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Appears in:
Pages: 2665-2674
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

AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT ON SUPPORTING ONLINE COLLABORATION: OUTCOMES AND CONCLUSIONS

M.C. Matteucci1, B. Kopp2

1University of Bologna (ITALY)
2Ludwig-Maximilians-University (GERMANY)
In the last two decades, a rapidly growing amount of experiences and research focusing on technology-supported learning from different theoretical perspectives has been implemented. Within this wide scenario of experiences, the effectiveness of collaborative learning and on computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) has been confirmed by an ample research literature (e.g., Mandl et al., 2006). But still nowadays, a teacher or tutor who aims at organising an e-learning course can wonder whether all collaborative learning experiences involving technologies are effective at the same level, and which strategies are the most effective in order to foster knowledge acquisition of learners. In order to answer these questions, the International project “Social networks and knowledge construction promotion in e-learning contexts” (http://minerva.ing2.unibo.it) was launched, co-financed by the EU within the Socrates-Minerva action.

The project was developed from October 2006 to the end of September 2008 and involved the following four subsequent phases: 1) an exploratory study on a sample of 78 noteworthy e-learning experiences (of 17 European countries); 2) the design and delivery of e-learning courses based on emerging “good practices”; 3) the process and outcome evaluation of e-learning experimental courses; 4) the identification of “guidelines” aimed at fostering good practices, which may facilitate the promotion of knowledge construction through social interaction.

The results of the exploratory study showed that e-tutors acknowledge the importance of creating favourable conditions for social interaction in e-learning contexts, and that they mainly act for this purpose on the technical and didactical design of their courses. Moreover, they also report systematic support to the learners’ epistemic activities, but report infrequent interventions either to avoid pitfalls in social interaction (e.g. free-riding), or to foster more effective socio-cognitive dynamics (e.g. perspective-taking in argumentation, social influence). Practical guidelines were therefore identified in order to sustain the practical realization and implementation of e-learning activities which foster knowledge acquisition and effective collaborative activities (Matteucci, 2007). Even if further studies are needed to verify the actual effectiveness of these guidelines, these results may be considered a step forward on the way to “a better understanding by teachers, learners, decision-makers and the public at large of the implications of ICT for education, to ensure that pedagogical considerations are given proper weight in the development of ICT and multimedia-based educational products and services” (European Commission, Minerva Action: http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/socrates/minerva/index_en.html).

References:
• Mandl, H., Ertl, B., & Kopp, B. (2006). Computer support for collaborative learning environments. In F. Dochy, L. Verschaffel, M. Boekaerts, & S. Vosniadou (Eds.), Instructional psychology: Past, present, and future trends: Sixteen essays in honour of Erik De Corte (pp. 223-237). Oxford: Elsevier.
• Matteucci M.C. (2007) (Ed.). Promoting good practices. Lessons from a collection of European eLearning experiences. Retrived August, 1, 2008, from http://minerva.ing2.unibo.it

*This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
@InProceedings{MATTEUCCI2011ANI,
author = {Matteucci, M.C. and Kopp, B.},
title = {AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT ON SUPPORTING ONLINE COLLABORATION: OUTCOMES AND CONCLUSIONS},
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 = {2665-2674}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.C. Matteucci AU - B. Kopp
TI - AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT ON SUPPORTING ONLINE COLLABORATION: OUTCOMES AND CONCLUSIONS
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 - 2665
EP - 2674
ER -
M.C. Matteucci, B. Kopp (2011) AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT ON SUPPORTING ONLINE COLLABORATION: OUTCOMES AND CONCLUSIONS, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 2665-2674.
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