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Comparing Communities of Learning: Incoming Bachelor Students & Working Professionals

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  • 1. Comparing Communities of Learning: Incoming Bachelor Students & Working Professionals Martin Rehm, Bas Giesbers, Bart Rienties (Maastricht University) S-ICT 2009, Amsterdam Wednesday, 16th of December 2009
  • 2. New Educational Challenges •Setting –Institutions of higher education •Bachelor –Master structure •International Students –Organizations •Lifelong Learning’ ‘ •cost-saving / efficiency •Learning Methodology –Acquisition è Participation
  • 3. ICT in Education
  • 4. Community of Practice “ group of people who share a concern, set of problems or passion about a topic and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis”(Wenger, et al., 2002, p.4) Community of Learning “ engaging in collaborative learning and reflective practice involved in transformative learning” (Paloff & Pratt, 2003, p. 17)
  • 5. Community of Learning (CoL) •Open dialogue H1: On average, working professionals will contribute less often, but more elaborative than regular students •Level of participation H2: The level of activity in CoLs will be positively skewed •Spaces for informal discussions H3: The amount of informal communication will be higher for the bachelor cohort
  • 6. Platform • Blackboard™ – Hosting ‘ static content’ – Asynchronous discussion forums • practical, real-life task 1. Café Talk 2. Content-driven
  • 7. Online (Preparatory) Course “Economics” N = 82; N = 158; 6 CoLs; 14 CoLs; ∅ members = 13.66; ∅ members = 11.29; ∅ age = 19.00; ∅ age = 44.73; 50 % female 53.79 % female --- --- 8 weeks 11 weeks 6 modules 5 modules Workload: 60-80 hrs. Workload: 60-70 hrs. 40% of Final Grade 50 % of Final Grade
  • 8. Hypothesis 1: “Open Dialogue”
  • 9. Hypothesis 2: “Participation” 70,0 35 60,0 30 50,0 25 C o n tr ib u tio n s 40,0 20 C o n t rib u t io n s 15 30,0 10 20,0 5 10,0 0 0,0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Week Week Average Contributions Average Contributions
  • 10. Hypothesis 3: “Informal Discussions”
  • 11. Participants Expectations and Perceptions •Bachelor students were more eager to create a positive image of themselves •Working professionals appear to be more critical about the quality of the course
  • 12. Conclusions •CoLs provide a valuable learning enviornment •Facilitation is of crucial importance •CoLs ‘ work’ across different target groups è (neo)apprenticeship style learning
  • 13. Comparing Communities of Learning: Incoming Bachelor Students & Working Professionals Martin Rehm, Bas Giesbers, Bart Rienties (Maastricht University) S-ICT 2009, Amsterdam Wednesday, 16th of December 2009