A revised version of this paper appeared as: Warschauer, M. (1998). Online learning in sociocultural context. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 29(1), 68-88.
Proponents of online learning claim that it can transform education by promoting student-centered communication, collaboration, and inquiry. Yet these claims must be weighed against the actual implementation of online learning, which is influenced by a broad range of sociocultural factors.
This study investigated the sociocultural factors which helped shape a computer-based ESL writing course in a conservative college, factors which included a complex relationship between teacher, researcher, and students.