Role-taking for Knowledge Building in a Blended Learning course

Paola Francesca Spadaro, Nadia Sansone, Maria Beatrice Ligorio


This paper focuses on role-taking effectiveness during blended learning activities. Two roles have been studied: the tutor, acting during forum-discussions, and the editor, in charge of supervising a collaborative writing task. A quantitative analysis was conducted to verify the impact of the two roles in terms of: a) participation to online activities, b) students’ preference
for one of the roles and c) students’perception about the relevance of roles in acquiring academic skills.
48 in-service teachers attending a blended course responded to a 9-items semi-structured questionnaire. Their participation was measured bycounting their reading and writing activities. Results show that the highest participation is obtained when participants could play both roles. Participants prefer one or the other role based on specifc motivations reported on the
questionnaire. The motivations were categorized by using four theoretical metaphors: behaviorist, cognitive, constructivist, and socio-constructivist motivations. Lower participants report more behaviorist motivations whereas higher participants have socio-constructivist argumentations. Both roles are perceived as useful to foster participation and improve communication and collaboration skills. Nevertheless, the role of the editor is perceived as more useful than that of the tutor in promoting both online and offine participation and individual learning.


Role-taking; Blended Learning; Knowledge Building; e-tutor

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Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2017 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).