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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Check Out These Interesting Articles published by IRRODL!

These two articles below, appears in Vol 10, No 3 (2009), edition of The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning.
The articles relate to innovations in teaching and learning in distance contexts.

Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment
By Jane Brindley, Lisa Marie Blaschke and Christine Walti

Collaborative learning in an online classroom can take the form of discussion among the whole class or within smaller groups. This paper addresses the latter, examining first whether assessment makes a difference to the level of learner participation and then considering other factors involved in creating effective collaborative learning groups. Data collected over a three year period (15 cohorts) from the Foundations course in the Master of Distance Education (MDE) program offered jointly by University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and the University of Oldenburg does not support the authors’ original hypothesis that assessment makes a significant difference to learner participation levels in small group learning projects and leads them to question how much emphasis should be placed on grading work completed in study groups to the exclusion of other strategies.

Transparency in Cooperative Online Education
By Christian Dalsgaard and Morten Flate Paulsen

The purpose of this article is to discuss the following question: What is the potential of social networking within cooperative online education? Social networking does not necessarily involve communication, dialogue, or collaboration. Instead, the authors argue that transparency is a unique feature of social networking services. Transparency gives students insight into each other’s actions. Cooperative learning seeks to develop virtual learning environments that allow students to have optimal individual freedom within online learning communities.