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Online discourse in a primary school setting

By James Rourke


The government has laid down the expectation that by 2010 all schools should have some form of virtual learning environment. Although the use of online learning is now common place within many higher education establishments, the uptake of such technology within schools is arguably poor, more so in the primary sector. \ud \ud Much research has been done in relation to the effects of online collaboration and discourse with adult student learners and this case study aims to explore whether such effects are evident when online discussion technologies are used within a primary school setting. \ud \ud Using a range of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, this study explores the emergent issues surrounding the use on an online forum with upper key stage two pupils. It is a small-scale study based on 52 pupil participants and two classes: Year 5 and Year 6. It explores the effect an online forum can have when imbedded into the teaching and learning of two National Curriculum foundation subjects (History and Geography), whilst shedding some light onto the generic benefits and pitfalls of such technology use. \ud \ud This study found that children evidenced a higher level of involvement within curriculum based discussion and interaction, with a notable increase in social constructivist learning taking place. Student attainment, linked to National Curriculum levels of attainment, was seen to make some slight gains. Pupil motivation and attitude towards their studies was also found to be positively affected

Publisher: Department of Education (York)
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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