Toronto Metropolitan University
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Learning in the wild: coding for learning and practice on Reddit

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posted on 2023-01-31, 21:52 authored by Caroline Haythornthwaite, Priya Kumar, Anatoliy GruzdAnatoliy Gruzd, Sarah Gilbert, Marc Esteve Del Valle, Drew Paulin
Learning on and through social media is becoming a cornerstone of lifelong learning, creating places not only for accessing information, but also for finding other self-motivated learners. Such is the case for Reddit, the online news sharing site that is also a forum for asking and answering questions. We studied learning practices found in ‘Ask’ subreddits AskScience, Ask_Politics, AskAcademia, and AskHistorians to develop a coding schema for informal learning. This paper describes the process of evaluating and defining a workable coding schema, one that started with attention to learning processes associated with discourse, exploratory talk, and conversational dialogue, and ended with including norms and practices on Reddit and the support of communities of inquiry. Our ‘learning in the wild’ coding schema contributes a content analysis schema for learning through social media, and an understanding of how knowledge, ideas, and resources are shared in open, online learning forums. Keywords: informal learning, social media, coding, content analysis, Reddit


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) under the Insight Grant scheme.




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