Online collaborative learning: approaches, issues and solutions

Topic Description

Online collaborative learning is a key pedagogical approach in distance education, both within the Open University and in other HE institutions. However, it raises many questions: How is it received by learners? How should it be designed and assessed? What are the benefits and problems of different online tools? Using approaches from computing and education disciplines, the proposed project will investigate these issues across a range of learning contexts, shedding light on the perspectives of learners and teachers. The project outcomes will inform educators developing learning designs in online collaborative learning.

Skills Required:

Ideally you should have a degree in Computing, Education or a related subject, possibly with a Masters level qualification or equivalent professional experience. Prior experience of relevant research methods would be beneficial.

Background Reading:

Kear, K., Donelan, H. & Williams, J. (2014). Using Wikis for Online Group Projects: Student and Tutor Perspectives. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15(4) pp. 70–90.

Donelan, H., Kear, K. & Ramage, M. (2010). Online communication and collaboration: A Reader. Routledge, London 290 pp; ISBN: 0-415-56477-8.

Kear, K., Chetwynd, F., Williams, J. & Donelan, H. (2012). Web Conferencing For Synchronous Online Tutorials: Perspectives Of Tutors Using A New Medium. Computers and Education, Vol 58(3), pp. 953-963.

Kear, K. (2010) Online and Social Networking Communities: a best practice guide for educators, New York: Routledge

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