Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 129–146 | Cite as

Participation and genres of communication in online settings of higher education



This paper focuses on written utterances in online settings of higher education. It concerns the constitution of the initiation, turn taking and the steering of exchanges of utterances; and it describes these patterns in terms of different genres. The study also concerns participation in higher education and, specifically, participation in educational settings where students and teachers rarely meet face-to-face. Their participation is thus dependant on written utterances in online settings. Overall, this paper discusses constitutive aspects of these written utterances. The educational communication between students and teachers embraced both student- and teacher-centered genres. The distinction between these two genres relates to the functionality of the utterances, the main metaphor for learning and the responsibilities for the communication taken by students and teachers. The emergence of these genres seems to be affected by interplay between the composition of the study-groups, the structure of the task and other aspects of participation through online settings.


Acquisition Bakhtin Discourse analysis Educational settings Higher education Learning management systems Online Participation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationMid Sweden UniversityHarnosandSweden

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