The Role of CSCL Pedagogical Patterns as Mediating Artefacts for Repurposing Open Educational Resources

The Role of CSCL Pedagogical Patterns as Mediating Artefacts for Repurposing Open Educational Resources

Gráinne Conole (The Open University, UK), Patrick McAndrew (The Open University, UK) and Yannis Dimitriadis (University of Valladolid, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-898-8.ch012
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Designing effective CSCL processes is a complex task that can be supported by existing good practices formulated as pedagogical patterns. From a cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) perspective previous research has shown that patterns served as Mediating Artefacts (MA) helping practitioners to make informed decisions and choices, being much closer to the practitioners’ mindsets than complex learning design models, such as IMS-LD. However, a new challenge arises when the starting design element corresponds to Open Educational Resources (OER), i.e. free resources of high quality that are typically employed for individual learning. Recent research reported in this chapter has aimed to analyze the eventual contribution of CSCL patterns such as Collaborative Learning Flow Patterns (CLFP) in the repurposing process of existing OER for collaborative learning. Preliminary evidence coming from a set of workshops with educational technology experts shows that a small set of patterns drawn from a CSCL pattern language together with other MA, such as visual representations of Learning Designs, may be inspirational and effective in repurposing existing OER. Further research is under development that builds on the successful workshop format and involves practitioners in face-to-face and virtual workshops. This new set of experiences aims to analyze the effectiveness of the pedagogical patterns and other complementary MA in helping practitioners exploit the great potential of OER in the framework of the Open Learning Network (OLnet) project funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
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Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) reflects many flavors and modalities of pedagogies and techniques that match different needs or perceptions regarding the teaching/learning processes. For example, proposals and systems may focus on individual or collaborative learning, face-to-face or distance settings, project or problem-based scenarios, models based on transmission or participation, etc. On the other hand, an increasing number of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tools and educational resources are available to be employed in order to support teachers, learners or researchers in different phases of the teaching/learning process, namely: design, enactment, and evaluation. Such a landscape is full of promising outcomes, but at the same time its complexity generates many obstacles that impede taking full advantage of the potential benefits. Finding a route through to effective uptake of methods and tools has proved particularly resilient to solution in the case of technology-supported innovative pedagogies, such as Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) (Dillenbourg, Jarvela, & Fischer, 2009).

Several approaches to enable a more effective and efficient uptake of CSCL have been proposed that reflect broader movements in the TEL or e-learning field. The research field appears fragmented so that we can find similar proposals related to: formal and informal visual design languages (Botturi & Stubbs, 2008); pedagogies, tools and learning design (Conole, Dyke, Oliver, & Seale, 2004, Conole, 2009a); CSCL scripting (Weinberger, Collar, Dimitriadis, Mäkitalo-Siegl, & Fischer, 2009); and, pedagogical design patterns for CSCL (Hernández, Asensio, Dimitriadis, & Villasclaras, 2010). Each of these initiatives aims to leverage informed design, use and reuse of teaching/learning activities, based on sound pedagogical strategies, techniques validated in practice, or quality resources (tools and contents). Even though different terminologies are used, all share a common basis in providing what we will term here Mediating Artefacts (MA), - theories, techniques, visual representations, pedagogical patterns, etc. - to stakeholders, so that they can employ them during the whole lifecycle of the teaching/learning activities within a certain context (see Conole, 2008 for an explanation of our use of the term Mediating Artefacts).

We can think of the Collaborative Learning Flow Patterns (CLFP) (Hernández, Asensio, & Dimitriadis, 2005) as an illustrating example of such Mediating Artefacts. These patterns represent well-established techniques for collaborative learning that regulate the flow of learning activities, well established and used CSCL patterns include “jigsaw”, “pyramid” and “think-pair-share” – each provides a different, structured learning design for fostering collaboration. Patterns such as the Collaborative Learning Flow Patterns (CLFP) have been successfully implemented in the Collage1 authoring tool within a pattern-supported design process for new CSCL scripts. From a cultural historical activity theory, the term Learning Design in this case is used to describe the research field that is developing tool and resources to support the design of learning activities (Cross & Conole, 2008). Patterns are an important sub-set of Mediating Artefacts, which give a structured description that is well understood by educational practitioners and serve as an “interface” for practitioners when they are faced with the task of generating effective learning designs or scripts that scaffold the learning process. The usefulness of such patterns is even more distinctive when the final product of the educational practitioners is a Unit of Learning (UoL) computationally represented in a standard Educational Modeling Language, such as IMS-LD (IMS, 2003). Teachers as the main stakeholders and orchestrators of the learning activities need guidance that is closer to their own mindset and practical restrictions and not on those imposed by a technical specification. Thus, the Collage tool, which acts as a further MA that builds on the CLFP MA, has been developed, used and validated in many practical situations (Hernández et al., 2006). Such a tool supports the design process for CSCL scripts, taking advantage of the patterns that reflect recurrent solutions to recurrent problems, through textual and visual descriptions of tensions, solutions and examples. Thus, an educational practitioner generates potentially effective CSCL designs that may additionally use adequate tools and resources (Vega, Bote, Asensio, Gómez, Dimitriadis, & Jorrín, 2010).

