Social Transformation and Software Design: A Critical Realist Approach to the Teaching of Written Composition

By Dee Pratt.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The potential for a social transformation of a conceptual mechanism provided by a writing tutor program is explored from within a critical realist perspective.

Keywords: Computer Mediated Learning, Multicultural Education, Written Composition, Empowerment, Modelling, Critical Realism

International Journal of Learning, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp.153-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.080MB).

Prof. Dee Pratt

My teaching and research is multidisciplinary, involving linguistics, education, and computer-mediated learning, focusing in particular on the changes in communication practices brought about by rapid advances in computer technology and expanding worldwide use of hypermedia. At DUT I am involved in both web-based learning (at all levels) and courseware design: I am currently testing out a writing tutor program developed in my doctoral research. My current research involves theoretical modelling in the field of communication/written composition, and my focus is on discovering social algorithms upon which educational software can be based. My research orientation is critical realist, an anti-positivist philosophy which works sensitively towards social transformation by exploring the complex system of social and natural forces underpinning everyday social functioning. I use a scaffolded constructivist approach in my teaching, and have developed a original system of integrated language learning which has been implemented in my department. I am also involved in curriculum design both for my department and for the online learning centre. My short term goals are to complete my Ph.D. and to kick-start the CALT coursework masters, which is aimed at teacher and community uplift in KwaZulu-Natal through ICT. My long term goal is to carry on with hypermedia exploration, courseware design, teaching and research for as long as I am able!

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