Investigating Remote Teaching Through Cultural-Historical Activity Theory: A Case Study in Lebanon


This case study investigates remote teaching in a higher education institution in Lebanon using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). It addresses the lack of cultural-historical studies examining remote teaching, while illustrating and enhancing the fourth generation of CHAT. The choice of Lebanon stems from the country's concurrent financial, banking, and political collapse. These crises that disrupt regular functioning can elucidate the interplay of activities that are often overlooked but play a vital role in the success of teaching. Following a sequential explanatory design, data was collected through a survey completed by 74 instructors of a private university in Beirut, 9 of whom were subsequently interviewed for more in-depth information. Drawing upon Engeström and Sannino's framework (2011), the study analyzed the contradictions/tensions experienced by instructors in online teaching, while also exploring how subjects resolved these contradictions. The most reported contradictions pertained to social interactions, internet connectivity, and demotivation. The most prevalent contradictions took place across activities, with 58 out of 92 contradictions remaining unresolved. The resolution of contradictions primarily relied on adjusting the tools employed in remote teaching. Instructors who went a step further by adjusting the rules governing social interactions or actively engaging with the community were able to overcome additional contradictions. Subjects did not mobilize the division of labor and coalitions of activities to address conflicts.

Author Information
Lamya Sabbah, Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon

Paper Information
Conference: BCE2023
Stream: Higher education

This paper is part of the BCE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Sabbah L. (2023) Investigating Remote Teaching Through Cultural-Historical Activity Theory: A Case Study in Lebanon ISSN: 2435-9467 – The Barcelona Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon