Collaborative Learning (collaborative + learning)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Collaborative learning in mobile work

J. Lundin
Abstract, Moving towards more communication intensive organisations, where work tends to be mobile, understanding how to support learning in such work becomes increasingly important. This paper reports on a study of a customer relations team, where work is performed co-located, distributed as well as mobile. Collaborative learning within in this team is explored so as to inform the design of IT support. In the results four instances of collaborative learning important in the studied team were identified: walking into collaborative learning, travelling to meetings, articulating practice and sharing without articulating. These issues are discussed and how they affect the design of collaborative learning activities for mobile knowledge workers. [source]

The academic environment: the students' perspective

K. Divaris (nci)
Abstract Dental education is regarded as a complex, demanding and often stressful pedagogical procedure. Undergraduates, while enrolled in programmes of 4,6 years duration, are required to attain a unique and diverse collection of competences. Despite the major differences in educational systems, philosophies, methods and resources available worldwide, dental students' views regarding their education appear to be relatively convergent. This paper summarizes dental students' standpoint of their studies, showcases their experiences in different educational settings and discusses the characteristics of a positive academic environment. It is a consensus opinion that the ,students' perspective' should be taken into consideration in all discussions and decisions regarding dental education. Moreover, it is suggested that the set of recommendations proposed can improve students' quality of life and well-being, enhance their total educational experience and positively influence their future careers as oral health physicians. The ,ideal' academic environment may be defined as one that best prepares students for their future professional life and contributes towards their personal development, psychosomatic and social well-being. A number of diverse factors significantly influence the way students perceive and experience their education. These range from ,class size', ,leisure time' and ,assessment procedures' to ,relations with peers and faculty', ,ethical climate' and ,extra-curricular opportunities'. Research has revealed that stress symptoms, including psychological and psychosomatic manifestations, are prevalent among dental students. Apparently some stressors are inherent in dental studies. Nevertheless, suggested strategies and preventive interventions can reduce or eliminate many sources of stress and appropriate support services should be readily available. A key point for the Working Group has been the discrimination between ,teaching' and ,learning'. It is suggested that the educational content should be made available to students through a variety of methods, because individual learning styles and preferences vary considerably. Regardless of the educational philosophy adopted, students should be placed at the centre of the process. Moreover, it is critical that they are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. Other improvements suggested include increased formative assessment and self-assessment opportunities, reflective portfolios, collaborative learning, familiarization with and increased implementation of information and communication technology applications, early clinical exposure, greater emphasis on qualitative criteria in clinical education, community placements, and other extracurricular experiences such as international exchanges and awareness of minority and global health issues. The establishment of a global network in dental education is firmly supported but to be effective it will need active student representation and involvement. [source]

Incremental learning of collaborative classifier agents with new class acquisition: An incremental genetic algorithm approach

Sheng-Uei Guan
A number of soft computing approaches such as neural networks, evolutionary algorithms, and fuzzy logic have been widely used for classifier agents to adaptively evolve solutions on classification problems. However, most work in the literature focuses on the learning ability of the individual classifier agent. This article explores incremental, collaborative learning in a multiagent environment. We use the genetic algorithm (GA) and incremental GA (IGA) as the main techniques to evolve the rule set for classification and apply new class acquisition as a typical example to illustrate the incremental, collaborative learning capability of classifier agents. Benchmark data sets are used to evaluate proposed approaches. The results show that GA and IGA can be used successfully for collaborative learning among classifier agents. 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

When groups decide to use asynchronous online discussions: collaborative learning and social presence under a voluntary participation structure

H.-J. So
Abstract The purpose of this study is to explore how groups decide to use asynchronous online discussion forums in a non-mandatory setting, and, after the group decision is made, how group members use online discussion forums to complete a collaborative learning project requiring complex data gathering and research processes. While a large body of research on computer-mediated communication (CMC) has documented successful intervention strategies to promote and sustain online discussion forums, little of the research has examined the use of online discussion forums in voluntarily contexts, wherein the decision to use online discussion forums is a personal decision and participation is not a graded component. This study approaches the research questions using a naturalistic case study of one graduate-level blended learning course with 55 students. Employing both student interviews and content analysis methods, this study revealed that the factors affecting the group decision to use online discussion forums are (1) successful or unsuccessful experiences during the first trial, (2) perceived affordances of CMC tools, and (3) the interplay between the nature of collaborative tasks and perceived efficiency. The content analysis of online postings in two voluntary groups revealed that when groups decided to use online discussion forums, participation levels were almost equal among individual group members, and discussion threads were sustained until the final completion of the collaborative project. [source]

The effects of animations on verbal interaction in computer supported collaborative learning

M. Sangin
Abstract This paper focuses on the interaction patterns of learners studying in pairs who were provided with multimedia learning material. In a previous article, we reported that learning scores were higher for dyads of an ,animations' condition than for dyads of a ,static pictures' condition. Results also showed that offering a persistent display of one snapshot of each animated sequence hindered collaborative learning. In the present paper, further analyses of verbal interactions within learning dyads were performed in order to have a better understanding of both the beneficial effect of animations and the detrimental effect of the presence of persistent snapshots of critical steps on collaborative learning. Results did not show any differences in terms of verbal categories between the two versions of the instructional material, that is, static versus animated pictures. Pairs who were provided with persistent snapshots of the multimedia sequences produced fewer utterances compared to participants without the snapshots. In addition, the persistent snapshots were detrimental both in terms of providing information about the learning content and in terms of producing utterances solely for the purpose of managing the interaction. In this study, evidence also showed that these two verbal categories were positively related to learning performances. Finally, mediation analyses revealed that the negative effect of persistent snapshots was mediated by the fact that peers of the snapshots condition produced less information providing and interaction management utterances. Results are interpreted using a psycholinguistic framework applied to computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) literature and general guidelines are derived for the use of dynamic material and persistency tools in the design of CSCL environments. [source]

Gender-related differences in computer-mediated communication and computer-supported collaborative learning

F.R. Prinsen
Abstract A question associated with the introduction of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is whether all participants profit equally from working in CSCL environments. This article reports on a review study into gender-related differences in participation in CSCL. As many of the processes in CSCL are similar to those in computer-mediated communication (CMC), studies into CMC are also included in the review. Male dominance is found to play a role in many CMC settings. A learning culture with an explicit focus on participation by all students seems to be related to a more gender-balanced participation in CMC, however. A tendency for boys to be more active participants than girls is also present in CSCL environments, but it is less pronounced than in CMC. This may be explained by the fact that participation is explicitly promoted in most CSCL environments. Gender differences in the character of students' contributions are found in both CMC and CSCL. It is concluded that in order to avoid gender-stereotyped participation and communication patterns, it is necessary to explicitly address inclusiveness as an aspect of a collaborative classroom culture. A plea is made for further research into differential participation by students in CSCL, and the effects thereof on cognitive and affective learning outcomes. Research should also focus on the question how classroom cultures can be promoted that support active participation of all students aimed at collaborative knowledge construction. [source]

An exploration of students' strategy use in inquiry-based computer-supported collaborative learning

Hanna Salovaara
Abstract The aim of this study is to investigate students' use of cognitive learning strategies in inquiry-based computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). A process-oriented interview framework on cognitive activity, self-regulation and motivation, and a coding category for analysing cognitive learning strategies and cognitive self-regulation was developed. The students of an intervention group (n=18) participating in inquiry-based CSCL and a comparison group (n=8) were interviewed six to eight times during the 3 years of the study. The results derived from the mixed-method analysis of altogether 161 interviews were compared between the two groups. The results indicate that the students who participated in the inquiry-based CSCL activities reported deeper-level cognitive strategies such as monitoring, creating representations and sharing information collaboratively. The students of the comparison group reported more surface-level strategies such as memorization. However, the findings concerning the utility of CSCL inquiry on cognitive learning strategies were not uniformly positive. It was found that the students of the comparison group reported significantly more strategies under the category of content evaluation. Nevertheless, the results suggest that computer-supported inquiry-based learning can enhance the use of cognitive strategies that support learning. [source]

Collaborative learning in mobile work

J. Lundin
Abstract, Moving towards more communication intensive organisations, where work tends to be mobile, understanding how to support learning in such work becomes increasingly important. This paper reports on a study of a customer relations team, where work is performed co-located, distributed as well as mobile. Collaborative learning within in this team is explored so as to inform the design of IT support. In the results four instances of collaborative learning important in the studied team were identified: walking into collaborative learning, travelling to meetings, articulating practice and sharing without articulating. These issues are discussed and how they affect the design of collaborative learning activities for mobile knowledge workers. [source]

