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Designing Online Collaborative Tasks for Language Learning
Xuelian Lei
Theory and Practice in Language Studies , 2011, DOI: 10.4304/tpls.1.2.191-193
Abstract: Designing online collaborative tasks for language learning is a challenge. This article aims to provide guidelines for creating effective online collaborative tasks. First, a definition of an online collaborative task is proposed. Then it comes to discuss the ways task design may relate to theories of learning, practical guidelines and examples for constructing collaborative tasks. The article concludes with suggestions for future language task research and design.
Transforming the student experience at a distance: Designing for collaborative online learning
Lindsay Jordan
Engineering Education , 2009,
Abstract: Distance learning programmes allow greater flexibility of learning. They are often necessary for those who wish to enhance their professional development and/or gain higher-level qualifications while simultaneously continuing to work, especially where appropriate courses of study are not offered locally. However, the isolation and lack of feedback experienced by off-campus learners are key factors in the low retention rates common to many programmes. Dependence on freelance, off-campus tutoring staff brings challenges for managing change. While there is no single solution for these problems, the student experience can be significantly improved by weaving the development of an online community into the fabric of the course of study and addressing challenges such as the relevance of curricula (including assessment and feedback procedures) through the use of appropriate technologies.This article describes the redevelopment of a series of distance learning modules through the application of established educational principles. It explains the need for and approach to change and documents how learning technologies have been applied to combat student and tutor isolation, improve the quality, quantity and variety of feedback sources and increase student engagement with feedback.The lessons learned throughout this redevelopment project will be of interest for educators developing or redeveloping online blended or distance learning programmes, particularly in Engineering and/or Built Environment subject areas.
Are Online Learners Frustrated with Collaborative Learning Experiences?
Neus Capdeferro,Margarida Romero
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning , 2012,
Abstract: Online education increasingly puts emphasis on collaborative learning methods. Despite the pedagogical advantages of collaborative learning, online learners can perceive collaborative learning activities as frustrating experiences. The purpose of this study was to characterize the feelings of frustration as a negative emotion among online learners engaged in online computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) experiences and, moreover, to identify the sources to which the learners attribute their frustration. With this aim, a questionnaire was designed to obtain data from a sample of online learners participating in the Master of ICT and Education program of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Results revealed that frustration is a common feeling among students involved in online collaborative learning experiences. The perception of an asymmetric collaboration among the teammates was identified by the students as the most important source of frustration. Online learners also identified difficulties related to group organization, the lack of shared goals among the team members, the imbalance in the level of commitment and quality of the individual contributions, the excess time spent on the online CSCL tasks, the imbalance between the individual and collective grades, and difficulties in communication, among other factors leading to frustration. The analysis of the students’ sources of frustration in online CSCL is followed by a list of recommendations to the distance education stakeholders, aiming to reduce students’ frustration and improve the quality of their experiences in online CSCL contexts such as the UOC.
Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment  [cached]
Jane E. Brindley,Christine Walti,Lisa M. Blaschke
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning , 2009,
Abstract: Collaborative learning in an online classroom can take the form of discussion among the whole class or within smaller groups. This paper addresses the latter, examining first whether assessment makes a difference to the level of learner participation and then considering other factors involved in creating effective collaborative learning groups. Data collected over a three year period (15 cohorts) from the Foundations course in the Master of Distance Education (MDE) program offered jointly by University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and the University of Oldenburg does not support the authors’ original hypothesis that assessment makes a significant difference to learner participation levels in small group learning projects and leads them to question how much emphasis should be placed on grading work completed in study groups to the exclusion of other strategies. Drawing on observations of two MDE courses, including the Foundations course, their extensive online teaching experience, and a review of the literature, the authors identify factors other than grading that contribute positively to the effectiveness of small collaborative learning groups in the online environment. In particular, the paper focuses on specific instructional strategies that facilitate learner participation in small group projects, which result in an enhanced sense of community, increased skill acquisition, and better learning outcomes.
Online Collaborative Learning: Theory and Practice  [PDF]
Reviewed by Professor Ali SIMSEK
The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education , 2006,
Abstract: This book is a collection of articles related to computer-mediated collaborative learning environments. It is edited by Tim S. Roberts from the Central Queensland University, Australia. The publisher is InfoSci, an imprint of Idea Group located both in the UnitedStates (Pennsylvania) and the United Kingdom (London). Thebook covers 13 chapters; each chapter is based on an article.In addition, there are separate sections for the Preface, theAuthors, and the Index. The total number of pages is 321+xiv.The authors of the chapters are selected academicians fromvarious universities in Australia, Finland, United States,Germany, Canada, Denmark, and United Kingdom. Theyrepresent diverse areas of interests such as education,informatics, communication, psychology, mathematics,science, computing, technology, and management.
