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Cracking her codes: understanding shared technology resources as positioning artifacts for power and status in CSCL environments

Abstract

There is a positive relationship between student participation in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments and improved complex problem-solving strategies, increased learning gains, higher engagement in the thinking of their peers, and an enthusiastic disposition toward groupwork. However, student participation varies from group to group, even in contexts where students and teachers have had extensive training in working together. In this study, we use positioning theory and interaction analysis to conceptualize and investigate relationships between student interactions across two partner pairs working with technology in an all-female cryptography summer camp and their negotiated positions of power and status. The analysis resulted in uneven participation patterns, unequal status orderings, and an imbalance of power in both comparison cases. We found a reflexive relationship between partner interactions around shared technology resources and negotiated positions of power and status, which leads us to conclude that interactions around technology function as an important indicator of negotiated positionings of power and status in CSCL settings, and vice-versa. With that said, we found qualitative differences in the ways emergent status problems impacted each team’s productivity with the cryptography challenge, which has important implications for future research on CSCL settings and classroom practice.

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Acknowledgements

Funding for the camp was received from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and the Engineering Information Foundation (EiF).

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Correspondence to Amber Simpson.

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Table 11 Example of the five-column format
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Simpson, A., Bannister, N. & Matthews, G. Cracking her codes: understanding shared technology resources as positioning artifacts for power and status in CSCL environments. Intern. J. Comput.-Support. Collab. Learn 12, 221–249 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-017-9261-y

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Keywords

  • Interaction analysis
  • Participation
  • Power
  • Status
  • Positioning theory
  • Technology