UBC Theses and Dissertations
The negotiation of teaching presence in international online contexts Morgan, Tannis
A particular interest of distance education researchers is the community of inquiry framework, which was developed for the purpose of taking a closer look at computer mediated communication in educational contexts (Garrison, Anderson, Archer, 2000). However, it is somewhat surprising that although the community of inquiry framework has been developed based on distance education contexts, it does not consider the complexities of the community’s global and local contexts, the potential linguistic demands of the teaching and learning contexts, and how power, agency, and identities are negotiated in these contexts. Through six cases of online instructors teaching in international contexts at the tertiary level, I explored the negotiation of teaching presence as viewed through the lens of cultural historical activity theory (Engeström, 1999, 2001). In this view, instructors are engaged in a dynamic process in which teaching presence is shaped through the mediating components of the activity system. This multi-case study employed cross case analysis drawing on data from interviews with students, program coordinators, and instructors, in addition to analyses of discussion forum transcripts, course documents, formative evaluations, student and instructor reflections, and researcher-participant observations. The linguistic challenges faced by both instructor and students for whom the language of instruction was a second or third language and instructors’ sociocultural identities, positioning, and conceptualization of the online interaction spaces were found to be important mediators in the negotiation of teaching presence.
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