Home > tasks > Task 11: our components versus components of activity theory

Task 11: our components versus components of activity theory

As we didn’t define the clear perspective and the specific aspects we want to focus on in our previous task, it patently produced different interpretations and levels of analysis. Nevertheless, most of the descriptions reflect the same perspective – students as a subject. However, depending on a research question in mind the activity theory framework also allows to take different perspectives: facilitators, administrators, etc. For instance, a facilitator can be interpreted as a subject and a student as an object (a drive for the activity) with an outcome to “produce” a better learner. Furthermore, as already mentioned in the previous post the scope of the system depends on an observer and many of you mentioned that actually the problematic area is to determine the actual boundaries of the system. Is the community only IMKE, TLU or the whole blogosphere? Obviously everything depends on a problem one wants to address while implementing the activity theory framework, which also defines the  depth of the analysis. I think the power of the activity theory actually lies in its flexibility and freedom to interpret it according to one needs. It provides vocabulary for talking about human activity systems, it provides components of the activity to focus on and determines connections between them. It provides one of the ways to look at what humans do and how.

Next, I would like you to look back at the components we created (http://piratepad.net/apsWT6vudX a yellow list in the end of the document) in the beginning of this course. Taking the perspective of interactive environments (as one of the human activity systems) the way we have described them here (“users” perception of seeing opportunities to create their own human to human interactions with personal media) think of the following questions:

– did we come up with all the necessary components for analyzing and describing interactive systems?

– what components seem irrelevant? Why?

– currently we have a long list of components, which can be definitely shorten. How would you do that?

– do what degree the list of components is concurrent with the components of the activity theory framework?

– are there components which are not covered by the activity theory framework, but the activity theory framework could benefit from?

Put out a Weblog post with a short summary addressing the aforementioned questions.

The deadline for task 11 is: Sunday, December 5th, 24:00 (Estonian time).

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