Closing the gap: collaborative learning as a strategy to embed evidence within occupational therapy practice

Amanda Welch Dip COT Pg Dip ED MSc
Abstract Rationale, The principles of clinical governance apply as guidelines for good practice to all practitioners. However, evidence-based practice (EBP) is proving a challenge for practitioners who lack the confidence to consume published research. For therapists not wishing to undertake formal study there is a risk of becoming disempowered within a culture of EBP. Opportunities to develop skills in consuming research have focused on the information dissemination model that has limited effect. Mutual reflective learning processes are recommended to empower practitioners to bridge the theory-practice gap. Aim, An action research approach investigated practice based collaborative learning as a catalyst to increase therapist's competence and confidence in consuming research and to explore the transition toward EB practitioner. Method and Results, A diagnostic survey reaffirmed therapist's lack of confidence in EBP. Formative interviews (n = 5) found an over reliance on professional craft and personal knowledge. Research knowledge was not included in participants' construct of a good practitioner and engagement in higher order critical reflection was limited. Collaborative learning groups (n = 6) embedded in practice integrated research, theory, practice and critical reflection. Supported by the collegial learning environment, a learning package developed participants' confidence and competence in consuming published research. Summative interviews (n = 5) evaluated the group and found that therapists were empowered to incorporate propositional knowledge into their clinical reasoning, engage in critical reflection and challenge their practice. They felt confident to incorporate EBP into their continuing professional development plans. Sustainability of these changes requires commitment from the therapists and the workplace. [source]

A historical review of research on the weaver ant Oecophylla in biological control

Paul Van Mele
Abstract 1,Although the weaver ant Oecophylla is the first written record of biological control, dating from 304 ad, there have been fewer than 70 scientific publications on this predator as a biological control agent in Asia, from the early 1970s onwards, and fewer than 25 in Africa. 2,Apart from crop-specific ecological and perceptual factors, a historical review shows that political and market forces have also determined the extent to which Oecophylla was incorporated into research and development programmes. 3,In Africa, research on weaver ants in biological control concentrated on export crops, such as coconut and cocoa, whereas, in Asia and Australia, research focused on fruit and nut crops, primarily destined for domestic markets. 4,Increased evidence of pesticide inefficiency under tropical smallholder conditions, changing paradigm shifts in participatory research and a growing scientific interest in local knowledge in the early 1990s opened up new avenues for research on conservation biological control. 5,Lobbying and advocacy have been needed to ensure that Oecophylla was recognized as an effective biological control agent. 6,With an increased market demand for organic produce, holistic approaches such as conservation biological control, particularly the use of Oecophylla, are increasing in importance. 7,Multi-stakeholder strategies for collaborative learning are proposed for a better control of major fruit, nut and timber tree pests in Africa, Asia and Australia. [source]

Analyzing beliefs and practices of a Mexican high school biology teacher

Janet Verjovsky
This article explores the beliefs and practices of a high school biology teacher through three interrelated theoretical frameworks: common knowledge, collaborative learning, and communities of practice. The data were obtained from an in-depth case study of Maria, a biology teacher from a Mexican public high school that was participating in a 4-year international science project using collaborative learning and information and communication technology. Her beliefs and practices were explored by means of questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and nonparticipant observation of classes. Through the use of the three-component framework, the degrees of coherence between practice and beliefs that guide the teacher's daily behavior became apparent, as well as the difficulties of incorporating innovations due to institutional constraints. 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 42: 465,491, 2005 [source]

Student perceptions about the characteristics of an effective discussion during the reporting phase in problem-based learning

Astrid J S F Visschers-Pleijers
Objective, To explore student perceptions of factors contributing to the effectiveness of discussions in the reporting phase of the problem-based learning (PBL) process, where students report and synthesise the results of self-study. Methods, Forty-eight Year 1 and 2 medical students participated in 6 focus group interviews about the characteristics of effective group discussions and possible improvements. The data were analysed qualitatively in several stages. Results, The analysis yielded 4 main characteristics of effective discussions: asking for, giving and receiving explanations; integrating and applying knowledge; discussing differences with regard to learning content, and guiding and monitoring the content and the group process of the discussion. Integrating and applying knowledge included structuring, relating and summarising information and providing examples from practice. Discussing different opinions included discussing a variety of literature resources and disagreements. The main learning effects mentioned by the students were retention, understanding, integration and application of knowledge. Conclusions, Students have clear ideas about what promotes effective discussions during the reporting phase. Their PBL experience has provided them with some insights that are in line with theory and research on collaborative learning. Future research should examine differences between student and tutor perceptions of the quality of discussions. Introductions to PBL for students and tutors should include training in asking open but focused questions, supporting explanations with arguments and dealing with conflicts about learning content. Tutors should be trained in giving effective and personal feedback. Collaborative creation of external knowledge representations (i.e. concept maps) should be advocated, as should variety of literature resources. [source]

Adult learning and the emotional self in virtual online contexts

Regina O. Smith
The rapid growth of online collaborative learning presents emotional challenges to students and adult educators. This chapter discusses two of these issues: epistemic and identity challenge. [source]

Using consensus groups in online learning

Regina O. Smith
This chapter describes online consensus group work, a form of collaborative learning. It discusses collaborative learning, small group work, and consensus learning, with recommendations for their use in online contexts. [source]

Promoting the skills of knowledge translation in an online master of science course in primary health care

FRCGP, ILTM, Trisha Greenhalgh MA
Abstract We present 4 key arguments: (1) knowledge translation requires tacit and explicit knowledge that must be introduced into the organization as well as simply acquired by individuals; (2) educating for knowledge translation must go beyond conveying facts and developing capability; (3) a constructivist and collaborative approach to education can address the needs of learners for knowledge translation; and (4) the online environment, if appropriately used, has many useful features for supporting constructivist and collaborative learning. We illustrate these arguments with reference to a part-time online master of science course whose learners are mostly senior health care professionals engaged in knowledge translation. [source]

Incorporating a collaborative web-based virtual laboratory in an undergraduate bioinformatics course

David Weisman
Abstract Face-to-face bioinformatics courses commonly include a weekly, in-person computer lab to facilitate active learning, reinforce conceptual material, and teach practical skills. Similarly, fully-online bioinformatics courses employ hands-on exercises to achieve these outcomes, although students typically perform this work offsite. Combining a face-to-face lecture course with a web-based virtual laboratory presents new opportunities for collaborative learning of the conceptual material, and for fostering peer support of technical bioinformatics questions. To explore this combination, an in-person lecture-only undergraduate bioinformatics course was augmented with a remote web-based laboratory, and tested with a large class. This study hypothesized that the collaborative virtual lab would foster active learning and peer support, and tested this hypothesis by conducting a student survey near the end of the semester. Respondents broadly reported strong benefits from the online laboratory, and strong benefits from peer-provided technical support. In comparison with traditional in-person teaching labs, students preferred the virtual lab by a factor of two. Key aspects of the course architecture and design are described to encourage further experimentation in teaching collaborative online bioinformatics laboratories. [source]

What are the learning affordances of 3-D virtual environments?

Barney Dalgarno
This article explores the potential learning benefits of three-dimensional (3-D) virtual learning environments (VLEs). Drawing on published research spanning two decades, it identifies a set of unique characteristics of 3-D VLEs, which includes aspects of their representational fidelity and aspects of the learner,computer interactivity they facilitate. A review of applications of 3-D VLEs is presented, leading to the identification of a series of learning affordances of such environments. These affordances include the facilitation of tasks that lead to enhanced spatial knowledge representation, greater opportunities for experiential learning, increased motivation/engagement, improved contextualisation of learning and richer/more effective collaborative learning as compared to tasks made possible by 2-D alternatives. The authors contend that the continued development of and investment in 3-D games, simulations and virtual worlds for educational purposes should be considered contingent on further investigation into the precise relationships between the unique characteristics of 3-D VLEs and their potential learning benefits. To this end, they conclude by proposing an agenda or ,roadmap' for future research that encompasses empirical studies aimed at exploring these relationships, as well as those aimed at deriving principles and guidelines to inform the design, development and use of 3-D virtual environments for learning. [source]

The good, the bad and the wiki: Evaluating student-generated content for collaborative learning

Steve Wheeler
This paper explores the potential for wiki-type open architecture software to promote and support collaborative learning through the use of student-created content. It delineates some of the affordances and constraints of wiki software as an open architecture that has the potential to facilitate collaborative learning through community-focused enquiry. It seeks to promote debate in this key area of development, and highlights some recent key contributions to the developing discourse on social software in what has been termed ,the architecture of participation'. [source]