Management of Collaborative Web-based Experiential Learning

E. McKay, B. Garner (Australia), and T. Okamoto (Japan)


Human-computer interaction, Web-based education, Web-based ontologies, collaborative experiential instruction, knowledge-mediated learning, solutions engineering.


Web-based education brings many new challenges. None more pressing for courseware design than the need for domain independence. Not nearly enough is known of how to go about achieving this. There are many issues involved. Institutions and private consortia are currently wrestling with the management challenge without offering a choice of learning models suited to the diverse cognitive styles of the student/trainee cohorts. Complexities arise relating to specifics of the human computer interaction (HCI). Throughout the literature there are many cases that refer to HCI in a generic sense that reveal a mechanistic approach (presentation /interaction) [1]. Another useful way to view HCI is to use it as a conceptual framework in which to describe individuals' cognitive characteristics [2]. Consequently when researchers make this distinction, the emergent solutions engineering research may facilitate successful outcomes. One of the complications of HCI involves the issue of how to capture interactive web-based collaborative learning. Web technology appears to conjure up notions of an instant collaborative medium. This paper describes the research-in-progress for an experimental study designed to understand the ontological requirements for Web-based instructional environments. The project is a joint initiative involving three universities in the Asia/Pacific region. Results will be used to inform educational technologists interested in developing globalised Web-based instructional strategies.

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