Lesley Gourlay's research while affiliated with University College London and other places

Publications (51)

Article
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This article is a collective response to the 2020 iteration of The Manifesto for Teaching Online. Originally published in 2011 as 20 simple but provocative statements, the aim was, and continues to be, to critically challenge the normalization of education as techno-corporate enterprise and the failure to properly account for digital methods in tea...
Article
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The literature on space in higher education has arguably been dominated by the concept of ‘learning spaces’. In this paper, I will argue that this construct, while appearing student-focused and creative, is ideologically circumscribed by an underlying social constructivism. Following Bayne et al. (2014), I draw on science and technology studies to...
Article
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The Covid-19 crisis has led to a rapid pivot to online teaching and student engagement across higher education internationally, due to public health ‘lockdown’ measures. In March 2020 in the UK this move was sudden, and universities were forced to move their provision to digital formats with little preparatory time, and in many cases, inadequate tr...
Article
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This empirical study examines the experiences of academics and professional service staff in a large UK university during first weeks of the transition to online teaching and working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. The method draws on the work by Gourlay and Oliver (2018) to explore engagement with the digital university in everyday practic...
Article
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Since the turn of this century, much of the world has undergone tectonic socio technological change. Computers have left the isolated basements of research institutes and entered people’s homes. Network connectivity has advanced from slow and unreliable modems to high-speed broadband. Devices have evolved: from stationary desktop computers to ever-...
Article
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In March 2020, populations were forced into home quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Universities moved the majority of their operations to homeworking, with profound implications for students, academics, and professional services staff. This paper analyses interview and visual data collected as part of a study on the impact of ‘movin...
Article
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The distinction between face-to-face and distant digitally-mediated educational engagement is a complex one, and the two modes are often combined in practice, via ‘blended learning’ or the use of a VLE to support campus-based teaching. The current Covid-19 pandemic has thrown this distinction into relief, in a context where educationalists have bee...
Article
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The term ‘quarantine’ is derived from the Italian quarantena, from quaranta, referring to the forty days of isolation traditionally imposed during the era of the Black Death in Europe. This paper examines this and related contemporary terms, in order to consider the complex and contradictory nature of enforced sites of isolation, with reference to...
Chapter
Contemporary student academic engagement and textual practices are theorised and imagined in a range of complex and contradictory ways in Higher Education research, policy and practice. In this paper, I aim to explore these tensions, and draw out the effects that flow from what I argue are misleading, overly-abstract and ideologically-freighted hum...
Book
Student Engagement in the Digital University challenges mainstream conceptions and assumptions about students’ engagement with digital resources in Higher Education. While engagement in online learning environments is often reduced to sets of transferable skills or typological categories, the authors propose that these experiences must be understoo...
Article
The term ‘student engagement’ has become ubiquitous in mainstream discourses concerning higher education in the UK and beyond. The term is used to denote a desirable set of practices and orientations in students which should be worked towards or encouraged in order for teaching in higher education to be deemed successful — as such, it has enormous...
Chapter
The aims, discourse and practices of academic development in higher education rest on a series of assumptions about the nature of academic practice and student engagement, assumptions which shape its approaches to enhancement and change. In this chapter, we review and critique these, drawing on sociomaterial theory and evidence from a project that...
Chapter
This chapter argues that studying draws in a wide array of technologies, takes place in both institutional and personal settings, and involves the consumption and production of a variety of digital and print texts. Knox exploring educational discourses about openness challenged the negative way in which discussions of technology framed the idea of...
Chapter
Digital literacies are an important area of contemporary research and practice. However, policy and research on this topic relies almost exclusively on capability or competence models of “digital literacy”. These decontextualised, cognitive accounts ignore the insights of New Literacy Studies (e.g. Lea and Street. Studies in Higher Education, 23(2)...
Chapter
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This chapter outlines the case for an holistic approach to studying e-learning, influenced by ethnography, New Literacy Studies (NLS) and sociomateriality (a tradition of work related to posthumanism and material semiotics). The theo- retical framing for such work is presented and related to developments in ethnog- raphy and digital anthropology. T...
Article
The study of academic reading and writing has moved away from a predominantly cognitive focus, towards one which views meaning-making as a complex set of socially situated practices. It is acknowledged that literacy practices enrol social actors via a range of semiotic resources, also recognising that these take place in increasingly multimodal dig...
