Conversational reading: history and context for a new genre of virtual learning

Robert Hugh Nelson, Phillip Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Conversation and reading are regarded as essential ingredients of any discursive discipline. However, though clearly central to learning and integral to study, conversation and reading are anything but essential in the sense of absolute, unchanging and eternal. Our article reveals how both conversation and reading mutate and develop historically, serving intuitions of the learner?s autonomy and interactivity, which also evolve. This backdrop of change contextualizes speculations about the impact of digital technology upon conversation and reading. Our own invention of a conversation simulator (or conversation sim) reveals that conversation and reading can be integrated in any Learning Management System (LMS). Pointing to a new educational genre, this method for virtual learning demonstrates how automated educational technologies contribute to the ongoing reinvention of reading and conversation: thoughtful absorption in a text and verbal interactivity over a topic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374 - 387
Number of pages14
JournalDigital Culture and Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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