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Collaborative Learning in a Contribution-Oriented Pedagogy

Collaborative Learning in a Contribution-Oriented Pedagogy
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Author(s): Betty Collis (University of Twente, The Netherlands) and Jef Moonen (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch047


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Collaborative learning is a specific approach within the broader context of pedagogy. Collaborative learning encourages student participation via peer interaction in the learning process. It encompasses a set of approaches to education, sometimes also called cooperative learning or small-group learning (NISE, 1997; Collis, 1994). Collaborative learning creates an environment “that involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing” (Bonwell & Eison, 1991, p.2). Collaborative learning involves communication. From the early availability of computer-mediated communication (CMC), questions of appropriate and adequate pedagogies using such technologies were put forward; in particular, when students are working together in collaborative learning (Kaye, 1992; Turoff, 1991). Collaborative learning can also be connected with other computer technologies, such as educational software (Wegerif, 1996) and intelligent collaboration learning systems (McManus & Aiken, 1996), or serve as a mechanism to integrate; for instance, computer conferencing with live lectures on the Internet (Eisenstadt, Brayshaw, Hasemer, & Issroff, 1996). Olson and Olson (1996) are among those who study the use of collaborative technologies to facilitate the work of groups. Referring to the widespread tools based on network or Internet technologies (World Wide Web, computer conferencing, groupware or tools for computer-supported collaborative work – CSCW), Dillenbourg and Schneider (1995) emphasize that often the appearance of new technologies “reactivates the belief that technology per se enhances education, which repeatedly has shown to be wrong in the history of educational technology”. In this context, Romiszowski and Ravitz (1997) state that, “one of the most important areas for tactical research at the moment is to investigate the potential applications and specific methodologies for collaborative learning” (p. 758). Therefore, the question about how to use computer and network technologies in education, and in particular in the context of collaborative learning, is still very relevant. In this chapter, the authors respond by suggesting a specific approach making use of Web-based tools and collaborative learning within a contribution-oriented pedagogy.

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