BLENDING PEDAGOGIC LABORATORY. UNIVERSITY VIRTUAL CLASSROOM AS COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR EDUCATIONAL DESIGN (2009-2015)

G. Pillera

Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
How can we support group collaboration about designing human and social change? This paper reports six years of blending university laboratory, carried out at the University of Catania (Italy) from academic years 2009-10 until 2014-15, for the most part set in a specially made web environment and concerning pedagogic models and techniques for educational planning. We especially explore methodology, tools, participants, activities and assessment, with regard to group-based collaborative writing. Systematic reports about our laboratory are founded on a methodological frame called Design Based Research (DBR), aimed at planning and testing artefacts, whether technological or organizational, delivering significant learning environments by cyclic adjustments. DBR is focused on the learning experience, and this both for planning and testing educational projects. This article describes methodology and tools, web-environment features and dynamics, actors and outcomes; it reports data and analysis of participation, groups, activities, difficulties, evaluation process; it reconstructs and highlights main changes and improvements by learning and by teaching sides. All this is aimed to set and upgrade the web environment in order to improve the learning experience offered and arrange the best tools for collaboration.