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Learning From Others: Collaboration and Communication in eLearning
One of the challenges of eLearning is helping learners build rewarding learning experiences when they are at a distance from other students and Faculty, reducing the feelings of isolation and creating a collaborative environment with a sense of community. In a society that highly values and rewards individual accomplishment, the value of collaborative work may sometimes be viewed with skepticism. Collaboration and communication do not naturally occur online or in face-to-face learning environments. In eLearning, it is especially important that instructors and designers help to build that community.
Online courses may be more conducive to collaboration and knowledge generation than face-to-face courses because of the web tools available to learners who must interact at a distance. Goodyear, Jones, and Thompson (2014) present a variety of synchronous and asynchronous tools for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). For this Discussion, your goal is to determine the best method for collaborative learning by analyzing these new, innovative CSCL tools.
View the interactive media piece in this module’s Learning Resources with a focus on the “Strategies” section. Read “Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning: Instructional Approaches, Group Processes and Educational Designs” with a focus on the four CSCL models for promoting a collaborative environment. They are:
- Face-to-Face, Synchronous CSCL
- Synchronous Online CSCL
- Blending Face-to-Face and Online Collaboration
- CSCL with Web 2.0 Technologies
Read “The Interpersonal Interaction in Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Environment,” and reflect on the authors’ definition of CSCL, as a democratic mode of participation where everyone’s voice can be heard and is given equal standing.
Post the following by Day 7 of Week 5:
Choose one of the four CSCL models to champion. Include what makes this the best model for collaborating with technology and the benefits it has over other models. Explain how you would integrate this model into an eLearning environment where everyone’s voice can be heard and be given equal standing. Defend your choice from personal experience, a learning theory, and at least one research study (PhD and EdS students) or dissertation (PhD students only).