LEARNING COMMUNITIES: COMPUTER-SUPPORTED COLLABORATIVE LEARNING USING E-PORTFOLIOS

A. Thethi, W. Haywood, A. Boddison

University of Warwick (UNITED KINGDOM)
Encouraging trainee teachers to reach out to each other to solve problems and share knowledge not only builds collaboration skills, it leads to deeper learning and understanding. Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is an educational paradigm which uses technology in a learning environment to help mediate and support group interactions in a collaborative learning context.

The Centre for Professional Education, (CPE) at the University of Warwick offers trainees a partnership-led, teacher training route which enables individuals to learn ‘on the job’ using a blended-learning approach. Trainees work as a part of the teaching team at a school from the very first day of the course. Although the ‘School Direct’ approach heralds a new way of bridging the gap between education providers and employers it also poses a number of challenges in developing and accommodating alternative pedagogies to meet the new and evolving model of Initial Teacher Education.

One of the ways trainee teachers are encouraged to actively participate in the acquisition and construction of knowledge is through the use of e-portfolios. The CSCL system employed, uses technology to guide and monitor interactions, to regulate tasks, rules, and roles, and to mediate the acquisition of new knowledge through the co-construction of new content.

This paper reports on the implementation of a CSCL system to assist Secondary trainee teachers in peered reflection and assessment that will inform other providers looking for innovative routes to engage with work-based learners.