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Role taking and conversational functions in a blended university course


Role taking is an established technique that can foster group participation in online university courses. This paper reports on a blended course in Experimental Pedagogy at Sapienza University in Rome, analyzing how conversational functions and language use differs when students are assigned a role. A total of 143 students (22 males, 121 females) participated in the study. Online messages posted in a Moodle forum were analyzed by two different experts, who used a coding system that distinguishes between global and specific conversational functions. Language analysis was conducted using the software T-Lab. The results reveal differences in the performance of roleplaying and non-roleplaying students, specifically in the employment of conversational functions and the use of pronouns. Implications for future research are discussed.


Collaborative learning; Role taking; Participation; Knowledge building; Educational Technology; Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

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Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) | ISSN (print) 2532-4632 | ISSN (online) 2532-7720