Learning Communities in Virtual Environments

Learning Communities in Virtual Environments

Johanna Pöysä (University of Leuven, Belgium) and Joost Lowyck (University of Leuven, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-555-9.ch181
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Recent research on collaborative learning and computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) holds an integrated and holistic perspective on learning, instruction and educational technology. Within this approach, learning activities and technological tools are seen as a merged unit, tailored to a particular context and for a particular group of participants (Crook, 2000). In line, current trends in higher education (e.g., Virtual University) set demands on developing novel educational practices that support collaborative learning in virtual environments (Häkkinen & Järvelä, in press). In this chapter, it is argued that in higher education virtual learning communities could be welcomed as a timely and innovative educational practice, with all nested complexity of relationships between individuals and collective needs, various motivations and personalized objectives (Lowyck & Pöysä, 2001; Lowyck, Pöysä, & Van Merriënboer, 2003).

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