Lifting the Veil: Social Loafing and Participatory Learning in a Networked Space.

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Vicars, Mark ORCID: 0000-0003-0684-2180 and Neal, Greg (2019) Lifting the Veil: Social Loafing and Participatory Learning in a Networked Space. In: Negotiating Place and Space in Digital Literacies Research and Practice. Pyles, DG, Rish, RM and Warner, J, eds. Digital Media and Learning . Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC, pp. 59-76.


This chapter draws on participant perspectives from a global collaboration project that involved teacher education students from Australia and the United States. The global collaboration required participants to reflect on their participation to synthesize shared knowledge of and about the two education systems using online resources in a virtual space that included social media applications such as Facebook and Instagram. The chapter operationalizes the concept of social loafing, defined as “the tendency to reduce one’s efforts when working collectively” (Karau & Williams, 1993, p.683) to think through the material and situational structures of people interacting with digital technology. The chapter situates the posthuman subject as a frame for understanding the affordances of digital participatory learning. Though social loafing is often considered as a deficit or breakdown of individual production and interaction when responsibility for learning is diffused within a group, this chapter considers how digital technologies create asynchronous opportunities that afford and allow users to read widely in a non-linear style, access information in their own place and space and determine when/if they want to contribute online.

Item type Book Section
ISBN 9781641134835
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords social media; online resources; virtual space; digital literacy; global learning network; pedagogy
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