Monthly Archives: September 2016

Lesley Liu’s Masters Thesis Defense

You are invited to the
Masters of Arts in Curriculum Studies Thesis Defense
Lesley Liu, BA


Thursday September 22, 2016, 3:00 pm, Scarfe 310


This research explores how adolescents design, interpret, and navigate affinity spaces in connection to cyberbullying awareness. A class of Grade 8 students (aged 12-13, mixed gender, and a variety of digital skills) participated in the study. The participants first investigated the use of affinity spaces, collaborative physical and digital spaces (Gee, 2004), then proceeded to design their own spaces for collaborative group work. A variety of data was collected in the form of peer-to-peer pre interviews, OneNote collaborative group journals, in-class observations of class work sessions, and post interviews.

This research situates learning as a social process mediated through interactions using media and technologies of a physical (e.g., private messages, forums, profile pages, self-authored webpages) and semiotic (e.g., language) nature; thus, a socio-cultural discourse approach provides valuable insight and layers of understanding into how children appropriate or learn mannerisms that circulate through real and virtual spaces (Cole, 1985; Leont’ev, 1981; Smagorinsky, 2011; Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1990). Actor-network theory is employed to explain how humans and technologies assume or create agency in designed spaces (Law & Callon, 1992).

The findings of this study inform how adolescents design affinity spaces (real and virtual) and emphasize design features they recommend to serve as functioning collaborative workspaces, both in and out of the classroom, to prevent or counter cyberbullying. Student-informed or student-designed spaces provide a sense of ownership or self-regulation and give insight as to how codes of conduct inform these spaces and vice versa. Future studies should adopt an iterative process of design-based research to test and refine these affinity spaces (Collins et al., 2004; Wang, Petrina, & Feng, 2015). Recommendations also include future applications of sociocultural theory and activity theory to discern how adolescents differentiate between face-to-face and online communication and practical classroom applications of affinity spaces in secondary schools.

SUPERVISOR: Dr. Stephen Petrina
COMMITTEE MEMBER: Dr. Marlene Asselin
THESIS EXAMINER: Dr. Douglas Adler

HWL @ CSSE 2016


Congrats to the HWL Research Team for an excellent symposium on Designification of Learning.

This symposium explores the designification of learning to generate discussion on 21st century learning, curriculum, and instructional design. Six empirical reports offer depth and scope: 1) 15 preschoolers learning prosocial behaviours by designing or designifying with iPads; 2) 25 eighth graders designing affinity spaces to understand cyberbullying; 3) 107 young adults learning language within a Virtual Immersive Language Learning And Gaming Environment (VILLAGE); 4) 30 youth co-researchers designing or designifying in maker culture using the Tween Empowerment & Advocacy Methodology (TEAM); 5) firsthand design critique of the Uganda National Youth curriculum; and 6) designification of technotheologies using video design-based research (VDBR) and value-sensitive design (VSD).

The key objectives include: 1) to explore connections between de-signification, design-ification, and “new learning;” 2) to profile methodological advancements in design-based research (DBR), VDBR, VSD, and TEAM derived from lab and field-based studies; and 3) to examine designification of diverse learning environments (e.g., classrooms, affinity spaces, maker labs, and virtual worlds). The presentation format will be conversational and demonstrative, beginning with a series of focus questions to determine audience interests and generate seeds of discussion. A series of DRB demonstrations will be provided as stimulating examples and to provide depth of understanding.


Excellent research, Stella Namae, on understanding the nature of out-of-school-in-school technological divide in Uganda.


Challenging discussion on cyberbullying, cybercrime, and online identity construction led by Lesley Liu and Kesiena Chris-Iwuru.

Keeping Up with the Media

Paula MacDowell

Keeping Up with the Media is a media study guide created for teachers and students, by teachers. The authors are all practicing teachers (elementary and secondary) completing a Master of Education in Digital Learning and Curriculum at UBC. This elite team produced this guide to enhance media literacy and media education across the K-12 curriculum.

Authors: #UBCDLC3
Editor: Paula MacDowell
Publication Date: August 4, 2016
Format: Interactive, multi-touch eBook

#CreateNoHate #‎NoH8‬

Create No Hate, a powerful anti-cyberbullying video made by 13-year-old filmmaker/vlogger Luke Culhane ‪