Shared values and socio-cultural norms: E-learning technologies from a social practice perspective

Patti Shih, Gary M. Velan, Boaz Shulruf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


From a perspective of social practice, learning is a socially constituted practice that is imbued with socio-culturally significant meanings and shaped by the values and norms shared within a community of learners. This focus group study examines the role of elearning technologies in mediating the social practice of learning among coursework university students in Sydney, Australia. Qualitative data from this study elucidated the social context and significant socio-cultural meanings that make learning technologies highly valued tools for students. Notably, students valued the interaction with others facilitated by learning technologies that enable the sharing and building of knowledge, because learning is most effective and engaging through community participation. Further, they articulated a desire for learning opportunities that are instantaneous, convenient and time-saving, against the backdrop of a busy and time-poor metropolitan lifestyle that requires the balancing of study with extracurricular activities and long commutes. Learning technologies are key enablers in a social structure that readily engage individuals into the social system of learning. It is crucial that the design and implementation of e-learning is situated in an understanding of learning as a social practice and tailored to the significant values and norms associated with education and learning activities among its learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-566
Number of pages17
JournalIssues in Educational Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2017

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