Collaborative Learning and Co-Author Students in Online Higher Education: A-REAeduca – Collaborative Learning and Co-Authors

Collaborative Learning and Co-Author Students in Online Higher Education: A-REAeduca – Collaborative Learning and Co-Authors

Ana Nobre (Universidade Aberta, Portugal) and Vasco Nobre (Universidade Aberta, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5085-3.ch020

Abstract

The technologies themselves cannot be analyzed as instruments per se, nor can they be exhausted in their relation with science. There is a social and even an individual dimension that affects our own way of relating to society. It is in open education that we have been developing our educational practices. This chapter presents a collaborative learning activity, the curricular unit Materiais e Recursos para eLearning, part of an on-line Master in Pedagogy of eLearning, Universidade Aberta, Portugal. In the present work, the authors dedicate their attention to co-learning and co-research, as processes that help to exemplify some situations, the a-REAeduca. The data collection was supported essentially by the content analysis technique.
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Introduction

This chapter focuses on education and the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER), the perspective of distance learning and eLearning. The particular focus is on aspects related to collaborative learning, Open Education, and its implications in education. The basis for its development is OER, a topic of great expression and value for teaching. The increasing growth in online open resources facilitates, on the one hand, individualized learning trends, self-regulation processes, and autonomy in the learning process. On the other hand, they constitute a pertinent resource to be incorporated into the pedagogical practices of today's teachers. Thus, it is important to rethink and readapt innovative teaching methodologies, towards an active and differentiated, effective, and successful teaching and learning process.

Starting from the fundamental assumption that knowledge is socially constructed, in the interaction between the actors of the pedagogical process, we present a project in the scope of Open Education. We started with aspects related to collaborative learning and its implications in the field of education. A more active and participatory learning process allows the development of the students' interaction, collaboration, negotiation, creation, and solving capacities. This chapter will relate the presentation of the experience report to the discussion of concepts such as participatory culture and collaborative learning, the main objective of which is collaborative learning in practice and how media resources can act as a space for interaction and collaboration in students' interlocution, teachers, and community.

This paper describes the creation of an open educational resource, its course, and its state of the art. The result of this whole learning process is presented from its project to the development of an online journal for Education for the 21st Century - a-REAeduca - which has as its base the philosophy of OER.

It is important to contextualize this issue in a forum of society linked to the digital world, in which information and communication technologies (ICTs) guarantee a particular centrality in the various dimensions of everyday life, seeking to integrate in this analysis an open vision.

This project emerged from an activity of the curricular unit Materiais e Recursos para eLearning, of the Masters in Pedagogy of eLearning, Universidade Aberta, Portugal. The authors of this project present a descriptive analysis supported by bibliographical references, reflections, and discussions drawn from the pedagogical practices experienced. Thus, for the creation of OER, the development methodology followed a pre-planning and review of the literature on the topic of OER for the scientifically founded creation of the journal. The a-REAeduca is structured in different thematic approaches and projected on a web page, which presents other outstanding references for the study of the OER philosophy and a global understanding of its movement. The official website of the journal can be consulted at http://www.facebook.com/reaeduca/

The impact of the project was quite satisfactory, an impact evidenced both by the testimonies left on the journal page and in the social networks where it was shared. We believe that the fact that all the elements that compose the journal are themselves OER, promotes a dynamism and even more intense receptivity.

With the production of the journal, originally REAeduca, the prefix “a” was added, which refers to its openness and mission, to democratize and diffuse knowledge through cyberspace, extending it into three domains of action: a. academic, b. organizational, and c. didactic -pedagogical.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Computer-Supported Collaborative Teaching: When teachers use scenarios and critical thinking in working with students in an online environment.

Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning: It is a pedagogical approach wherein learning takes place via interaction using the internet.

Open Educational Resources (OER): Open education; collaborative learning online; collaborative learning activities in classes.

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