Transforming the space-time of learning through interactive whiteboards: the case of a knowledge creation collaborative task.

Giuseppe Ritella, Nadia Sansone


The present article aims at qualitatively exploring the emergent space-time configurations of Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) usage within a collaborative media design task at a university of applied sciences. During this course, the students had an opportunity to use the IWB technology to support the collaborative learning process within small groups of 4-5 members. It is argued that research on the space-time transformations enabled by digital technology, carried out by adopting the dialogical concept of chronotope, is useful to improve the understanding of learning in technology rich settings. Participant observation was conducted on two groups of students. Video-audio records of the students' activity and of group interviews were collected and qualitatively analyzed. The findings reveal that the IWB was only partially integrated within the students’ activity. Most of the IWB usage took place during the first phase of the course. The IWB use was characterized by specific space-time configurations that allow to examine how the students attempted to integrate the IWB in their learning space. The students’ reflections during the group interview allow to advance our understanding concerning the emergence of the space-time configurations identified by the researcher, as well as on the students’ perception of the learning environment. It is concluded that the potentiality of IWB and the effectiveness of the emergent space-time configurations is strictly dependent on the nature of the learning task and the pedagogical approach adopted.

Parole chiave

chronotope; CSCL; IWB; space-time; knowledge creation