Digital Education Seminar: Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum
Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum (DiDiAC): Enhancing classroom dialogue by using Talkwall to 'Think Together'
Louis Major, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Description: Research demonstrates that the adoption of a dialogic pedagogy stimulates the development of students’ critical thinking, reasoning and self-regulated learning skills. There is also robust evidence indicating that the quality of classroom talk has a measurable impact on curricular learning gains.The DiDiAC research project considers how a microblogging tool might affect interactions in ‘dialogic classrooms’. Developed by the University of Oslo, Talkwall is a free micro-blogging tool for engaging students in collective classroom interaction. Using Talkwall, an individual (e.g. a teacher) formulates a question or a challenge before participants (e.g. students), individually or in groups, post messages to a shared ‘wall’ (e.g. large screen/projector).
Underpinned by a Vygotskian sociocultural framework, which views learning as a social process mediated by tools, this seminar will report on research in Norwegian and British secondary schools investigating:
the potential of Talkwall to enhance existing/promote new forms of classroom dialogue and provide a visualisation of ‘interthinking’ amongst students;
how microblog-supported classroom dialogue contributes to the development of students’ collaboration and critical thinking skills;
the skills that need to be attained for students to master digitalised communicative contexts, and how teachers can support this mastery through their pedagogy.
Using a design-based approach with teachers working as co-researchers, approximately 400 students are involved. Data collection includes quantitative (e.g. metadata, measuring collaboration/critical thinking, social network/semantic analysis) and qualitative (e.g. observations, video, interviews) approaches.
Details of the theoretical underpinning for the research will be presented. The strategy for data collection and analysis, and latest project developments (e.g. the outcomes of several teacher-researcher workshops), will also be discussed. During the seminar, participants will have the opportunity to experience using Talkwall using their own mobile/computing devices.
About the speaker: Louis Major is a Research Associate at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. He is interested in the use of digital technology for educational purposes. His research investigates how knowledge is developed by learners who use digital technologies, and factors that afford and constrain the effectiveness of digital tools educationally. In particular, Louis is interested in the role of technology in supporting dialogue in the classroom. He is currently the lead UK-based RA on the Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum (DiDiAC), funded by the Research Council of Norway (2016-2020), which is undertaken in collaboration with the University of Oslo.