Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘online communities’

What are the opportunities and challenges raised by the move to an online learning environment?

Terry Anderson & Fathi Elloumi (2008) Theory and Practice of Online Learning, Athabasca University

During the last ten years, the Internet and the Wide World Web have fundamentally altered the practice of distance teaching and learning. Nowhere is this fact more evident than in the transformation undergone by single-mode distance universities as they seek to apply the benefits of emerging information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure to their core business, with a view to improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of the learning experience afforded their students.

Read Full Text

Advertisements

How can Google Apps be used to develop an online Community of Practice (CoP)?

Katya Toneva, Kathy Doncaster (2012) Using Virtual Spaces for Learning Communities to Facilitate Project Development and Collaborative Learning, eLmL 2012 : The Fourth International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning

The purpose of this paper is to introduce ways that Google Apps and other Web 2.0 technologies can be used to develop an integrated virtual space for a learning community by putting in place an online Community of Practice (CoP). This project has been developed and is presently being in trial at the Institute for Work Based Learning, Middlesex University with the intended aim to ―progress its online learning activities (including an increased use of social media) from individual, Programme- based initiatives to an institution-wide, strategic project which will be core to realising strategic objectives in learning and teaching.

Read Full Text

Are we preparing our students to be networked learners?

Chih-Hsiung Tu, Laura Sujo-Montes, Cherng-Jyh Yen, Junn-Yih Chan, Michael Blocher (2012) The Integration of Personal Learning Environments & Open Network Learning Environments, TechTrends • May/June 2012, Volume 56, Number 3

Learning management systems traditionally provide structures to guide online learners to achieve their learning goals. Web 2.0 technology empowers learners to create, share, and organize their personal learning environments in open network environments; and allows learners to engage in social networking and collaborating activities. Advanced networking mechanisms, UGC, flat-structured architectures, RSS, and social tagging, permit online learners to define their own learning structures. This article reports an online course built within multiple Web 2.0 technologies designed to empower learners to construct their own personal learning environments within open network learning environments. Lessons learned, examples, and critical issues are discussed. This paper concludes that effective instructions should prepare “online” learners to become “network” or “open network” learners.

Read Full Text

Can teachers use online commercial games to help students with their learning?

Wiklund, M., Ekenberg, L. (2009) Going to school in World of Warcraft. Observations from a trial programme using off-the-shelf computer games as learning tools in secondary education, Designs for Learning, No. 109

The use of commercial, off-the-shelf computer games as teaching tools is an interesting possibility, but one that may alter the teacher’s role. Unlike specially adapted, game- like educational software, students’ attitudes toward the learning potential of computer games may be very different in the presence or absence of an accompanying teacher. The purpose of this work is to investigate whether commercial, unmodified computer games have potential as a tool for learning enhancement, whether varying properties of game genres have an impact on study results, and how the students perceive the teachers role in a learning environment using computer games. Twenty-one students, all of them participants in a longer-term trial programme in game-based education, were inter- viewed concerning their perceptions of the learning environment, their preferred game genres, and the outcome of their studies. Our findings show that this form of learn- ing results in significantly increased knowledge. It also appears that accompanying teacher activities are important, especially when successfully linked to in-game activities.

Read Full Text

How can Virtual Social Learning Environments support Communities of Practice?

Keleher, Patrick and Hutchinson, Steven (2010). Communities of Practice, a social discipline of learning: nurturing a physical and virtual social learning environment. In: World Association of Co-operative Education International Conference on Work Integrated Learning, 3-5 Feb 2010, Hong Kong, China.

Communities of Practice are powerful way of thinking about and exploring the social discipline of learning. Rigorous models for informational and cognitive aspects of learning are well defined, but social dimensions of learning are not so well explored nor are the practices involved in establishing an appropriate learning environment. A workshop conducted by Etienne Wenger was specifically structured to model the practices to establish a social learning ‘space’ and provided an opportunity for participants in the professional disciplines of health, social care, education and business to engage in social learning. The workshop enabled a telling and recording of people’s own learning stories, through individual and group face-to-face encounters and further non-face-to-face communication encounters (within the workshop group and the world) through a range synchronous and asynchronous electronic media, video, wikispace1, blog and twitter. This is a powerful process by which to explore the development of professional practices in a Work Integrated Learning or Practice Based Learning context and illustrates the manner in which transitions or boundary encounters arise and are navigated as individuals explore the ‘landscape of professional practice’.

Read Full Text 

Do Learners benefit from using Online Social Networks as Formal Learning Environments?

George Veletsianos, Cesar C. Navarrete (2012) Online Social Networks as Formal Learning Environments: Learner Experiences and Activities, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol.13, No1 (2012)

While the potential of social networking sites to contribute to educational endeavors is highlighted by researchers and practitioners alike, empirical evidence on the use of such sites for formal online learning is scant. To fill this gap in the literature, we present a case study of learners’ perspectives and experiences in an online course taught using the Elgg online social network. Findings from this study indicate that learners enjoyed and appreciated both the social learning experience afforded by the online social network and supported one another in their learning, enhancing their own and other students’ experiences. Conversely, results also indicate that students limited their participation to course-related and graded activities, exhibiting little use of social networking and sharing. Additionally, learners needed support in managing the expanded amount of information available to them and devised strategies and “workarounds” to manage their time and participation.

Read Full Text

Why Do Teachers Participate in Self-generated Online Communities?

Jung Won Hur, Thomas A. Brush (2009) Teacher Participation in Online Communities: Why Do Teachers Want to Participate in Self-generated Online Communities of K–12 Teachers?, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(3), 279–303

The purpose of this study was to examine reasons for teacher participation in on- line communities of K–12 teachers. The authors interviewed 23 teachers from three self-generated online communities and analyzed more than 2,000 postings in those communities. The findings indicated five reasons for participation: (a) sharing emotions, (b) utilizing the advantages of online environments, (c) combating teacher isolation, (d) exploring ideas, and (e) experiencing a sense of camaraderie. In conclusion, the findings imply that when designing teacher professional development programs, more emphasis needs to be placed on teachers’ emotional sharing and promotion of self-esteem.

Read Full Text

How is the explosion of online social media a new opportunity to measure social capital?

Matthew S. Smith (2011) A Computational Framework for Social Capital in Online Communities, A dissertation submitted to the faculty of Brigham Young University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The explosion of online social media means that it is now possible to collect rich data about people’s connections and interactions, in a completely ubiquitous, non-intrusive manner. Such dynamic social data opens the door to the more accurate measuring and tracking of social capital. Similarly, online data is replete with additional personal data, such as topics discussed in blogs or hobbies listed in personal profiles, that is difficult to obtain through standard surveys. Such information can be used to discover similarities, or implicit affinities, among individuals, which in turn leads to finer measures of social capital, including the often useful distinction between bonding and bridging social capital.

Read Full Text

Tag Cloud