Obuchenie Online: The Applicability of Vygotskian Pedagogy to Online Teaching and Learning
Chris Harwood and Clare Brett
Informed by sociocultural theory this study presents insights gained through qualitative study of an undergraduate literacy activity in a North American university that used Facebook Groups to host student online book clubs. Data from student and instructor interviews and online collaborative writing interactions from a 24-week empirical study of the interactions and activities within the online book clubs are used to demonstrate how teaching and learning was perceived and enacted in the online activity. Excerpts from the interviews and online interactions illustrate how learning was mediated between instructors, between instructors and students, and between students on the program. The analysis reveals possible tensions these dialogic interactions can create and informs our understanding of how online educators are also positioned as learners, endeavoring to understand the repercussions of their online interactions and teaching practices. This paper adds to this emerging literature employing the concept of obuchenie by examining how particular affordances and constraints of teaching and learning unfold in an authentic online learning context.
Keywords: Vygotsky, sociocultural theory, obuchenie; online pedagogy, scaffolding, mediation, ZPD