Using Online Presence to Improve Online Collaborative Learning  [cached]
Zoran Jeremic,Nikola Milikic,Jelena Jovanovic,Mirjana Brkovic
International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) , 2012, DOI: 10.3991/ijet.v7is1.1918
Abstract: Social software tools have become an integral part of students’ personal lives and their primary communication medium. Likewise, these tools are increasingly entering the enterprise world (within the recent trend known as Enterprise 2.0) and becoming a part of everyday work routines. Aiming to keep the pace with the job requirements and also to position learning as an integral part of students’ life, the field of education is challenged to embrace social software. Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) emerged as a concept that makes use of social software to facilitate collaboration, knowledge sharing, group formation around common interests, active participation and reflective thinking in online learning settings. Furthermore, social software allows for establishing and maintaining one’s presence in the online world. By being aware of a student's online presence, a PLE is better able to personalize the learning settings, e.g., through recommendation of content to use or people to collaborate with. Aiming to explore the potentials of online presence for the provision of recommendations in PLEs, in the scope of the OP4L project, we have develop a software solution that is based on a synergy of Semantic Web technologies, online presence and socially-oriented learning theories. In this paper we present the current results of this research work.
Inclusion and online learning opportunities: designing for accessibility  [cached]
Elaine J. Pearson,Tony Koppi
Research in Learning Technology , 2002, DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v10i2.11398
Abstract: Higher education institutions worldwide are adopting flexible learning methods and online technologies which increase the potential for widening the learning community to include people for whom participation may previously have been difficult or impossible. The development of courseware that is accessible, flexible and informative can benefit not only people with special needs, but such courseware provides a better educational experience for all students.
Framework for online classroom tool for collaborative learning in undergraduate Pathology teaching  [cached]
Roshan Hewapathirana,Anuradha Jayatilake
Sri Lanka Journal of Bio-Medical Informatics , 2010, DOI: doi: 10.4038/sljbmi.v1i3.1770
Abstract: Pathology is one of the key focuses in any medical curriculum, which helps students to understand the causes and nature and effects of diseases. Conventionally, pathology is being taught using macroscopic and microscopic specimens combined with didactic teaching methodologies. Peer assisted learning is a commonly observable teaching learning method in studying macroscopic specimen especially among Sri Lankan medical undergraduates. However, the main drawback of the conventional laboratory based peer assisted learning is that the group of students have to be in the pathology museum physically to successfully engaged in the learning process and the teacher has to be available to clarify matters arising from the student centered learning exercise. On the contrary, online learning frees students and teacher from the need to be in a single physical location and online content delivery is gaining increasing popularity in medical curriculum. The proposed tool is the result of exploring the possibility of applying instructional designing and content delivery principals for pathology to facilitate peer assisted learning. This tool will assist integrating pathology with clinical presentation of diseases in developing a supplementary content management system for the pathology macroscopic and microscopic specimen studying process in medical undergraduate curricula.
Online Collaborative Learning Enhancement Through the Delphi Method  [PDF]
Murray TUROFF,Starr Roxanne HILTZ,Xiang YAO,Zheng LI
The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education , 2006,
Abstract: A variety of field trials have been conducted at NJIT in the past few years to demonstrate the utility of a Delphi-like approach to promoting asynchronous class wide collaboration. These utilized the Social Decision Support System (SDSS) originally developed as a Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) system for large group decision support. This paper provides an overview of these studies and then focuses on a recent case study in the fall of 2003 that demonstrated the ability of a computer mediated asynchronous Delphi process as a tool to scaffold collaborative idea generation and evaluation in both face to face and distance courses.
Designing Collaborative Learning Environments Using Educational Scenarios Based on SR  [cached]
Fotini Paraskeva,Sofia Mysirlaki,E. Choustoulakis
International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC) , 2009, DOI: 10.3991/ijac.v2i1.606
Abstract: As more and more studies acknowledge that students are basic contributors to the learning process, factors such as self concept, (computer) self-efficacy and self-regulation are important in enhancing human performance. Nevertheless, these learner characteristics have received little attention in the e-learning environment. This paper presents the results of a study indicating significant positive relationships between learner characteristics, such as self-concept (academic achievement and job achievement), Computer Self Efficacy (CSE) and Self-Regulation (SR) constructs. Acknowledging the requirement for a strong shift of students towards developing self-regulated scenarios and strategies, we suggest that collaborative e-learning environments should be designed according to the self-regulated theory and self-beliefs. As a result, in this study we present a model examining how we can design educational scenarios based on self-regulation theory in a collaborative e-learning environment. This model is a tool for conducting experiments in e-learning university courses, studying the design, development and evaluation of the collaborative learning process.
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