Collaborative Learning: Using Group Work Concepts for Online Teaching

Collaborative Learning: Using Group Work Concepts for Online Teaching

Lesley Cooper (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada) and Sally Burford (University of Canberra, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-963-7.ch012
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This chapter examines the concept of collaborative learning and its theoretical and practical foundations. Collaborativelearning takes place in a structured social situation where agroup of students work as a team to assist each other with learning tasks. The instructional strategies encourage student to student interactions. Drawing on group workskills, collaborative learning has been demonstrated to be effective in a variety of learning situations. Development of a variety of Internet technologies such as communication tools, emails, discussion forums, video and audio tools together with webcasting allow collaborative teachingstrategies to be used creatively in online learning. The authors have trialed the use of various technologies in the human services and several case examples of onlinecollaborative learning are provided. These case studies cover activities such as supervision and controversial issues in social work ethics. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the future directions and the challenges this poses for traditional classroom teaching.

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