The Titanic, Volkswagens and collaborative group work: Remaking old favourites with new learning technologies
Unsinkable ships, Volkswagens and collaborative group work have much in common. They have each undergone a recent revival of sorts; in each case the new version bears a strong Wittgensteinian resemblance to its more classic predecessor; and in each case the end user is able to enjoy the nostalgic experience of having once again rediscovered the wheel. This is a powerful experiential principle, one so powerful in fact that it drives us to part with the cost of a movie ticket even though we know how the movie ends! The ship still sinks on April 14th; the 'bug' still looks like a beetle-plus and group work is still largely a 'lottery' experience for students at university.
This paper is about finding a way (or ways) to disrupt this cycle of repetition, not by raising the Titanic (for this has been tried), nor by terminating the Volkswagen (Woody Allen pointed out in the film Sleepers that they were clearly unstoppable). Rather, this paper will concentrate on how to re-engineer collaborative group work practices using online learning technologies, thereby enhancing their role as an effective, flexible and efficient learning exchange. In comparing the performance outcomes of 'online' learning groups to a study of 'real time' learning groups (Hogan 1999), the paper sets about building a case for the former. The paper deals specifically with how collaborative online learning groups can be used to:
- Establish an authentic learning context
- Accommodate learner needs
- Enrich learner experiences; and
- Inform instructor perspectives.
Articles published in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET) are available under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Authors retain copyright in their work and grant AJET right of first publication under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in this journal, and to use them for any other lawful purpose.
Articles published in AJET can be copied, communicated and shared in their published form for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given to the author and the journal. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
This copyright notice applies to articles published in AJET volumes 36 onwards. Please read about the copyright notices for previous volumes under Journal History.