Fostering Effective Online Collaboration in VLE’s

Web2 0 collaboration

In the 21st century, it is essential to teach students how to effectively navigate in today’s collaborative platform. There are few professions and work environments that only focus on individual competencies (Marcinek, 2011). Most modern work environments involve some type of collaboration or connected problem solving to enhance their corporation or product (Marcinek, 2011). With the convenience of the Web 2.0 tools, we are provided with a diversity of options in which we can collaborate socially online. However, K-12 learning institutions are seeking to provide more opportunities for students to learn how to effectively work in groups in an effort to prepare them for today’s work environment. The wiki is commonly used in the 21st-century work environment as an effective collaboration tool. VLE (Virtual Learning Environments) provide an environment for new forms of group work or computer supported collaborative learning (Witney & Smallbone, 2011). Higher education learning institutions are using VLE’s to introduce collaborative learning in a group, foster peer interaction, develop teamwork, and to develop e-skills with the students. Based on what you have learned this week respond to the following questions:

  • What online collaboration tools have you used in your work environment?
  • Do you think the use of wiki’s for group projects can create collaborative learning? Why or why not?
  • Do you think that group projects in a wiki foster a collaborative learning community?
  • Do you think online collaboration efforts foster higher order thinking skills?
  • Can a social learning environment be established as a result of an online group collaboration project?

Review this week’s learning resources and proceed to the discussion board and post your responses to the questions above on the discussion board.

By Wednesday:

Review this week’s learning resources and consider the following questions and proceed to the discussion board:

  • What online collaboration tools have you used in your work environment?
  • Do you think the use of wiki’s for group projects can create collaborative learning? Why or why not?
  • Do you think that group projects in a wiki foster a collaborative learning community?
  • Do you think online collaboration efforts foster higher order thinking skills?

By Sunday:

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings. As you read their responses, note those to which you would like to respond with advice, questions, comments, and/or encouragement.
Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in any of the following ways:

  • Build on something your colleague said.
  • Explain why and how you see things differently.
  • Ask a probing or clarifying question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.
  • Ask for evidence that supports the posting.

Discussion Board Rubric

The rubric for the discussion board is provided below. Click the link to view the rubric.
Discussion Board Rubric Week 7 Application Walden University

Resources

Baiyun Chen, Aimee DeNoyelles, Kelvin Thompson, