Enlivening the Promise of Education: Building Collaborative Learning Communities Through Online Discussion

Enlivening the Promise of Education: Building Collaborative Learning Communities Through Online Discussion

Kuldip Kaur (Open University Malaysia, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-976-2.ch017
OnDemand PDF Download:


An important dimension in education is interaction, that is, the coming together of a number of people to discuss, debate, and deliberate about issues of common concern. In distance education, such social environments are as much present in online learning contexts as they are in face-to-face learning contexts such as tutorials. This chapter expands the notion of teacher-student interaction to focus on integrating human computer interaction in the curriculum. This is done through the use of online discussion forums at Open University Malaysia that help build collaborative online communities using common principles of teaching and learning. Citing a recent case in point, this chapter demonstrates how the Open University Malaysia-Collaborative Online Learning Model for online interaction helped cultivate learner-centric virtual discussions and supported an interactive online community that showcased characteristics of social interdependence and instructional support. This chapter takes a social constructivist view of human computer interaction by proposing an instructional model supported by collaboration, guidance, interdependence, cognitive challenge, knowledge construction, and knowledge extension. The Introduction section of this chapter provides the rationale for human computer interaction and gives an overview of current-day perspectives on the online classroom. This is followed by a trenchant review of recent research on online interaction with a view to outlining the theoretical premise for the use of computers to develop thinking and collaborative or team skills. This section also provides a rationale for the use of online forums and gives a frame of reference for the role of the instructor in this enterprise. In the next section of this chapter, the Open University Malaysia-collaborative online learning model is described, with details on The Learning Context as well as Group Learning Outcomes, which may be seen as inherent parts of the model. Under the sub-section Knowledge Construction, the chapter carries a qualitative analysis of online interaction for one Open University Malaysia course using a comprehensive list of indigenous categories and sub-categories as well as examples of interactions that match each sub-category. The chapter ends with a Summary, a statement of Acknowledgement, a list of References, and an Appendix. The appendix contains the Task that was used for the course for which online interaction in this chapter was analyzed.
Chapter Preview

Online Interaction

Recent research on constructive pedagogy has drawn attention to the use of online networks to improve thinking and to develop team skills. The thrust of the work in this area comes from the social constructivist view of learning (Bruner, 1986; Shaw, 1994), where learning is perceived as a “personal, reflective and transformative process” leading to the co-construction of knowledge through collaboration, inquiry, invention and knowledge-building activities (Sandholtz, Ringstaff & Dwyer, 1997: 12-13).

