COLLABORATION AS QUALITY INTERACTION IN WEB-BASED LEARNING

L. Reneland-Forsman and T. Ahlbäck

Keywords

Collaboration, interaction analysis, student strategies, teacher training, webbased teaching

Abstract

Virtual learning environments supply us with new tools for learning. The conditions for communication are likely to affect the knowledge process. In this paper, we present the study of a collaborative knowledge process with the aim of identifying factors that can affect collaborative learning in a web-based environment. Underlining the study is an assumption that student teachers will be better equipped, if they have experienced and discussed methods of collaborative learning while in training. A tool for analysing the communication process in a knowledge production perspective was developed and used with a collaborative web-based method in a teacher-training programme. Results identified two critical factors affecting the level of collaboration connected to the knowledge process. Social interaction, to establish a group culture and the exchange of experiences, as a foundation for knowledge production is in this study a key factor for designing a web-based collaborative learning context. The insight into these processes is central for planning and choosing methods for collaborative courses, and the analysing tool can be used for evaluation of group work and assessments.

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