About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4184-4189
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1898

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

MAKING IT HAPPEN: THE ONLINE COLLABORATIVE LEARNING COMMUNITY, FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Z.M. Charlesworth

University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (HES-SO) (SWITZERLAND)
As with every decade, the 2010-2020’s are not without their buzzwords and the one making the most noise at this time is the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (Schwab, 2016). So much noise in fact that it has come to the attention of those involved in higher education. Already under pressure to embrace a paradigm change which sees education going from the something rather content-centred to a learner-centred position (Kivunja, 2014) educators are now being asked to take into account their other major stakeholder – industry.

Industry leaders the word over are coming to a conclusion recently published in a World Economic Forum (WEF) Report that up to 35% of the jobs that we are preparing our higher education graduates for do not yet exist (Thomson, 2016). If indeed this is the case, and some reports put the percentage even higher, then it is imperative that education look, more than ever before, at skills building and the development of competencies. Soft skills and the ability to work with others are high on that list. A recent WEF report has suggests that amongst the competencies that will be most needed in 2020 are: coordinating with others, critical thinking and creativity (World_Economic_Forum, 2016). This, is in line with what other research has found in terms of the management competencies that in higher education need to be encouraged and developed and, all of which are closely related to collaboration.

The theoretical framework for this research draws on the work of Zimmerman (1989) based on that of Bandura (1986, 1991) on self-regulation in combination with more recent work on collaboration in the classroom (Cristol, 2014; De Corte, 2012; Li, Ingram-El Helou, & Gillet, 2012), and, the use of technology to add value to course delivery (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2012).

This project has focussed on the development of online learning communities which ideally go past the collaborative but allow for the type of sharing and exchange that leads to the co-creation of knowledge. The research presented here has looked at the development of collaborative learning communities and looks at how educators can make the leap from theory to practice successfully (Archambault, Wetzel, Foulger, & Williams, 2010). The methodology used was action research which, as per Dick (1993), is a three-step process that can go through several iterations. These steps: intention, action, and review, were acted upon, in three iterations, over a three-year period. The sample comprised adult further education students (n=71) enrolled in a certificate course in management also doubling as a prerequisite to entry into an Executive MBA programme.

The results, based on the analysis of the ensuing communities and that of a self-report questionnaire, provide insight into the student perception of the use of an online platform for the development of a collaborative learning community. The changes made from one iteration to the next allow for a better understanding of what is needed to encourage students to embrace what, for them too, are changes in today’s learning experience.

The paper closes with a discussion of the do’s and don’ts when developing such a community and practical suggestions of how to make it work.
@InProceedings{CHARLESWORTH2017MAK,
author = {Charlesworth, Z.M.},
title = {MAKING IT HAPPEN: THE ONLINE COLLABORATIVE LEARNING COMMUNITY, FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1898},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1898},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {4184-4189}}
TY - CONF
AU - Z.M. Charlesworth
TI - MAKING IT HAPPEN: THE ONLINE COLLABORATIVE LEARNING COMMUNITY, FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1898
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 4184
EP - 4189
ER -
Z.M. Charlesworth (2017) MAKING IT HAPPEN: THE ONLINE COLLABORATIVE LEARNING COMMUNITY, FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 4184-4189.
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