Understanding I/We positions in a blended university course: Polyphony and chronotopes as dialogical features

Feldia Fedela Loperfido, Nadia Sansone, Maria Beatrice Ligorio, Nobuko Fujita


This paper uses Dialogical Self Theory to explore university students’ I/We positions before and after participating in a blended course with both individual and collaborative learning activities. Two focus group discussions were held; one at the beginning and the other one at the end (18 students in total; 3 M, 15F; average age 24 years old). The focus groups were analyzed through discursive analysis by referring to the Bakhtinian concepts of chronotope and polyphony, as dialogical features of positioning. Results show that at the end of the course the polyphony became richer, including also technology. This was initially “suppressed” and became later a voice supporting both We-position and collaborative learning. A shift from initial I-positions rooted in a broad chronotope (including past, present and future) toward We-positions placed in the specific and situated chronotope of the course occurred. This result poses the question of sustainability and transferability of innovation.

Full Text