Knowledge Transfer and Collaboration Structures for Online Science

Knowledge Transfer and Collaboration Structures for Online Science

Kevin F. Downing (DePaul University, USA) and Jennifer K. Holtz (DePaul University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-986-1.ch006
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Technological innovations in the area of digital media have opened up the possibility for a great number of inventive ways to share and transfer knowledge in online science learning environments. Knowledge transfer may involve interaction between a learner and learning resources such as ‘learning objects’, or conversely knowledge transfer and sharing may be social, that is to say between individuals and/or groups. The types of knowledge transfer that can now be hybridized in educational settings are delineated by Puntschart (2005) as follows: 1) technology-enhanced versus face to face, 2) asynchronous versus synchronous, 3) voluntary versus obligatory, 4) self-directed versus externally controlled, 5) learning object transfer versus person to person, and 6) open versus closed communities. Such a wide variety of interaction options gives way to a variety of communication and collaboration approaches in online science education. Many of these options prospectively support more individualized learning. For example, learning scenarios are now possible where a science student conducts online remote experiments sponsored by another institution in the dead of night in the absence of an instructor. Moreover, a student may opt out of attending an onsite class session in favor of a streaming video lecture where they still contribute to the discussion through an m-learning device. Alternatively, a student may pursue learning at his or her own pace and learning style by reviewing relevant digital library learning objects on a science subject.

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