DescriptionPrevious research has shown that students experience challenges with thesis writing in terms of procedural and technical aspects as well as emotional aspects, suggesting that students need support in their writing processes. The need for support can be even higher when students are away from the campus, because the solitary aspect of thesis writing can increase. These issues became even more prominent due to how the Covid-19 pandemic moved teaching online and affected teaching practices worldwide.
This study built on a participatory action research project that developed academic writing workshops to support bachelor’s and master’s students’ thesis writing processes. In the spring of 2020, several aspects of the workshops became altered when the Covid-19 pandemic moved the workshops into hybrid learning spaces (e.g., Zoom, Padlet, and Moodle), blurring the boundaries between individual/collaborative efforts and synchronous/asynchronous communication. Consequently, this study addressed the fourth and fifth research cycles in the project (2020–2021) to explore how academic writing workshop-ing in hybrid learning spaces can support students’ thesis writing processes. Academic writing workshop-ing recognizes the workshops as an enacted practice and doings with students and tutors in social and material realities (Jusslin & Widlund, 2021), whereas hybrid learning spaces cut across digital and physical spaces, dissolving dichotomies of synchronous/asynchronous communication and individual/collaborative efforts (Nørgård, 2021). The writing workshops were arranged in Zoom and have been offered as university courses for students in different disciplines (mostly educational, social, and health sciences). Course participation was voluntary, and 77 students gave informed consent to participate in this study.
Theoretically the study was inspired by a Deleuzo-Guattarian approach to analyze the students’ desirings when participating in the workshops. Desire is about production and not the lack of something; it happens through forces, intensities, and actions that are actively becoming (Deleuze, 1995; Deleuze & Guattari, 1987/2013). A rhizoanalysis produced several hybrid thresholds with multiple, (un)predictable potentialities in the hybrid learning spaces. The hybrid thresholds encompassed sharing screens… and thesis writing through sharing texts-and-screens; on/off with the camera… and personal relationships; with the padlets… and rhizomatic questions-with(out)-answers; in the chat and breakout rooms… and individual and peer support; and on Moodle… and availability in-workshop and outside-workshop. The hybrid workshop-ing counteracted the solitariness of thesis writing when being away from campus and provided a collaborative close-ness to the texts in-becoming, demonstrating how hybrid learning spaces can be effective in supporting students’ thesis writing processes.
AdditionaldescriptionFunded by Högskolestiftelsen i Österbotten
|Period||2 Jun 2022|
|Event title||NERA: Nordic Educational Research Association : Education and involvement in precarious times|
|Degree of Recognition||International|
Activity: Talk or presentation › Oral presentation