Learning scientists and the CSCL community have argued that knowledge construction is a process of collective thinking; a process that is simultaneously personal and social that requires group cognition. However, while CSCL researchers have investigated situated knowledge in the process of collective thinking, little work has been done to fully understand how different identification categories play a role in sense-making and knowledge construction. This research, therefore, explores in detail how individuals operationalize identification categories when they engage in group discussions in online learning environments. Results demonstrate that individuals do not experience online learning through only one aspect of their identity. Rather, learning experiences evoke different elements of their identities that are used continuously and simultaneously when they collaborate with each other in the phases of knowledge construction.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Arvaja, M. (2012). Personal and shared experiences as resources for meaning making in a philosophy of science course. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(1), 85–108. doi:10.1007/s11412-011-9137-5.
Arvaja, M., Salovaara, H., Häkkinen, P., & Järvelä, S. (2007). Combining individual and group-level perspectives for studying collaborative knowledge construction in context. Learning and Instruction, 17(4), 448–459. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2007.04.003.
Atwood, S., Turnbull, W., & Carpendale, J. I. M. (2010). The Construction of Knowledge in Classroom Talk. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(3), 358–402. doi:10.1080/10508406.2010.481013.
Bakhtin, M. M. (1986). In C. Emerson & M. Holquist (Eds.), Speech genres and other late essays (Trans: McGee, V.W.) (Second Printing). Austin: University of Texas Press.
Baym, N. (2009). What constitutes quality in qualitative internet research? In A. Markham & N. Baym (Eds.), Internet inquiry: Conversations about method (pp. 173–189). Thousands Oak: Sage Publications.
Bently, J. P. H., & Tinney, M. V. (2003). Does culture influence learning? A report on trends in learning styles and preferences across cultures. Presented at the The Annual Conference of the Association for Educational Communication & Technology, Anahaim, CA.
Bereiter, C. (2002). Education and mind in the knowledge age. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Brubaker, R., & Cooper, F. (2000). Beyond “identity.”. Theory and Society, 29(1), 1–47. doi:10.1023/A:1007068714468.
Buckingham, D. (2008). Introducing identity. In D. Buckingham (Ed.), Youth, identity, and digital media (pp. 1–22). Cambridge: MIT Press Journals.
Charmaz, K. (2005). Grounded theory methods in social justice research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 507–535). Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications.
Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Creswell, J. W. (2006). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications.
Engle, R. A. (2006). Framing interactions to foster generative learning: A situative explanation of transfer in a community of learners classroom. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15(4), 451–498. doi:10.1207/s15327809jls1504_2.
Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.
Fairclough, N. (2001). Language and power (2nd ed.). London: Longman.
Fine, G. A. (1993). Ten lies of ethnography: Moral dilemmas of field research. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 22(3), 267–294. doi:10.1177/089124193022003001.
Gee, J. P. (2011). An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Gramsci, A. (2000). In D. Forgacs (Ed.), An Antonio gramsci reader: Selected writings 1916–1935. New York: Schocken Books.
Gunawardena, C. N., Lowe, C. A., & Anderson, T. (1997). Analysis of a global online debate and the development of an interaction analysis model for examining social construction of knowledge in computer conferencing. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 17(4), 397–431.
Gutiérrez, K. D., & Rogoff, B. (2003). Cultural ways of learning: Individual traits or repertoires of practice. Educational Researcher, 32(5), 19–25. doi:10.3102/0013189X032005019.
Hall, S. (1996). Who needs “identity”? In P. du Gay & S. Hall (Eds.), Questions of cultural identity (pp. 1–17). Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications.
Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time (Trans: Macquarrie, J. & Robinson, E.). New York: Harper & Row.
Hewitt, J. (2005). Toward an understanding of how threads die in asynchronous computer conferences. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14(4), 567–589. doi:10.1207/s15327809jls1404_4.
Hine, C. (2000). Virtual ethnography. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications.
Holland, D., Lachicotte, W., Jr., Skinner, D., & Cain, C. (1998). Identity and agency in cultural worlds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Jenkins, R. (2008). Social identity (3rd ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis.
Jordan, B., & Henderson, A. (1995). Interaction analysis: Foundations and practice. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4(1), 39–103. doi:10.1207/s15327809jls0401_2.
Ke, F., Chávez, A. F., Causarano, P.-N. L., & Causarano, A. (2011). Identity presence and knowledge building: Joint emergence in online learning environments? International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 6(3), 349–370. doi:10.1007/s11412-011-9114-z.
Kim, K.-J., & Bonk, C. J. (2006). Cross-cultural comparisons of online collaboration. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 8(1). doi:10.1111/j.1083-6101.2002.tb00163.x.
Koschmann, T. (1996). Paradigm shifts and instructional technology. In T. Koschmann (Ed.), CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm (pp. 1–23). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ku, H.-Y., Pan, C.-C., Tsai, M.-H., Tao, Y., & Cornell, R. A. (2004). The impact of instructional technology interventions on asian pedagogy. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(1), 88–92.
Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions (enlarged, second edition). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ligorio, M. B., Loperfido, F. F., & Sansone, N. (2013). Dialogical positions as a method of understanding identity trajectories in a collaborative blended university course. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 8(3), 351–367. doi:10.1007/s11412-013-9174-3.
Lyotard, J.-F. (1984). The postmodern condition: A report on knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Maxwell, J. A. (2004). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (2nd ed.). Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications.
Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mills, J., Eyre, G., & Harvey, R. (2005). What makes provision of e-learning successful? Charles Sturt University’s experience in Asia. Education for Information, 23(1), 43–55.
Nasir, N. S., & Cooks, J. (2009). Becoming a hurdler: How learning settings afford identities. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 40(1), 41–61. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1492.2009.01027.x.
Nasir, N. S., & Hand, V. (2008). From the court to the classroom: Opportunities for engagement, learning, and identity in basketball and classroom mathematics. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 17(2), 143–179. doi:10.1080/10508400801986108.
Nasir, N. S., Rosebery, A. S., Warren, B., & Lee, C. D. (2005). Learning as a cultural process. In R. K. Sawyer & R. K. Sawyer (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 489–504). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Oztok, M. (2013). Tacit knowledge in online learning: Community, identity, and social capital. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 22(1), 21–36. doi:10.1080/1475939X.2012.720414.
Oztok, M. (2016). Reconceptualizing the pedagogical value of student facilitation. Interactive Learning Environments, 24(1), 85–95. doi:10.1080/10494820.2013.817440.
Oztok, M., & Brett, C. (2011). Social presence and online learning: A review of research. The Journal of Distance Education, 25(3). Retrieved from http://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/758/1299.
Oztok, M., Zingaro, D., & Makos, A. (2013). What social capital can tell us about social presence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(6), E203–E206. doi:10.1111/bjet.12079.
Oztok, M., Zingaro, D., Makos, A., Brett, C., & Hewitt, J. (2015). Capitalizing on social presence: The relationship between social capital and social presence. The Internet and Higher Education, 26, 19–24. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2015.04.002.
Pea, R. D. (1993). Practices of distributed intelligence and designs for education. In G. Salomon (Ed.), Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations (pp. 47–87). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rovai, A. P., & Ponton, M. K. (2005). An examination of sense of classroom community and learning among African American and Caucasian graduate students. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 9(3), 77–92.
Salomon, G. (Ed.). (1993). Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Saukko, P. (2005). Methodologies for cultural studies: An integrative approach. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 343–356). Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications.
Scardamalia, M. (2002). Collective cognitive responsibility for the advancement of knowledge. In B. Smith (Ed.), Liberal education in a knowledge society (pp. 76–98). Chicago: Open Court.
Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3(3), 265–283. doi:10.1207/s15327809jls0303_3.
Stahl, G. (2005). Group cognition in computer-assisted collaborative learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(2), 79–90.
Stahl, G. (2006). Group cognition: Computer support for building collaborative knowledge. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
Stahl, G., & Hesse, F. (2009). Paradigms of shared knowledge. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(4), 365–369. doi:10.1007/s11412-009-9075-7.
Sterne, J. (1999). Thinking the internet: Cultural studies versus the millennium. In S. Jones (Ed.), Doing internet research: Critical issues and methods for examining the net (pp. 257–288). Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications.
Sullivan, P. (2001). Gender differences and the online classroom: Male and female college students evaluate their experiences. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 25(10), 805–818.
Suthers, D. D. (2006). Technology affordances for intersubjective meaning making: A research agenda for CSCL. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 1(3), 315–337. doi:10.1007/s11412-006-9660-y.
Tee, M., & Karney, D. (2010). Sharing and cultivating tacit knowledge in an online learning environment. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 5(4), 385–413. doi:10.1007/s11412-010-9095-3.
van Aalst, J. (2006). Rethinking the nature of online work in asynchronous learning networks. British Journal of Educational Technology, 37(2), 279–288. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00557.x.
van Aalst, J. (2009). Distinguishing knowledge-sharing, knowledge-construction, and knowledge-creation discourses. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(3), 259–287. doi:10.1007/s11412-009-9069-5.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wise, A., & Chiu, M. (2011). Analyzing temporal patterns of knowledge construction in a role-based online discussion. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 6(3), 445–470. doi:10.1007/s11412-011-9120-1.
Zhang, J., Scardamalia, M., Reeve, R., & Messina, R. (2009). Designs for collective cognitive responsibility in knowledge-building communities. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(1), 7–44. doi:10.1080/10508400802581676.
Zingaro, D. (2012). Student moderators in asynchronous online discussion: A question of questions. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), 8(3), 159–173.
About this article
Cite this article
Öztok, M. Cultural ways of constructing knowledge: the role of identities in online group discussions. Intern. J. Comput.-Support. Collab. Learn 11, 157–186 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-016-9233-7
- Group work
- Online discussions
- Knowledge construction
- Case studies