About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5078-5085
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

VIRTUAL COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IN INTERNATIONAL SETTINGS – THE VIRTUAL SEMINAR “NET ECONOMY”

M. Gersch1, C. Lehr1, P. Weber2

1Freie Universität Berlin (GERMANY)
2Ruhr Universität Bochum (GERMANY)
The possibilities for internet based cooperation are becoming an increasingly important aspect in theory and practice. They are, therefore, more frequently addressed in higher education, especially in e-learning settings (see Bukova et al. 2006, Hasan and Ali 2007; Ehsan et al 2008). Besides increased flexibility in terms of time and location as well as a greater focus on dealing with topics in line with individual needs, media competences in particular can be fostered as well as motivational initiatives in collaborative settings. Furthermore, a learning environment can be created for enhancing communicative and social competences.
These large and growing potentials for use need to be utilized through a suitable structuring of the learning arrangements. This paper analyses and presents an example of an international collaborative learning arrangement, its components and its development over multiple semesters. Already, the first rounds of the course showed an unequivocal increase in motivation and a more active engagement with the learning content on the part of the learners compared to traditional courses (see Gabriel et al. 2009). The international character and the targeted use of new information technologies – e.g. a social community as the central learning platform, instant messaging and web-conferences as communication tools, extended Wikis (Google Sites) as authorship tools – granted significant added-value both to learners and instructors.
However, virtual collaborative settings like the one presented in this paper also pose major challenges with regard to the related technical and didactical requirements. With reference to the literature, but also to the experiences with the Net Economy class over several semesters, a selection of typical challenges (e.g. group formation and organisation processes, task design and used (web 2.0) tools) in the design of corresponding learning processes will therefore be derived in this paper. Finally, these challenges will be juxtaposed with solution approaches, which were developed in preparation for an expanded version of the Net Economy course. In this manner the contribution aims to evidence real experiences and to show solution-based approaches for typical problem areas and design necessities within settings for virtual collaborative learning:
- What are the typical problem areas and necessities of the course design when preparing and accomplishing virtual collaborative learning?
- What might promising solution-based approaches look like?

References:
- Bukvova H, Gilge S, Schoop E (2006) Virtual Collaboration in Higher Education Blended Learning Arrangements. In: Virtuelle Organisationen und Neue Medien GeNeMe 2006, Dresden.
- Ehsan N, Mirza E, Ahmad M (2008) Impact of Computer-Mediated Communication on Virtual Teams’ Performance: An Empirical Study. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 42:694–703.
- Gabriel R, Gersch M, Weber P, Le S, Lehr C (2009) Enhancing Professional, Media, and Social Competencies through International Collaborative E-Learning. In: Proceedings of E-LEARN 2009 - World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare & Higher Education.
- Hasan B, Ali J (2007) An Empirical Examination of Factors Affecting Group Effectiveness in Information Systems Projects. Decision Sci J Innovat Educ 5(2):229–243.
@InProceedings{GERSCH2011VIR,
author = {Gersch, M. and Lehr, C. and Weber, P.},
title = {VIRTUAL COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IN INTERNATIONAL SETTINGS – THE VIRTUAL SEMINAR “NET ECONOMY”},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5078-5085}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Gersch AU - C. Lehr AU - P. Weber
TI - VIRTUAL COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IN INTERNATIONAL SETTINGS – THE VIRTUAL SEMINAR “NET ECONOMY”
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 5078
EP - 5085
ER -
M. Gersch, C. Lehr, P. Weber (2011) VIRTUAL COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IN INTERNATIONAL SETTINGS – THE VIRTUAL SEMINAR “NET ECONOMY”, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 5078-5085.
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