Instrument-Mediated Coordination and Meaning Making through a Distributed Learning Environment

Abstract : Following the post-cognitivist theoretical tradition, which represents human agents and artefacts as a single entity in the analysis of an instrument-mediated activity, this paper reports on a study investigating socio-cognitive practices via a network-based learning environment. The key theoretical concept pertains to the distribution of cognition among individuals, tools and the environment. The ways in which participants handled and shared resources, benefited from their colleagues' achievements and built knowledge while manipulating the digital environment are the core issues of this paper. In particular we intend to identify genuine cognitive processes that wouldn't take place without mediation by the specific tool (Stahl 2002, 1).

In regard to instrument-mediated activities, four main functions of the learning environment have been identified, namely as a means to systematise individual representations, to regulate group work in pairs, to facilitate sharing and benefiting from the group's collective experience and to define one's relationship to other group-members. Beyond analysis of tool-supported activity in online environments, this paper contributes to the design of distance learning environments to enhance human interaction and collaboration.
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Katerina Zourou. Instrument-Mediated Coordination and Meaning Making through a Distributed Learning Environment. Hardy-Vallée, B., Payette, N. Beyond the brain: Embodied, Situated & Distributed Cognition., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.159-194, 2008. ⟨edutice-00413240⟩

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