Interrelation between Trust and Sharing Attitudes in Distributed PLE
Interrelation between Trust and Sharing Attitudes in Distributed PLE: Sonia C. Sousa, Vladimir Tomberg, David R. Lamas, Mart Laanpere (presenting) Centre for Educational Technology :: htk.tlu.ee Tallinn University, EstoniaICWL 2011, Hong Kong http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/lepress-20/
Background Cultural switch in experiencing the Internet: from closed to open environments, from protecting to sharing Trends: LMS use decreases, PLE use increases Pedagogical arguments: social negotiation of meaning, collaborative knowledge building, connectivist learning Trust could play an important role in hindering or supporting the adoption of new technology The affordances of next-gen learning tools can be designed so that they address also the trust-related factors
Research problem Aim: to identify interrelation between general trust level and attitudes towards sharing within open, blog-based learning environments Research questions: 1.What are the student’s attitudes and expectations towards (a) sharing learning resources via the public Web, (b) sharing the assignment submissions and teacher’s feedback with fellow students; and (c) participating in the negotiation of shared meaning? 2.How is the generic trust level of LePress users related with their attitudes towards affordances they expect from an online learning environment?
Trust: the hidden factor Social media, blogs and the culture of sharing and remixing Trust can affect individuals’ predisposition to interact, by shaping their willingness to rely on others, or by influencing their ability to believe that other’s actions will eventually lead to expected results Trust can influence individuals’ beliefs, attitudes and behaviors towards learning and sharing process using blogs Developers of blog-based learning environments should take into account the potential impact of trust-related factors to the attitudes and expectations of users
LePress: a Wordpress-based PLE LePress: an open-source plug-in for WordPress, made in Tallinn University, Estonia LePress is providing Course Coordination Space (S. Wilson), reduces the teacher’s overhead work Provides built-in workflows for course enrollment and learning (assignments, feedback, assessment), Non-intrusive implementation, using native features of Wordpress: categories, trackback, sidebar widget Everything is public (assignments, submissions, feedback), except the grades for assignments
Empirical study Online survey in English, Estonian, Russian (with LimeSurvey) The questionnaire contained 18 questions in four parts: demographic and background information questions attitudes towards sharing the level of trust in the context of generic online activities expected affordances in online learning environments 32 respondents (age range 18..52, 13 F/ 16 M, 11 RUS/18 EST) from two different higher education institutions: Mainor College (IT BA) and Tallinn University (MEd informatics)
Results Ranking online activities regarding personal usefulness: majority (65%) valued e-mail communication, content sharing was in the bottom Respondents usually share their personal information, comments and status only with the people they trust Decision upon letting a new person to enter the “ring of trust” is made on the basis of trust delegation (37%), similar interests and preferences (34%) and perceived honesty (34%)
Results Respondents are more likely to be engaged in give and take actions with persons who: Are willing to share their information and content (85%) Seem to be honest (48%) Seem to feel sympathy towards the respondent (41%) Respondents do not mind sharing their learning process and products via blog-based PLE (45%), majority (39%) agrees that blogs make learning process transparent and shareable; 31% prefer to have their learning resources on public Web Majority prefers the affordances of a blog-based PLE (commenting, tagging, feeds, openness) to that of a traditional LMS, but expect higher level of control over their PLE (to specify sharing settings)
Discussion Conflicting preferences: on one hand, openness of PLE and sharing with everyone would help to evaluate the trustworthyness, but at the same time, a person would need to evaluate the relation with others before she shares smth Evaluation of relationship: visualisation, avoiding oversimplification/stereotyping There is a need to support ad-hoc groups within official study groups, with varying level of openness (public, only for authenticated users, only for coursemates, only for sub-group members, only for “friends”)
Conclusion The study explored interrelation between generic trust level and attitudes towards sharing and affordances of PLE Majority of students prefer public sharing of learning resources Students with higher level of trust are more willing to share and also more open towards keeping their learning paths public PLE should provide tools to evaluate/rank the quality of relationship and to set the level of sharing on the group level The next steps: creating ad-hoc groups within a LePress course, allowing a student to set the different access level to different groups
Acknowledgments Participation in ICWL conference was supported by DoRa programme of Archimedes Foundation and European Social Fund
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