Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, *pedagogy, Interdisciplinary

Publication Details

Technological University Dublin, 2009.


Abstract: A participatory action research case study employed mixed methods to examine student collaboration and engagement in a Community Based (Service) learning module. A quasi experimental testing of Coates (2007) typology of student engagement found low agreement between students and lecturers in assigning the terms, passive, intense, independent or collaborative to student postings to discussion fora. Evidence from this case study found greater student collaboration in discussion fora when linked to practical course activity. Qualitative analysis of discussion threads using conversation analysis provided evidence for collaboration in deeper knowledge construction when supported by lecturers’ contributions. Discourse analysis examined interviews with students and focused on their constructions of community revealing the beneficial role of developing multiple perspectives to integrate their learning experiences. A role for supporting facilitative communication in small group learning and the Zone of Proximal Development is suggested and an argument for the role of student centred approaches in Pedagogies for Civic Engagement in teaching and learning is made.



Institute of Technology Carlow