Interactions in virtual learning environments: new roles for digital technology
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For the last 10 years, online pre-service teacher distance education has increased significantly in Brazil. As a result, research on this educational modality has also increased, in particular, research investigating the different roles students and teachers play in these courses. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of digital technologies in two specific contexts: how teachers, tutors, and students play a role in producing interactive digital didactic material and how digital technologies themselves can play a role in teaching distance learning courses. But for these roles to emerge, we point to the need for participants of online courses to interact collaboratively. To identify these roles, grounded theory, a branch of qualitative research, was used as the two roles were articulated. Data were produced from virtual observations in virtual learning environments and virtual interviews. The results stress that both highlighted roles are related. They transform teacher and student roles and participation in the virtual classroom, and an “agency of media” emerges in online mathematics education.