Studying online teaching practices – Karin Bolldén

Research Presentation and Student Potluck

Studying online teaching practices using online ethnographic methods

By Karin Bolldén
PhD Candidate, Linköping University, Sweden
My research aims to describe and analyse teaching in online settings in Swedish higher education contexts. I have conducted two case studies, one of the studies is a university course conducted entirely in the virtual world of Second Life. Second Life is a three dimensional space where people interact synchronously by audio and text. Each person is represented as a virtual body called an avatar. The avatar allows participants to walk, sit, fly, hover and teleport. To study the teaching practices in the course, which is carried out ‘In World,’ I created a researcher avatar, with which I conducted participant observations and informal conversations. Much of what a researcher faces when conducting ethnographic research offline applies to research online, but there are certain tasks that must be adjusted or reconsidered. The field of online ethnography deals with these kinds of questions, and provides a foundation for me to carry out my online research.

In this presentation I will focus on my experience of conducting participant observations in a virtual world.

View Poster [PDF]

Wednesday, March 27
Potluck 12:30–1:30 p.m.
Research Presentation 1:30–3 p.m.
Ponderosa G Lounge