Affordances of digital media for building research capability online

Jean A Saludadez
University of the Philippines Open University
Baņos, Laguna, the Philippines

The paper aims to contribute to discussion on open and flexible education by looking into the affordances of digital media through the lens of agency. It argues that digital media are agents that participate in the accomplishment of online teaching and learning. The ventriloqual approach that involves a three-step process was employed, viz. (1) collecting archived/recorded online interactions; (2) identifying markers through which digital media appeared to recurrently and iteratively express themselves in the recorded interactions; and (3) understanding or hearing what the markers are made to say. On this basis, the paper will show how digital media afforded the creation of interactive activities in a graduate level research course in an open university, enabling students to design and implement research using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Examining the agentive roles of digital media staged at teacher-students interactions provides insights into why learning is possible in an open and flexible environment such as online education.