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Negotiating textual talk: conversation analysis, pedagogy and the organisation of online asynchronous discourse

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This paper uses Conversation Analysis to investigate the ways in which participants in an online asynchronous postgraduate reading group managed and negotiated their contributions within the discussion. Using the conversation analytic concerns with sequential organisation, adjacency pairs and topicality, this article shows the analytic insights that this perspective can bring to the examination of written asynchronous discourse. The paper shows that in the section of the discussion analysed here, the discourse displayed remarkable similarities to the ways in which face-to-face conversation has been seen to operate in terms of the organisation of conversational turns, the application of specific interactional rights, the lineal development of topics of conversation and the structural use of question-answer turn pairs. The paper concludes by showing how this form of analysis can relate to the formation of reflexive pedagogy in which course design can be created to take account of such findings. It shows how a detailed understanding of how pedagogy is played out in interaction is fundamental for reflecting on the relationship between pedagogic aims and educational practice.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Education, University of London, UK

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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