Moving between workplace and online learning spaces: an activity theory perspective
The intent of this paper is to offer new perspectives on blended learning within vocationally-oriented programmes by drawing on the concepts of activity theory (Engeström, 2001) and epistemic frames (Shaffer, 2004). The paper reports on a doctoral study which explored how English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners experienced the interplay between face-to-face learning experiences in workplace contexts and an online discussion activity within an undergraduate nursing course. The findings suggest that enabling the appropriation of resources across the boundaries of face-to-face and virtual spaces should be a key issue in the design of learning activities in blended learning settings.
Positioned within a qualitative methodology, this inquiry followed the experiences of four
Chinese students over a four month period in order to obtain a rich and in-depth understanding of the
nature of their participation. During the data analysis, activity theory was mapped onto the educational
setting to provide a socio-cultural interpretation.
Westberry, N. (2009). Moving between workplace and online learning spaces: An activity
theory perspective. In Same places, different spaces. Presented at the ascilite conference in Auckland in 2009.