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Zoom-based delivery as an interactively accomplished learning conversation: A tentative descriptive account


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One of the barriers smashed during the COVID19 pandemic has been educator reluctance to use technology-based delivery in their educational practices. The pandemic has created opportunities for institutes and individual educators to strength test their resilience in the face of disruption and challenge (Dohaney, de Rόiste, Salmon and Sutherland, 2020). In this report, we summarise key discursive features of Zoom-based lessons of educators who embraced the challenge. We show that these discourse features are typically associated with tutors’ authority as educators and professionals in their vocational fields. The latter allows them to design interactive spaces where they control the discourse, often creating common ground with their learners before designing speech exchanges systems where increasingly classroom participants engage in learner-learner, learner-tutor and learner-class exchanges. Zoom-based delivery reflects typical initiation-response-feedback exchanges (Bax, 2011, Sinclair and Coulthard, 1992), sometimes within a local-allocational turn-by-turn and teacher-directed approach (Mehan, 1979; McHoul, 1978), or a more global-allocational approach where the tutor structures group and pair work (i.e. a complex response), followed by a tutor-mediated and socially- constructed feedback stage (i.e. complex feedback) (Greyling, 1995). Literacy-embedded practices are required to be deliberate and strategic – these discursive strategies, once in the candidate’s awareness and available for conscious use, can be developed further and elaborated as part of capability development. In the face of limited evidence of the impact of the pandemic and the enforced move into online delivery on student success rate, we conclude that the discourse patterns of Zoom sessions can at least be viewed as meeting the requirements of socially distributed teaching and learning (Markee, 2015; Cubero and Ignacio, 2011). Following Whittingham’s (2019) geo-semiotic argument for literacy development, we argue that the resources, people, objects, technology, materials and activities in an online environment can be configured to achieve outcomes for learners (Whittingham, 2019). The discursive features also reveal the relationship between the intentions of the educator and the interactive skill and moment-by-moment improvisation needed to enact pre-planned events (Twiner, Littleton, Coffin and Whitelock, 2014).

Item Type: Report
Uncontrolled Keywords: Zoom interactions, classroom discourse, online delivery
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Foundation Studies
Depositing User: Willfred Greyling
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2020 21:03
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 08:52

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