Volume 41, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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Successful research and teaching of discipline genres is based on collaboration among language and learning specialists with expertise in applied linguistics, and subject area specialists with expertise in the knowledge and communication practices of their disciplines. These interdisciplinary collaborations involve experts coming together around an area of shared interest in a community of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991), where members are committed to building relationships to learn from each other, and in this process build new knowledge (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2006). This paper aims to identify the kinds of knowledge building negotiations involving a team of discipline staff, academic literacy specialists, and e-learning specialists as they collaborate in the design of online learning materials to support students in writing the laboratory report genre in the discipline of physiology. The data consist of recordings of team members’ spoken interactions, with or without other artefacts, such as storyboards, over a period of nine months as the design for the website evolved. Initial discourse analysis of transcripts, based on the metafunctions from Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) (Halliday, 1985a), is used to identify phases where the emphasis is on the negotiation of ideational, or content meanings, enabled by interpersonal and textual meanings. A sample of these phases is then analysed in detail using exchange structure (Martin, 1992) to identify possible genres which build new knowledge and embody it in the online resources.


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