Tools and Methods for Supportiing Online Learning Communities and Their Evaluation

Tools and Methods for Supportiing Online Learning Communities and Their Evaluation

Maria Rigou (University of Patras & Research Academic Computer Technology Institute, Greece), Spiros Sirmakessis (Research Academic Computer Technology Institute & Technological Educational Institution of Messolongi, Greece), Dimitris Stavrinoudis (University of Patras & Hellenic Open University, Greece) and Michalis Xenos (Research Academic Computer Technology Institute, Greece)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-358-6.ch010
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Abstract

Scientific observation during the last years has indicated that learning on the web in many cases is accompanied and promoted by the creation and maintenance of an online learning community. The goal of this chapter is to define and describe the notion of online communities, describe their types and core functionalities, and focus on the specific domain of online learning communities. More specifically, it presents an overall categorization of the technological tools used for supporting online learning communities and suggests a set of general-purpose evaluation methods suitable for assessing quality aspects of these tools, along with a method for the statistical analysis of the derived data. The chapter concludes with a discussion on foreseen future trends concerning ways to enhance the everyday life of OLC inhabitants and upgrade the effect of online teaching and learning.

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