Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: CSCL Harnessing online technology to capture, share and disseminate learning within and between individuals/organisations.
Sharing knowledge is an unnatural act. You can’t just stand up and say, “Thou shalt share knowledge” – it won’t work. Hubert Saint-Onge Technology enables collaborative learning. Collaboration is when the community becomes the class. Rosenberg, 2006
Learning is socially constructed (Vygotsky, 1978; Lave, 1991) and learners participate collaboratively in communities of practice (Wenger, 1998). Knowledge networks are formed through individual relationships (Rosenberg, 2006, p.172) and learning is evolving not static. Organisations are communities of learners (Wenger, 1998).
Meetings and training do not always harness the best learning in an organisation if ineffective tools are used. Within communities of practice individuals intentionally use technology to create concepts or effect desired outcomes (Engestrom, 1996;1998;2001).
CSCL can foster collaborative learning in both synchronous and asynchronous situations if the right tools are chosen to match the learning situation. “Collaboration technologies allow people to participate asynchronously, contributing to the group at a time of their own choosing and, when warranted, synchronously” (Rosenberg, 2006, p.172). Tools match the environment
What formal methods of collaborative learning are in place in your organisation? e.g. meetings, training, documentation. Formal or informal models?
What informal models for collaborative learning take place? When do colleagues catch up incidentally? Informal dialogue is the most effective learning method (Rosenberg, 2006, p.160). Informal models make hierarchies less relevant and they facilitate individualised coaching within organisations (Ibid, 2006, p.169).
Knowledge management tools enhance informal learning by delivering information within context at the moment of need.
There is an easy shift from one to many sharers, needed in organisations tapping expertise (Rosenberg, 2006, p.157).
1. Initially people want to share experiences. 2. Then to share concepts and models and generate ideas in order to solve problems, create solutions and demonstrate understanding. 3. People want advice from a range of perspectives. 4. Finally the opportunity to critique and reflect on their own professional development. (Merrill & Gilbert, 2008, Rosenberg, 2006; Sherry & Chiero, 2004) Our activities will reflect these purposes. For what purpose do people collaborate?
Peer Identification: people with common needs Content Value: relevant and meaningful Incentives: reward participation No Pain: remove participation hindrances Make it special: exclusivity Community Leadership: facilitation Support from the top: leaders support collaboration No “Big Brother”: no spying or ulterior motives The Right Environment: culture of trust Tools: right technology (Rosenberg, 2006) 10 Critical Success factors of CSCL
Flexible structure for learning within busy organisations. Increase in computer literacy. Snowball effect within and between organisations from change agents and principals. Team building, bonding and continued professional support, leading to personal professional growth. (Sherry & Chiero, 2004) Advantages of CSCL
Technical difficulties Sifting through ‘chat’ to find the experts (Rosenberg, 2006, p.176) Lack of clear guidance in problem solving required with a range of skills and abilities between peers (Merrill & Gilbert, 2008, p.200) Peer telling rather than deep reflecting and interacting (Ibid, 2008, p.202). Potential obstacles to collaboration
Activity One: Training. Click on the linkwww.voicethread.comand play What’s a VoiceThread anyway? Pleasecomplete this five minute tutorial. Activity Two:Join a triad learning community in VoiceThread. We are adopting a mini triad community approach like TALENT (Sherry & Chiero, 2004). Your group contains participants from at least three professional areas. Demonstrate your understanding by adding a thread. For details of this activity and group allocations, please visit the introductory page in WebCT. (Activities based on principles of CSCL, Merrill & Gilbert, 2008 and Triad communities: Sherry & Chiero, 2004). Activity Three: Critique and reflect for professional development. Write your own brief (150 word) professional growth statement to share with our learning community in WebCT. Include answers to the following: What progress have you made in CSCL tools this week? How have the readings challenged your focus? What practical CSCL ideas can you bring to your workplace? (Activity based on professional growth statements Sherry & Chiero, 2004, and integration principle, Merrill & Gilbert, 2008). Collaborative Learning Activities
Key Readings Rosenberg, M. (2006). Beyond e-learning: approaches and technologies to enhance organisational knowledge, learning and performance. San Fransisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. (157-192) Merrill, D. & Gilbert, C. (2008). Effective peer interaction in a problem-centred instructional strategy. Distance Education, 29(2), 199-206. Supplementary Readings Sherry, L. & Chiero, R. (2005). Project TALENT: infusing technology in k-12 field placements through a learning community model. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 12(2), 265-279. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. References