Problems and Opportunities of Learning Together in a Virtual Learning Environment

Problems and Opportunities of Learning Together in a Virtual Learning Environment

Thanasis Daradoumis (Open University of Catalonia, Spain) and Fatos Xhafa (Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-408-8.ch011
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Abstract

This chapter explores new ways of collaborative learning in a virtual learning environment based on our acquisition of knowledge from previous experience. We identify both the problems faced in real collaborative learning practices and the ways these problems can be overcome and turned into opportunities for more efficient learning. These issues concern pedagogical, organizational, and technical elements and constraints that influence the successful application of collaborative learning in distance education, such as efficient group formation, the nature of collaborative learning situations that promote peer interaction and learning, the student roles and tutor means of supervising and guiding the learning process, and an effective assessment of group work. The proposed methodology not only achieves better learning outcomes but also contributes to the tutor’s professional development in a networked learning environment that facilitates social interaction among all participants while building on existing skills.

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