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By Ravi K. Vatrapu


This paper reports on a theory-based empirical investigation of cultural considerations in the appropriation of affordances and on the development of technological intersubjectivity in a computer supported collaborative learning environment. Socio-technical affordances are “action-taking possibilities ” and “meaning-making opportunities ” in a sociotechnical system relative to the capabilities of an actor. Technological intersubjectivity is a technology-mediated interactional social relationship between two or more participants. The basic premise of this research project is that social affordances of technologies vary along cultural dimensions. To empirically evaluate this premise, an experimental study was conducted. The experimental study design consisted of three independent groups of dyads from similar or different cultures (American-American, American-Chinese, and Chinese-Chinese) doing collaborative problem-solving in a knowledge-mapping learning environment. Participants interacted through an asynchronous computer interface providing multiple tools for interaction (diagrammatic workspace, embedded notes, threaded discussion). Based on theories of culture and empirical findings in cultural psychology documenting cross-cultural variations in behavior, communication and cognition, several research hypotheses were advanced. Statistical results show that members of different cultures appropriated the resources of the interface differently in their interaction, and formed differential relations with and impressions of each other. However, analysis of the individually written essays show no statistically significant differences in learning outcomes. Implications for technology enhanced learning are discussed

Topics: Affordances
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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