Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK
This Call for Papers seeks contributions to the second Special Issue of the journal Studies in Technology Enhanced Learning to examine Activity Theoretical approaches to Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Research. We particularly welcome submissions which empirically examine social and cultural mediation in TEL, and which explore the use of Activity Theory (and potentially seek to develop it) rather than solely applying it.
Activity Theory (sometimes known as Cultural Historical Activity Theory, or CHAT) is often used in TEL research as well as in many other adjacent areas of scholarship. Activity Theory is generally considered to be a mature theory, yet it attracts perpetual and active development and critique, most notably by Activity Theorists themselves. Such endeavours of development and critique have included a previous Special Issue of the journal Studies in Technology Enhanced Learning, which received a series of diverse submissions, which contributed to making the theory more accessible and applicable to novice researchers; examined how the theory was being used in empirical research on TEL; and emphasised the mediating role of technologies for purposeful human activity.
In our current Call for Papers, we build on these previous submissions. We seek contributions that critically examine the interplay of social and cultural mediation, along with the societal motives of learning activities, and their mediating technologies. For examples, papers might explore macro- and meso-level policy-practice tensions, stakeholder influence and interest, and the varied implications for how tasks are allocated in technology-mediated activity. We are flexible concerning conceptions of what ‘learning’ is. We are open to studies taking place in less conventional settings, with diverse participants and stakeholders, and with contrary learning outcomes. We encourage diverse approaches to conceptualising and analysing mediating technologies, beyond the solely ‘digital’.
We do not wish to prescribe the topics or stances of the papers that might be submitted to the Special Issue. We welcome contributions of papers from diverse settings, fields, and experiences, including from Doctoral Researchers. We would gently dissuade submissions which solely ‘apply’ Activity Theory, and those which merely present modelled activity systems in descriptive ways.
Topics and areas of submissions might include:
Exposing and aggravating contradictions in TEL and their origins in social and cultural mediation.
Misunderstandings and misdiagnoses of the object of activity, before or during research.
Dialectical moments in TEL research being generated and sustained through Activity Theory.
Extending understanding of technologies, such as exploring their mediational use as tools and as signs.
Deepening understanding of Marxist and Vygotskian principles in empirical research on TEL.
We envisage that papers might come in a range of lengths and formats. All articles will be double-blind peer-reviewed, apart from clearly labelled editorials and invited commentaries. Articles will be distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). When submitting your proposal please indicate the kind of paper you wish to contribute using one of the categories below.
Synthesis paper (6,000-12,000 words).
Standard paper (4,000-8,000 words).
Commentary (2,000-4,000 words).
Book review (1,000-3,000 words).
Please submit a provisional title and abstract (200-500 words), with authors and affiliations, by email to Philip Moffitt ([email protected]) for initial comments prior to submitting a full paper.
Key timings are:
Proposals can be submitted at any time until 31 August 2024.
Authors will be notified of acceptance, with brief editorial comments, no longer than one month from the date of proposal submission receipt by the guest editors.
First drafts of papers can be submitted at any time until 31 October 2024.
Peer reviews will be returned approximately one month from the date of paper submission receipt by the guest editors.
Revised manuscripts are due one month after the review is returned to the authors.
If major revisions are needed, then peer reviews will be returned approximately one month from the date of paper submission receipt by the guest editors.
Once major or minor revisions are completed, authors will receive typeset versions for checking approximately one month from the date of final manuscript submission.
Publication will continue through 2024, as soon as the typeset version is checked and accepted by the editor-in-chief of the journal.