Economic globalisation and technological changes have led to one of the greatest challenges that education faces – the access to permanent education for all segments of society. In this scenario, there is a need for innovative e-learning methodologies that involve students in the construction of knowledge and make use of the technologies now available. In this chapter, we introduce knowledge management in the context of the Online Learning Lab (LOLA), a methodological proposal for collaborative learning. LOLA represents an advance on most e-learning programs as its methodological approach surpasses traditional proposals for knowledge reproduction and stimulates students to become more active, autonomous, responsible and investigative. The activities in LOLA, described below, give rise to ideas, paradoxes, discussions and the formulation of concepts, all leading to the production of new knowledge while involving students in individual and collaborative work.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Interaction: Interaction is the process that emerges from the participation of all learners that interact among themselves by means of an active dialogue, a constant exchange of information, points of view, queries, and ideas that occur in a learning environment.
Autonomy: Autonomy is the ability to work independently to manage the learning process and to act thoughtfully when working on activities and exercises without anybody else’s help.
Collaborative Learning: Collaborative learning is a student-centred methodology for e-learning. By working in groups, students are the subject of their construction of knowledge while at the same time contributing to their peers’ learning. The construction of knowledge is achieved by the participation and interaction that occurs among all students when they become involved in activities aimed towards a common goal. It solidifies socialization not only by learning, but mainly in learning.
Production of Knowledge: Production of knowledge in LOLA implies a collective action of the group to produce a text that represents acquired knowledge. In this process, each member of the group writes down his/her contributions, which are forwarded to the other members for amendments, additions, or deletions.
E-Learning: E-learning is a systematic form of education that makes use of technical and technological means of bidirectional and multidirectional communication with the objective of promoting autonomous learning in an atmosphere of dialogue and collaboration among tutor and learners.
Learning Online: Learning online is a model of education that makes use of a computer network in which the interactivity conveyed by the synchronous/asynchronous communication tools?available allows for flexibility both in terms of time and pedagogical approach.
Online Learning Lab (LOLA): LOLA is a collaborative methodology for e-learning. It makes use of technology that allows synchronous and asynchronous communication and a pedagogical methodology based on: Active participation by students in the learning process; Learning mediated by tutors/teachers; Collective construction of knowledge that emerges from exchanges between students; Interactivity among all those involved in the process; Encouragement of the processes of expression and communication; Flexibilization of roles in the communication process in order to allow for the collective construction of knowledge; Systematization of the planning, development, and evaluation of activities; Acceptance of the diversities and differences of students; Development of students’ autonomy in the learning process; Valuing of freedom with responsibility; Respect for authorship; and Valuing of the process rather than the product.