An academic essay applying theoretical concepts to digital cultures, participation and learning

Part 2:(ILO 1-3) An academic essay applying theoretical concepts to digital cultures, participation and learning.  This can be developed from one (or more) of the digital portfolio entries. Thus, students will choose from a list of topics or can also suggest their own (to be approved by unit tutors). 2500 words maximum.

  • This assignment can be based on one or more of your portfolio entries, but it does not have to be.
  • You should discuss and critically analyse an ‘example’ of digital cultures and participatory learning, drawing on literature from the unit (you are expected to use the reading list for this unit as a starting point) and your own wider reading and research.
  • Examples may be drawn from your own personal experience and/or from your wider research and reading.




Suggested topics

NB: Questions related to topics not covered due to industrial action are crossed out. You are recommended to avoid writing on topics where you have not been able to engage with the lecture and essential reading.

  1. Analyse an example of digital participation and consider the extent to which it might support learning, using theories of ‘participatory cultures’ and/or associated sociocultural learning theories
  2. How might policy-makers or educators address the ‘participation gap’ to ensure that all young people are able to engage with and benefit from participatory learning opportunities?
  3. How are learners drawing on digital technologies and global popular culture in constructing learning identities and/or narratives?
  4. What are the implications of the role of digital technologies in constructing learner identity for understanding people’s ‘learning lives’?
  5. How might learners be supported to develop ‘digital literacy’?
  6. How do concepts of ‘digital literacies’ or ‘new literacies’ help us understanding the changing nature of literacy in a digital world?
  7. Explore the issues of equality and diversity of participation in ‘participatory cultures’ and how educators or policy-makers might respond.
  8. Discuss how digital and participatory cultures might play a role in increasing or addressing existing social inequalities and oppressions.
  9. Discuss the issues encountered by formal educational institutions such as schools to bridge the gap between learning in and out of school.
  10. What are the implications of digital cultures and participatory learning for school and formal education?
  11. What are the implications of everyday life and learning becoming increasingly ‘datafied’?
  12. What role might datafication have in reshaping our digital cultures?
  13. What is education’s role in supporting learners to become ‘good digital citizens’?
  14. Discuss the important factors to be considered when we reimagine future educational spaces.

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