We report findings from a discourse analysis study situated within a discursive psychology framework that examined how undergraduate nutrition science students took up a computer-mediated communication task in which they were asked to write about what they learned after attending a lecture. Students made learning displays by orienting to the lecture as a news receipt and making assessments of this new information in variable ways. Some did this by marking an extreme change of state through surprise tokens and realization patterns, functioning to position the new information as so extreme that anyone would have learned something new. Others displayed more neutral assessments of the information or claimed no change of state at all, functioning to distance themselves from having learned anything. Both strategies are ways of “doing being ordinary,” while completing a delicate task that presented them with a potential dilemma of displaying their learning for an invisible audience of their peers.
About the authors
Trena M. Paulus is Associate Professor in the Educational Psychology and Counseling Department at the University of Tennessee. She holds a Ph.D. in instructional systems technology with a minor in computer-mediated communication from Indiana University and an M.A. in applied linguistics from Ohio University. Her research interests include discourse analysis methodologies and online/blended collaborative learning environments.
Jessica N. Lester is Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology Department at Washington State University. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology and research from the University of Tennessee, as well as a certificate in qualitative research methods in education. Her research interests include qualitative methodologies, critical notions of human learning and development, and the educational experiences of children with refugee status.
© by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston