Steve Walker

Some less or more well-organised thoughts

Learning Technology in context: a case for the sociotechnical interaction framework as an analytical lens for networked learning research

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Linda Creanor and I have sent the final (I hope!) version and associated paraphernalia of our chapter for the forthcoming collection for Springer: Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L.,  Hodgson, V. and McConnell, D. ‘Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning’, following on from last year’s Networked Learning 2010 conference. The abstract is below. It might be possible to put a draft of the chapter in the OU Research Online (ORO) repository in time. I’ll leave that the IP folk.


Persistent gaps between claims made for learning technologies and the reality of their use are in part attributable to widespread implicit technological determinism. While the concept of networked learning goes some way to redress this, a more systematic use of sociotechnical findings theories developed in the fields of technology studies and information systems can help us to avoid mechanistic accounts. We illustrate this with the concept of the ‘sociotechnical interaction network’ (Kling et al, 2003) from the social informatics literature in analysing case material from the world of transnational trade union education. This draws our attention to the social, as well as technological, accomplishments in accessing online learning activities and the ways in which learners draw on prior technological knowledge in overcoming difficulties they encounter. Such approaches are increasingly salient as educators seek to position learning technologies in learners’ increasingly elaborate sociotechnical environments.


Written by Steve

April 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm

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