Examining the Pedagogic Discourse of an Online Fan Space: A Focus on Flexible Roles

Jayne C. Lammers


Though research demonstrates rich opportunities available to young writers who share their work online, technology use in writing classrooms remains largely teacher-centered, disconnected from Internet audiences, and focused on editing and revising final products with word processing tools (Applebee & Langer, 2011; Graham et al., 2014). The purpose of this article is to examine the pedagogy at work within an online community, The Sims Writers’ Hangout, to inform classroom-based writing instruction. Using Bernstein’s (1990; 2000; 2004) pedagogic discourse theory as a lens, interview and artifactual data collected during a two-year affinity space ethnography were analyzed to make visible how, unlike in many formal educational sites, The Sims Writers’ Hangout allowed for flexibility in terms of who could be a transmitter of knowledge in this online community. Implications for English classrooms are shared. 


digital literacy; online community; pedagogy; technology; writing

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