22 SES 10 B, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Parallel Paper Session
New media technologies and virtual environments offer new opportunities for higher education institutions to increase graduate students’ engagement and improve the overall value of their learning experiences in the mentoring activities of graduate programs (Braine, 2002; Hamilton & Scandura, 2003; Hudson, Owen & Klaas Van Veen, 2006). The new technologies provide the graduate students and their supervisors with the ability to collaborate, confront and exchange ideas to make a better and more complete sense of their experiences in their research practices, and increase graduate students’ control over content, interaction, and the formation of learning networks with peers, mentors and experts outside of their programs (Kasprisin, Single & Muller, 2003).
While the potential benefits of mentoring using virtual environment and new media technologies are widely acknowledged as replicating the same benefits as mentoring (Single & Single 2005), educational researchers argue that for developing more effective mentoring programs, the use of new technologies should not be driven toward envisaging them as a total replacement of existing educational approaches but rather as extensions of it (Botzakis & Malloy, 2006; Watson, 2006; Gareis & Nussbaum-Beach, 2007; Sundli, 2007; Frey, 2008).
The main purpose of this study was to explore the nature of online and face to face mentoring interactions in an academic writing summer course organized by a Nordic university in Europe. The study particularly focused on doctoral students’ understandings of academic literacy in relation to domain knowledge in their particular fields, and examined the extent to which online and face –to-face mentoring supported the integration of such literacy and knowledge. Specifically, the following research questions were addressed throughout the data collection and analysis: How do doctoral students develop their academic literacy that integrate research methodologies with their domain knowledge? How do supervisors with varying degrees of expertise in students’ domain knowledge mentor these students in their online and face to face interactions?
Bourdieu’s concepts of cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1986) and misrecognition (Bourdieu, 1980) were employed throughout the data analysis in order to systematically examine the misrecognitions occurred in the doctoral students’ acquisition of academic literacy in the mentoring practices. Bourdieu's concept of cultural capital refers broadly to resources that are gained by individuals through formal or informal educational experiences. Bourdieu (1980) conceptualize misrecognition as an ‘‘alienated cognition that looks at the world through the categories the world imposes, and apprehends the social world as a natural world’’ (pp. 140–141). For Bordieu, ‘misrecognition’ is both a cultural and an ideological phenomenon, since it ‘embodies a set of active social processes that anchor taken-for-granted assumptions into the realm of social life and, crucially, they are born in the midst of culture. All forms of power require legitimacy and culture is the battleground where this conformity is disputed and eventually materialises amongst agents, thus creating social differences and unequal structures’ (Navarro 2006, p. 19).
Bourdieu, P. (1980). The Logic of Practice. Stanford, Stanford University Press. Bourdieu, P. (1986). The Forms of Capital. Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Capital. J. G. Richardson. New York, Greenwood Press: 241-58. Braine, G. (2002). Academic literacy and the nonnative speaker graduate student. Journal of English for Academic Purposes. 1, (1), 59-68 Kasprisin, C.A., Boyle-Single, P.B., Single, R.M. & Muller, C.B. (2003).'Building a Better Bridge: testing e-training to improve e-mentoring programmes in higher education. Mentoring and Tutoring, 11, (1). Hamilton, B. A., & Scandura, T. A. (2003). E-mentoring: Implications for organizational learning and development in a wired world. Organizational Dynamics, 31(4), 388-402. Hudson, B.; Owen, D. & Van Veen, K. (2006). Working on educational research methods with masters students in an international online learning community. British Journal of Educational Technology . 37, (4), 577-603 Navarro, Z. (2006). In Search of Cultural Intepretation of Power’. IDS Bulletin 37(6): 11-22. Sundli, L. (2007). Mentoring: A new mantra for education? Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 201-214. Single, P.B. & Single, R.M. (2005). E-mentoring for social equity: review of research to inform program development. Mentoring and Tutoring, 13, (2), 201-320. Watson, S. (2006). Virtual mentoring in higher education: Teacher education and cyberconnections. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 18, 168-179.
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