Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Topic 3 - Collaborative Learning

My reflection of collaborative learning took place, that moved  thinking forward

I am using ICT from 2001 in my teaching. ICT mainly used ICT for sharing learning materials and communication with students and colleges. During last few years, I followed few courses and gradually changed the view of ICT as a facility in learning and teaching.
I would say, the ONL171 as a turning point and explored ICT as a collaborative tool in practice. I read the paper titled, "Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment Introduction: The Challenge of Creating Effective Study Groups [1]" and found a concept help to build more productive learning environment.
I would like to share the most important section of that paper that authors quoted Siemens [2]:

"Siemens (2002) notes that learner-learner interactions in an e-learning course can be viewed as a four stage continuum:
People ‘talking,' discussing
People sharing ideas and working together (occasionally sharing resources) in a loose environment
People doing things together, but each with his or her own purpose
People striving for a common purpose."

I see, this as a kind of framework that can be used to design collaborative framework. The framework, suggest four level of interaction. Benefits of the interaction will increase when move from level one to four. Also, this framework can have used to evaluate the current level that we are standing and move forward.

Frankly, I would say, I am in the level one in most of the time in my teaching. A Moodle based Learning Management systems used mainly for sharing presentations and schedules. Even we were teaching as a group a large number of students we rarely used ICT to collaborate with my colleges.

I was aware of many collaborative tools already available in Moodle but didn't have a chance to study, use or practice in detail. The ONL171 gave me an opportunity to think about how to use these tools and lot of other tools for interaction. Although Siemens note four levels as a guide for learner–learner interactions, I see that facilitators also can interact with learners and other facilitators.

In the collaborative learning environment, teachers also learn from interactions and collaborations as well as students from interactions and collaborations. In active learning environments don't consider students are just as listeners. They construct knowledge and sharing with others.

My Personal Learning Networks –

As a Ph.D. student, I followed many face-to-face courses and one blended and online course. I couldn't maintain a relationship with face-to-face peers and rarely contact them after the completion of course. Although I met only a few peers in online and blended classes, I have a stronger networking with them even after finishing the courses. But, still, many of them are in my social networks such as LinkedIn, Researchgate, Academia, etc. Although, we are interact closely learn from each other through social networks.

I face many issues when I do programming and other development activities. Also, I am getting into troubles even when I am using general purpose applications such as word processor or spreadsheet. If so, usually, I am trying to find answers from blog sites, forums and YouTube videos rather trying to read a book or manuals. Most of the time, I found answers quickly and easily. Not only a specific answer for the problem that I faced, probably, but I also acquired new and border knowledge. I have subscriptions to those sources, and first I will try to find answers through them. Also, I noted, even leading companies are maintaining blogs, forums, and YouTube channels to implement support systems. On my experience, subscribed users are very active. In some sites, they have implemented a kind of voting system. Registered users can vote for good answers. Also, there is digital badge system, and participants get badges according to their contribution. Even I dont know personally, I have a network with experts knowledge.

[1] J. E. Brindley, C. Walti, and L. M. Blaschke, "Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment Introduction : The Challenge of Creating Effective Study Groups," Int. Rev. Res. Open Distrib. Learn., vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 1–9, 2014.
[2]      Siemens, G. (2002).  Interaction. E-Learning Course. October 8, 2002. Retrieved May 19, 2008, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/Interaction.htm

1 comment:

  1. I agree, Siemens four stages are excellent for describing the way we interact for a delimited area. I am deliberately use "delimited" because a think we choose and aim for different stages for different activities. Sometimes it is enough discussing. In another situation e.g. a small research group or a course team it should be productive with a community-like style. Hmm, I think that we sometimes have an ambition to reach the community level, but not realize that we in fact do not have a common goal. Our individual purpose can be more important than the common goal. Compare a research group's goal (the professor's CV) with individual goals (individual researchers' CVs). Or?


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