Knowledge Building Quality in Online Communities of Practice: Focusing on Learning Dialogue

E. K. Sorensen, E. S. Takle, H. M. Moser

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on a case-study on the implementation of “language games” as a pedagogical tool for analyzing, assessing and promoting the quality and the level of collaborative knowledge building in online learning dialogues. Part of the overall objective is to explore the use, strength, weaknesses, and limitations of using the method in the context of an online senior level university course (on-campus and off-campus continuing education) on Global Change. In this investigation, the insight from using a theoretical perspective of language games is elucidated and discussed in relation to the benefits of other theoretical approaches. Applying an analytical perspective of language games, sequences of online dialogues are analyzed in order to understand their specific characteristics and to diagnose the quality of the collaborative knowledge building processes. To what extend do language games reveal true knowledge building in an online learning environment? Results of this study suggest that language games may function as a tool for diagnosing quality in online collaborative knowledge building processes. Furthermore, their possible use as an instructional tool for promoting more authentic collaborative online learning is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Continuing Education
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)241-257
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Dr. Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen is a senior lecturer in ICT and Learning in the Department of Communication, Aalborg University, Denmark. She is head of the online Master programme in ICT & Learning, offered collaboratively by five Danish universities. Her international research focuses on collaborative dialogue and knowledge building online, pedagogical design and delivery of networked learning, and implementation of electronic portfolios as reflective tools in online learning process. Elsebeth presents her research at international conferences, frequently as keynote speaker, and she has published extensively in international journals and books within the field. She serves on the editorial board of several international journals and on program committees of international conferences within the field.


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