One application of this perspective is the use of computers to develop thinking learners (Jonassen, 2002). Referring to selected applications as mindtools, Jonassen encourages learning with computers so that the whole enterprise of learning “becomes greater than the potential of the learner and the computer alone” (Jonassen, 2002 p. 4). Another perspective is forwarded by Anderson’s (2004) theory of e-learning which espouses Bransford, Brown, and Cocking’s (1999) four credentials of effective learning environments: learner-centredness, knowledge-centredness, assessment-centredness and community centredness. These perspectives recognize the power of collaboration, which is a critical component of interactive online learning.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Miltiadis D. Lytras, Robert D. Tennyson, Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos
Chapter 1
Gianluca Elia
Many classifications and taxonomies of knowledge management tools highlight mainly specific characteristics and features of a single tool, by... Sample PDF
A Knowledge Strategy Oriented Framework for Classifying Knowledge Management Tools
Chapter 2
Mohamed Amine Chatti
Recognizing that knowledge is a key asset for better performance and that knowledge is a human and social activity, building ecologies that foster... Sample PDF
Social Software for Bottom-Up Knowledge Networking and Community Building
Chapter 3
Kevin R. Parker, Joseph T. Chao
This chapter introduces wikis in the context of social software, focusing on their powerful information sharing and collaboration features. It... Sample PDF
Weaving a Knowledge Web with Wikis
Chapter 4
Marc Spaniol, Ralf Klamma, Yiwei Cao
The success of knowledge sharing heavily depends on the capabilities of an information system to reproduce the ongoing discourses within a... Sample PDF
Media Centric Knowledge Sharing on the Web 2.0
Chapter 5
Pascal Francq
The success of the Internet has launched McLuhan’s idea of the global village. Over the years, the Internet has become a real political medium which... Sample PDF
E-Democracy: The Social Software Perspective
Chapter 6
Mariano Corso, Antonella Martini, Alessandro Piva
This chapter focuses on the community and collaboration tools as means of creating business communities of practice (CoPs). First, the state-of-the... Sample PDF
Community and Collaboration Tools to Frame the New Working Environment: The Banking Industry Case
Chapter 7
Seppo J. Hänninen, Pekka Stenholm, T. J. Vapola, Ilkka Kauranen
Knowledge sharing has a strong effect on the success of the born globals. The objective of the chapter is to create a better understanding of the... Sample PDF
Who Talks with Whom: Impact of Knowledge Sharing in the Value Network of Born Globals
Chapter 8
Stefan Hrastinski
This chapter looks at the concept of sociograms that has great illustrative importance in some circumstances, especially for studying small... Sample PDF
Illustrating Knowledge Networks as Sociograms
Chapter 9
Marianna Vivitsou, Niki Lambropoulos, Sofia Papadimitriou, Alexandros Gkikas
Social web asynchronous communication environments provide the space for content creation, idea sharing and knowledge construction within a... Sample PDF
Web 2.0 Collaborative Learning Tool Dynamics
Chapter 10
Wendelin Kupers
Based on a phenomenological understanding of knowing and knowledge in organisation, this chapter aims to contribute to an integral perspective on... Sample PDF
Knowing in Organizations: Pheno-Practical Perspectives
Chapter 11
Ourania Petropoulou, Georgia Lazakidou, Symeon Retalis, Charalambos Vrasidas
here is a growing need for systematic evaluations of computer-supported collaborative learning environments. The present chapter focuses on the... Sample PDF
Evaluating the Learning Effectiveness of Collaborative Problem Solving in Computer-Mediated Settings
Chapter 12
Jeanette Lemmergaard
This chapter introduces inter-organizational knowledge acquisition and sharing as a means to facilitate benchlearning within the field of human... Sample PDF
Acquiring and Sharing Knowledge Through Inter-Organizational Benchlearning
Chapter 13
Max Senges, Marc Alier
his chapter discusses the potential of three dimensional virtual worlds as venue for constructivist learning communities. To reach a balanced answer... Sample PDF
Virtual Worlds as Environment for Learning Communities
Chapter 14
Bonnie F. Bryson
This chapter describes the development of a knowledge management-based website that serves a community of practice within a federal agency, the U.S.... Sample PDF
Corps of Engineers Natural Resources Management (NRM) Gateway: Communities “in” Practice
Chapter 15
Cynthia T. Small, Andrew P. Sage
This paper describes a complex adaptive systems (CAS)-based enterprise knowledge-sharing (KnS) model. The CAS-based enterprise KnS model consists of... Sample PDF
A Complex Adaptive Systems-Based Enterprise Knowledge Sharing Model
Chapter 16
Reinhard Bernsteiner
This article explores how social software tools can offer support for innovative learning methods and instructional design in general, and those... Sample PDF
Facilitating E-Learning with Social Software: Attitudes and Usage from the Student's Point of View
Chapter 17
Kuldip Kaur
An important dimension in education is interaction, that is, the coming together of a number of people to discuss, debate, and deliberate about... Sample PDF
Enlivening the Promise of Education: Building Collaborative Learning Communities Through Online Discussion
Chapter 18
Karlheinz Kautz
This article adds to the discussion on knowledge management (KM) by focusing on the process of knowledge sharing as a vital part of KM. The article... Sample PDF
Towards an Integrated Model of Knowledge Sharing in Software Development: Insights from a Case Study
Chapter 19
Ned Kock
Virtual worlds can be defined as technology-created virtual environments that incorporate representations of real world elements such as human... Sample PDF
E-Collaboration and E-Commerce in Virtual Worlds: The Potential of Second Life and World of Warcraft
Chapter 20
Peter H. Jones
Proponents of the resource-based view of strategic management have argued for processes that align organizational knowledge resources to business... Sample PDF
Socializing a Knowledge Strategy
About the Contributors