Evaluating a communicative model for web mediated collaborative learning and design
AbstractCollaborative learning and its associated processes of social interaction have been given increasing emphasis in innovative education as pedagogical research has established the importance of active student learning. Furthermore, the possibilities for conceptualising, designing, facilitating, monitoring and assessing active student learning have been transformed by the technological innovations and proliferation of web mediated learning. The effectiveness of these new learning environments in generating and sustaining successful collaborative learning now requires systematic evaluation from within these social interaction processes themselves. This study responds to the call for theory driven empirical research into online learning. The paper investigates the usefulness of a Communicative Model of Collaborative Learning (CMCL) in analysing the linguistic interactions between students in a web mediated environment, in order to evaluate their online collaborative learning. A symptomatic set of student postings, on an electronic bulletin board in an undergraduate management subject at a 'new' Australian university, demonstrates how students co-created knowledge about managing information overload. The analysis shows that not only is the CMCL a useful pedagogical tool for evaluating collaborative learning in student postings, the flow between their contributions, and knowledge co-creation, it can also be applied to further improve and test the design of discussion for web mediated forums.
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