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Title: Assessed, student-led dialogic interaction : a Bakhtinian analysis of a case study of undergraduate history seminars
Author: Bentley, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 5414
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2010
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A Bakhtinian theoretical framework throws fresh light on higher education assessment, dialogue and classroom dynamics, demonstrating that assessed, student-led seminars can have a powerfully positive effect on student learning. The case study comprised of a well-established programme of seminars in a university history department. These seminars, which are regarded as innovative, have three distinctive features: they are assessed; they contain dialogic interaction; and they are student-led. This qualitative study investigating the effects of the seminars on student learning employed interviews with tutors and students, and observations of seminars. A holistic picture has been created which takes account of the socio-ideological context of the seminars, the socio-linguistic structures which constituted the actual interaction and the participants’ perspectives. A Bakhtinian analysis was applied to empirical data and revealed that it is when three conditions are in place that the potential for dialogic learning is enhanced. Firstly, assessment directs students’ activity amplifying their learning experience. Secondly, the use of different types of dialogue enables students to assimilate new ideas. Thirdly, through peer facilitation and leadership of the seminars, along with other structuring devices, the power dynamics of the classes remain open and fluid and the tutor is prevented from unwittingly suppressing active student involvement. In these conditions, it is argued, students are able to engage actively with the material in-hand resulting in a richer learning experience.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB2300 Higher education