Using Activity Theory as a Base for Investigating Language Teacher Education through Digital Technology
In this article, the authors explore the features of the Makerere University Electronic Learning Environment (MUELE) platform and how it is used by language teacher educators to facilitate pre-service teachers’ development of Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Content Knowledge and Digital Competences. The article is drawn out of data collected using platform user and activity analysis tools to yield data on the platform features, their usage and activity types. The Activity Theory principle of contradictions is used to provide an interpretive framework to explain how the platform has created tensions, contradictions and transformations. Findings indicate that the platform has features that can lever transformation of teaching and learning practices that facilitate the development of pre-service teachers’ competences. However, use of the platform is constrained by tensions and contradictions at system and individual levels.
Keywords: Learning management platforms; language education; activity theory