Evolving Technologies Supporting of Collaborative Learning

Evolving Technologies Supporting of Collaborative Learning

Donna Dufner (University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA), Maryam Alavi (Emory University, USA) and Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch139
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Abstract

Three basic categories of technologies are effective for extending collaborative learning beyond traditional face-to-face interactions to online learning and distance education: 1. Group support systems (GSS) 2. Collaboratories 3. Integrated learning environments.
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Introduction

Three basic categories of technologies are effective for extending collaborative learning beyond traditional face-to-face interactions to online learning and distance education:

  • 1.

    Group support systems (GSS)

  • 2.

    Collaboratories

  • 3.

    Integrated learning environments.

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Background

Although some of the collaborative learning technologies can be used without the Web, the Internet and World Wide Web provide the scalable global connectivity to support these technologies, with the browser serving as a ubiquitous user interface for collaborative learning applications.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Distance Education: Learning situations in which the students and instructor are located in different localities for at least a portion of the class.

Synchronous Group Communication Technologies: Allow real-time, interactive communications and require participants to be online simultaneously.

Group Support Systems (GSS): A wide variety of technologies configured to support group interactions. GSS typically feature software and hardware arrangements that facilitate

Collaboratories: Provide groups with technologies and tools so that they can access each other, databases and remote tools to better collaborate, coordinate activities and enhance group processes.

Distributed Learning: Learning situations in which the students and instructor are in different localities. A bit broader than distance education, as it can be used to refer to both education and training.

Integrated Learning Environments: Current and emerging learning management systems combine information management and productivity tools along with GSS features for support and management of individual and collaborative learning. Document and multimedia information management (drop boxes and other tools for storage, retrieval, sharing and organization of learning content and discussions), threaded discussions for asynchronous communication, instant messaging for synchronous communication and advanced e-mail (spell check, multiple views allowing sorting of messages and other extensive message editing capabilities) are important features in learning management systems. Testing, grading, student registration and management of question-and-answer sessions also enable management of the learning process (cite).

Asynchronous Group Communication Technologies: Allow participants to send and respond to messages without being online simultaneously.

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