

4: Learning is inseparable from context
CHAT theoretical foundations are also in interactionist epistemology
Knowing is Action – knowledge arises from the interaction of tools, people, and resources in existing social structures
"Objective knowledge" does not exist in CHAT – everything is associative in nature
Learning is a person, doing an activity, with tools/resources, in a social context
CHAT in Learning Technologies

Vygotsky got renewed interest in the late 1980’s as there was a shift in cognitive psychology which had previously treated knowing as a process of:

1) Information inputs
2) Information processing
3) Information storage

And then
retrieval
and
recall
CULTURAL HISTORICAL ACTIVITY THEORY
Example Spotlight - CHAT as a tool for redesigning university courses

CHAT provides design researchers a method for examining educational interventions.

This allows them to understand efficacy of the intervention and recommend changes and enhancements

In this example CHAT highlighted the contradictions in the learning intent of the course between learning to build a 3D model and learning astronomy



The article identified 3 examples of the application of CHAT

1. CHAT Based Design
Example: 5th Dimension (After School Program)

2. CHAT Framework for University Course Redesign
Example: Virtual Solar System Project

3. CHAT Application in Digital Media
Example: "Apolyton University" for
Civilization III digital game

View of Cognition Has Changed


Old: Digital Computer

New: Socially-Situated



Define: cog·ni·tion
the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.
Rooted in dialectic thinking
Accounts for normative thinking and not intuitive thinking (decision-making)

It is too person-centered and does not adequately address cultural evolutions

It is inclusive of one activity and does not account for multiple activities and the associated variables and influences
E-LEARNING
IMPLICATIONS
1. Assumptions cannot be made that people will comprehend curriculum

2. Subjective learning

3. Learning based on perceptive elements

4. Hard to evaluate/assess learning comprehension
Take Away
We would like to leave you with some information:

https://infograph.venngage.com/p/218591/chat-5-elements

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