Sydney School of Education and Social Work events - 2013 Archive

Page archived at: Tue, 10 January 2013 09:15:50 +1000

Engaging with networked learning

21 August 2013

Join us on August 21 for a CoCo seminar by Nina Bonderup Dohn titled “A tacit-knowledge perspective on engagement with networked learning activities”.

Within the field of networked learning, many researchers use "practice" theories (theories that stress that the meaning of actions, artefacts, and procedures are bound up with concrete contexts of activity) as their point of departure. Important representatives of such "practice theories" are activity theory, expansive learning, and social-learning theory.

This talk will expand on the "practice" view of knowledge, integrating insights from Wittgenstein, phenomenology and situated learning to formulate a view of knowledge as tacit, situated, relational, practical, context-dependent, embodied doing. The presenter will argue that humanity's understanding of propositional knowledge depends on such tacit knowledge; most significantly on the tacit knowledge originating in our ‘primary contexts’: the contexts in which we involve ourselves and consider important.

Building on this view of knowledge, I argue that insights and understandings from one context have to be resituated and transformed to be brought into use in other contexts. Understandings from ‘primary contexts’ have priority here, both in establishing new understandings in new contexts, and as concerns supporting learners’ motivation for engaging in tasks.

In support hereof, networked learning activities may be designed as "mediator activities", characterised by catalysing the coupling of ‘primary contexts’, while not aiming to be educational per se. Such mediator activities have their anchorage in the settings to be coupled, not in the coupling.

In contrast, networked learning activities designed to be a "place" for the pursuit of educational goals tend to become stand-alone activities that seem somewhat 'abstract' and unrelated to 'what is really at stake' for the participants.

This seminar will be available live online at

Event details

  • When: 11am–12.30pm
  • Where:

    Education Building (A35)

    Room 230

  • Cost: Free

  • Contact:

    Patricia Thibaut Paez

    T: 9351 6358


  • More info: Arrive at 10.45am for refreshments.

  • Speaker/ Performer:

    Dr Nina Bonderup Dohn is Associate Professor, Humanistic Information Science, at the Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark. She holds a PhD in learning theory from Aalborg University and an MA in philosophy and physics from Aarhus University. Her main research areas integrate epistemology, learning sciences, web communication and technology-mediated learning with a special focus on teaching and learning in higher education. While at CoCo, she will focus on the role of tacit, embodied knowledge developed in learners' primary contexts and on the significance of such contexts for motivation and learning in networked learning.

Engaging with networked learning


Education Building (A35)

Room 230


21 August 2013

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