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The ethical and practical implications of systems architecture on identity in networked learning:A constructionist perspective

Koole, Marguerite and Parchoma, Gale (2012) The ethical and practical implications of systems architecture on identity in networked learning:A constructionist perspective. Interactive Learning Environments, 20 (3). pp. 203-215. ISSN 1049-4820

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Abstract

Through relational dialogue, learners shape their identities by sharing informa- tion about the world and how they see themselves in it. As learners interact, they receive feedback from both the environment and other learners which, in turn, helps them assess and adjust their self-presentations. Although learners retain choice and personal agency, even the most neutral-seeming technological environment may encourage some ways of interacting whilst discouraging others. Taking a constructionist perspective, the authors first compare peer-to-peer interaction in online and face-to-face environments. Online self-presentation is adjusted using identity management tools. These tools may provide efficient ways to locate and interact with other learners as well as protection mechanisms for personal information. In particular, the authors discuss the effects of anonymity and pseudonymity on trust and social capital. To illustrate these concepts, the authors discuss two social networking systems, iHelp and The Landing, and how their underlying architectures may affect discourse and identity management. Throughout, there remains a tension between the individual self versus the self as part of a social group. The authors recommend careful consideration of the effects of systems architecture on both the individual and the community – thereby balancing the needs of the individual with her learning communities. From an ethical standpoint, only then can both individual and community flourish online.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Interactive Learning Environments
Uncontrolled Keywords: networked learning ; social networking technologies ; identity ; constructionism ; ethics
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Educational Research
ID Code: 53101
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 09 Mar 2012 02:51
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 19:46
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/53101

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