MAPPING THE FOUNDATIONS OF ON-LINE COLLABORATIVE WORK IN HIGHER EDUCATION
A portuguese higher education institution has promoted the training “Collaborative Learning Projects” for the benefit of its teachers, as part of an on-line education project. This training, in its blended learning modality, has involved 41 teachers from 12 distant schools which were virtually brought together in order to form a nation-wide class. In the context of this experiment, and regarding the growing need to establish a conceptual mapping which could help those concerned to examine the ever-changing theoretical foundations of the project-based collaborative activity, it was proposed that conceptual maps of those foundations were actually made. These maps were afterwards disclosed and discussed on the same higher education institution’s Moodle platform.
It is the wish of the authors of this paper that, through the representations of the aforementioned teachers, the principles of the “Collaborative Learning Projects”, the process of constructing and de-constructing concepts drawing on the idea mapping and the role of the Web 2.0 in this context may be more widely known. The use of this kind of methodology gave rise to a collaborative activity which reached its higher point when the various existing conceptual maps were seemlessly fused into a sole document. It was this final document that was used as a focal point for this paper.