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Table of Contents
Francesca Pozzi, Donatella Persico
Francesca Pozzi, Donatella Persico
Chapter 1
Francesca Pozzi, Donatella Persico
This chapter advocates the idea that the structuring techniques generally used to support students in online collaborative activities can be... Sample PDF
Task, Teams and Time: Three Ts to Structure CSCL Processes
Chapter 2
Birgitta Kopp, Heinz Mandl
Collaborative learning is used as a key principle in several approaches for designing virtual learning environments (e.g. CTGV, 2000). This is due... Sample PDF
Supporting Virtual Collaborative Learning Using Collaboration Scripts and Content Schemes
Chapter 3
Kathrin Helling, Bernhard Ertl
This chapter focuses on the facilitation of collaborative problem solving by the method of content schemes. Content schemes are content-specific... Sample PDF
Fostering Collaborative Problem Solving by Content Schemes
Chapter 4
Aemilian Hron, Ulrike Cress, Sieglinde Neudert
The aim of this study is to examine means of fostering videoconference-based collaborative learning, by focussing on three issues: (1) to induce... Sample PDF
Using and Acquiring Shared and Unshared Knowledge in Collaborative Learning and Writing
Chapter 5
M. Beatrice Ligorio, F. Feldia Loperfido, Nadia Sansone, Paola F. Spadaro
The authors claim that the potentialities of the socio-constructivist framework can be fully exploited when a blended approach is introduced. Our... Sample PDF
Blending Educational Models to Design Blended Activities
Chapter 6
Stefania Manca, Luca Vanin
Entering a learning system based on CSCL models may be a challenging experience. Beginner users are required to accomplish several tasks for the... Sample PDF
Models and Strategies to Support Students’ Initial Socialization in Web-Based Learning Environments
Chapter 7
Lisa Lobry de Bruyn
Most units of learning are being offered flexibly, either using distance education or online facilities, and often with asynchronous... Sample PDF
Testing Strategies to Enhance Online Student Collaboration in a Problem-Based Learning Activity
Chapter 8
Donna McGhie-Richmond, Eileen Winter
This chapter provides a retrospective review of the utility and effectiveness of case study analyses to engage and support students in online... Sample PDF
Considerations for Effective Collaborative Practice: A Reflection on the use of Case Studies in On-Line Teacher Education Learning Spaces
Chapter 9
Katia González-Acquaro, Stephen Preskill
This chapter offers an in-depth narrative of how one instructor in an online environment used the four lenses of critical reflection introduced by... Sample PDF
Using the Four Lenses of Critical Reflection to Promote Collaboration and Support Creative Adaptations of Web 2.0 Tools in an Online Environment
Chapter 10
Ron Lombard, Barbara Biglan
This is a review of an action research project dealing with the impact of a role playing activity in an online course. Two instructors of an online... Sample PDF
Using Role Play and Team Teaching as Strategies to Add Depth to Online Discussion
Chapter 11
Thanasis Daradoumis, Maria Kordaki
This chapter addresses several issues and challenges that one faces when carrying out a real collaborative learning experience following a blended... Sample PDF
Employing Collaborative Learning Strategies and Tools for Engaging University Students in Collaborative Study and Writing
Chapter 12
Gráinne Conole, Patrick McAndrew, Yannis Dimitriadis
Designing effective CSCL processes is a complex task that can be supported by existing good practices formulated as pedagogical patterns. From a... Sample PDF
The Role of CSCL Pedagogical Patterns as Mediating Artefacts for Repurposing Open Educational Resources
Chapter 13
Angela Haydel DeBarger, William R. Penuel, Christopher J. Harris, Patricia Schank
This chapter presents an argument for the use of teaching routines (pedagogical patterns) to engage students in collaborative learning activities... Sample PDF
Teaching Routines to Enhance Collaboration Using Classroom Network Technology
Chapter 14
Symeon Retalis, Ourania Petropoulou, Georgia Lazakidou
Teachers often utilise a Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) strategy to teach a concept, a method, a problem, and so forth. Following... Sample PDF
Assessing the Performance of Learners Engaged in Computer-Supported Collaborative Problem-Solving Activities
Chapter 15
Eloy D. Villasclaras-Fernández, Juan I. Asensio-Pérez, Davinia Hernández-Leo, Yannis Dimitriadis, Luis de la Fuente-Valentín, Alejandra Martínez-Monés
This chapter presents a proposal for a pattern-based approach for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) scripts that aims to integrate... Sample PDF
Implementing Computer-Interpretable CSCL Scripts with Embedded Assessment: A Pattern Based Design Approach
Chapter 16
Christian Gütl
Collaborative learning activities apply different approaches in-class or out-of-class, which range from classroom discussions to group-based... Sample PDF
The Support of Virtual 3D Worlds for Enhancing Collaboration in Learning Settings
Chapter 17
Cindy Xin, Geoffrey Glass, Andrew Feenberg, Eva Bures, Phil Abrami
Our research aims to improve online discussion forums. The authors identify typical problems in online discussion that create difficulties for... Sample PDF
From Active Reading to Active Dialogue: An Investigation of Annotation-Enhanced Online Discussion Forums
Chapter 18
Miky Ronen, Dan Kohen-Vacs
This chapter presents the potential and challenges of a new approach for the design of a platform aimed to foster and support the use of... Sample PDF
Modeling, Enacting, Sharing and Reusing Online Collaborative Pedagogy with CeLS
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