PROMOTING COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AT VIRTUAL TUTORS
Social interaction and collaborative activity are seen as the motor of learning and cognitive development, for the construction of knowledge, the articulation of interaction and social relations among those who learn are a necessary condition.
Driscoll and Vergara (1997) point out that for existing a true collaborative learning (CL), it is not only necessary to work together, but also to cooperate in achieving a goal that can not be achieved individually.
They point out that there are five elements that characterize CL.
1) Individual responsibility: all members are responsible for their individual performance within the group.
2) Positive interdependence: group members must depend on one another to achieve the common goal.
3) Collaborative skills: teamwork, leadership, and conflict resolution.
4) Promoter interaction: group members interact to develop interpersonal relationships and establish effective learning strategies.
5) Group process: the group reflects periodically and evaluates its operation, making the necessary changes to increase its effectiveness.
In order to promote CL in virtual tutors, the course "Didactic Strategies for Virtual Tutoring" was developed, employing tools such as forums, chats and wiki. From this course, only the Module 1 "Strategies of Teaching - Learning" will be analyzed.
The sample is composed by ten undergraduate professors from different areas and who have a minimum experience of one year in the area of virtual tutoring, with 5 females and 5 men. Ten professors (80%) are Mexican residents (from Morelos state), while the remaining 20% are native and residents of El Salvador. Eleven forums were analyzed qualitatively that were distributed in six sessions
The forums will be analyzed based on the dimensions identified through the literature, for example: in forum one, which consisted in introduce themselves and introduction of the module, the dimension that most frequently appeared was that of psychosocial relationships: motivation and Feedback, followed by group identification - group participation. In session two, the activity in the forum was to generate and share a planning class. This forum was characterized by the dimension "identification of groups", "Exploration of knowledge" and "Roles and responsibilities in group learning”. In the last session, it was possible to observe how the teams developed the promotion of the participation of all the members of the team, the identification and approach to the problem together, group analysis and discussion, the search for information and knowledge necessary in the Solution of a problem; summarize and synthesize ideas, knowledge or points of view; Provide theoretical support to the ideas and opinions, value the ideas and points of view of the other participants of the group, evaluate the relevance of the opinions and points of view of their fellow colleagues, perform the evaluation and monitoring of the solutions found and the how they motivated their co-workers to start, continue or finish the learning task.