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Digital Technology and Dialogue

Hands of people sat around a desk using a tablet

About this research strand

This strand focuses on the interaction between dialogue in educational settings and digital technologies. In doing so, we take a broad view of dialogue, and acknowledge the multi-modal affordances of technology for the mediation of discourse and how these may support new forms of interaction. Our work examines how collective knowledge building is enabled in the constantly changing environment of digitally-enhanced learning. This includes pursuing research possibilities related to, for example, online spaces for learning, virtual environments and uses of communications technologies, in addition to more ‘conventional’ classroom hardware and software. Our intentions through such work are to build robust theoretical and methodological perspectives that contribute to dialogue research. In doing so, we are open to the possibilities of inter-disciplinary collaboration, both within and outside the University.

Strand Leaders

Louis Major and Sara Hennessy (with others including Alison Twiner and Rupert Wegerif).


Projects include

Gaming to Development (G2D). Epic Games: 2020-21. Major, Wegerif & Twiner.

G2D examines how the 3D real-time collaboration that young people encounter through gaming can be used in education to prepare them for jobs which, in many cases, may not yet exist. It investigates how these activities can cultivate other competencies, such as the ability to engage in effective dialogue online, and collaborative problem-solving.

Virtual Internships Project (VIP). Industry Partners: 2019-21. Wegerif, Major & Twiner.

In collaboration with colleagues in industry, VIP involves developing and testing an innovative new model of ‘Virtual Internships’ to investigate the impact this has on how young people (i) engage with the world of work; (ii) develop key competencies related to dialogue and creativity.

Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum (DiDiAC).
Research Council of Norway: 2016-20. Warwick, Major, Cook & Vrikki.

In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Oslo (Project Leader: Ingvill Rasmussen), investigating the potential of micro-blogging to enhance existing (and promote new) forms of classroom dialogue and critical thinking in Year 7 classrooms.

Using the IWB to Support Classroom Dialogue.
ESRC: 2008-10. Hennessy, Warwick & Mercer. A dialogue-based approach to the use of interactive whiteboards in learning.

Interactive Whiteboards and Collaborative Learning in Primary Science.
ESRC: 2007-09. Mercer, Kershner, Kleine-Staarman, Warwick.