Article
Work on students' study practices posits the digital and material as separate domains, with the ‘digital’ assumed to be disembodied, decontextualised and free-floating, and spaces in the material campus positioned as prototypically ‘traditional’ and analogue. Libraries in particular are often characterised as symbolic of predigital literacy practic...
Article
The movement towards ‘openness’ in education has tended to position itself as inherently democratising, radical, egalitarian and critical of powerful gatekeepers to learning. While ‘openness’ is often positioned as a critique, I will argue that its mainstream discourses - while appearing to oppose large-scale operations of power - in fact reinforce...
Article
Student engagement in higher education has tended to be discussed in mainstream discourses by invoking typologies, seeking to place students into categories and focusing on the importance of ‘participation’. I will give a critique of these ideologically loaded and normative constructs and their inherent contradictions, proposing an alternative fram...
Article
The nature of time has been considered in some depth within philosophy and social theory, while theoreticians have also explored interrelationships between temporality, artefacts and social process. However, the notion of time in mainstream educational theory and research has arguably been regarded as fixed, naturalised, undifferentiated ‘context’,...
Technical Report
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There is growing interest in the impact of digital technologies on meaning-making practices and identity in education, which has been explored via the related concepts of ‘digital scholarship’ and ‘digital literacies’. However, to date, much published work in this area has been descriptive, identifying possibilities or promoting specific kinds of i...
Article
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This paper offers a working conversation between the authors about the uneasy relationship between literacy studies and learning technologies. We come from the field of literacy studies but from contrasting perspectives: from academic literacies and work on literacies and technologies in higher education; from an interest in media theory and the im...
Article
This report outlines work undertaken by the Institute of Education to explore how pre-tertiary experiences of online learning influences students? successful transitions into and through Higher Education. The work was commissioned by Pamoja Education, and the studies that were undertaken focused on the experiences of students and staff taking part...
Article
The lecture is often posited as the prototypical ‘face-to-face’ educational encounter, seen as embodying key features of the pre-networked academy. These are implicitly characterised as forms of boundedness or impermeability, in terms of both the physical and temporal context, and the ontological status of the participants and the nature of the eve...
Article
Student plagiarism and difficulties with writing have been widely investigated in the literature, but there has been less research on staff perspectives. A Joint Information Services Committee (JISC)-funded questionnaire (n=80) and focus group study investigated the views of lecturers, librarians and study advisors at a UK post-92 university, looki...
Article
Social media and mobile technologies have introduced new means of networking, particularly in affluent post-industrial societies. However, the centrality of communication to these technologies is not always acknowledged. Drawing on the perspective of New Literacy Studies (e.g. Barton 2001), this chapter examines digital media from the point of view...
Article
Assumptions are often made about new lecturers in terms of previous experience, development needs and orientations towards the new role. Postgraduate certificate (PgCert) programmes tend to operate on the assumption that new lecturers are already familiar with the research element of their discipline, in a default transition from PhD to lectureship...
Article
How novice lecturers learn to be successful in their role is relatively under-researched, although the assumption may be made that the newcomer has learned the fundamentals how to engage in academic practice – at least in terms of research and scholarship – via the PhD process. However, although many lecturers now enter from a professional or pract...
Article
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Background: The literature on immersive virtual worlds and e-learning to date largely indicates that technology has led the pedagogy. Although rationales for implementing e-learning have included flexibility of provision and supporting diversity, none of these recommendations has helped to provide strong pedagogical location. Furthermore, there is...
Article
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Student transitions into the university are often conceived of via an apprentice-type model, or as entrance into a 'community of practice'. This paper disputes the applicability of these models to the indeterminate and opaque nature of student experiences of academic writing, and proposes that emotional destabilization and struggles around identity...
Article
In recent years, the proportion of university students from a non-English speaking background (NESB) has been increasing in the UK and beyond. This is widely acknowledged to hold great potential to enhance the educational setting. However, the transition from previous educational cultures can be demanding for these students. This paper will examine...
Article
The three-part Initiation, Response, Follow-up (IRF) cycle, or Triadic Dialogue, has been shown to be a common pattern in classroom discourse, and is widely used in EFL classrooms. The value of Triadic Dialogue has been debated in general education, where it has attracted criticism for being over-formulaic and restrictive, although recent research...
