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Identities, Borders, Change: A Case Study of (Trans) Cultural Learning in Mediated Learning Communities

Sébastien Dubreil
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Sébastien Dubreil: University of Tennessee – Knoxville, USA

International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE), 2012, vol. 3, issue 3, 60-80

Abstract: The purpose of this case study was to examine one learner’s (Keira) personal trajectory in an online, transnational telecollaborative learning environment, focusing on how she negotiated (1) her own sense of identity, (2) her perspective on French and American cultures, and (3) the possibility of a transcultural dialogue. The data (observations, journals, interviews) showed that early on, Keira’s expectations of the class shifted drastically. Consequently, she began to engage her own conception of self and being American through introspection and, ultimately, a redefinition of her own subjectivity. Keira progressively developed her own transcultural stance and reached a point where her sense of the conditions of possibility of culture learning and the transcultural encounter, buttressed by a much deeper and nuanced knowledge of both culture(s), led to a completely new understanding and repositioning of her posture in this encounter, which she called “an opportunity for liberation.†This study supports the effectiveness of technology-mediated learning communities (MLCs) in fostering transcultural learning seen as a developmental process, a dynamic trajectory.

Date: 2012
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