Article
The extent to which learners conform to the structure, aims and linguistic demands of a task is often seen as the responsibility of the materials writer and/or teacher. Given a logical rubric, well-designed task and clear classroom instructions, it is often assumed that the task will be approached as intended. When a task is enacted differently, le...
Article
Viewed within the context of an academic literacies approach to student writing, the issue of plagiarism may be seen to be rooted in questions of identity, and evolving individual practices and the construction of meaning and the complex development of the authorial self. Student writer identity is seen here as being formed in a 'liminal' space, a...

Citations

... Monty 2015), ethnographic observation (e.g. Johnson and Khoo 2018), journaling (Gourlay and Oliver 2016) and, as I will come on to discuss, through sound. ...
... The language of educational frameworks starts to usher in a certain kind of predictability and routineness about teaching, learning and curriculum change, and the ideas themselves can start to dictate the formation of teaching subjectivities -offering the ground for moral judgement -against which teacher's practices and actions are read. While teaching and learning regimes can draw attention to how change emerges and is stabilised in collective academic contexts, they can also highlight the "unchallenged orthodoxies" (Gourlay & Oliver, 2016) that become embedded in Schools and departments. Understanding this process may require disentangling teaching practices and identities from institutional demands. ...
... Some researchers have recently addressed aspects of presence and absence in the context of postdigital education. For example, citing Law and Mol (2001), Gourlay (2022) describes synchronous online teaching as occurring in a fire space, which consists of 'a flickering relation between absence and presence' (63). ...
... We may be networked together as co-authors. The Postdigital Science and Education journal and book series 2 have pioneered the publication of ambitious multi-author articles where contributing voices talk to each other across the text and image (e.g., Jandrić et al. 2020;MacKenzie et al. 2021;Networked Learning Editorial Collective et al. 2021). These academic collectives should be bound by seemingly loose ties but the feeling of pride should not be underestimated in having played a part in something as strange and intangible as a few hundred words together. ...
... Several previous studies have focused on increasing the competence of pre-service teacher students through micro-teaching courses (De Lange & Nerland, 2018;Rosali & Singkawijaya, 2020;Wangchuk, 2019); online teaching practice in elementary school (Brinia & Psoni, 2021;Ramot & Donitsa-Schmidt, 2021;Weldon, Ma, Ho, & Li, 2021); and use of interactive media in teaching and learning process (Littlejohn et al., 2021;Meri et al., 2022;Tang et al., 2020). Results of these researches have indicated the implementation of practical courses online, but have not linked the professionalism of preservice teachers with their teaching. ...
... encourage engagement and participation (Gourlay et al., 2021) in a flexible and playful way across disciplines. Each IDEA comes with a set of instructions about how to adapt it to different learning scenarios, planning time and relevant digital resources. ...
... Between networked learning (NL) and the postdigital, there are overlaps given the focus on entanglements of humans and technologies, primarily digital technologies, rooted in critical and emancipatory educational traditions (NLEC, 2021). Among the different definitions of NL (Gourlay et al., 2021), this paper uses the following: ...
... We draw on more-than-real speculative methods, presenting learning designers through vivid design fiction multimodal personae. We counter the disembodied skills-based constructions of learning designers by portraying them as complex, messed-up people who work 'in material and embodied entanglements with devices and other artefacts' (Gourlay et al. 2021a). ...
... Therefore, what students actually do, does not always coincide with what teachers want them to do (Elen, 2020;Goodyear & Ellis, 2010). The learning activity is far from being defined simply in discrete elements or separated contexts; instead, it consistently exceeds the borders of institutional environments and, in any case, takes the shape of embodied sociomateriality by participants (Gourlay, 2021). ...
... Self-regulation has assets such as goal setting, self-monitoring, self-instruction, and self-reinforcement (Harris & Graham, 1999;Schraw et al., 2006;Schunk, 1996)). With an improvement in this area we would hopefully see an openness to the varied learning environments explored above by Gourlay and Oliver (2016) above. Of course, paired with the cultural dimensions above and the possible barriers, this could prove problematic, but perhaps this is where selfregulation is not in full force. ...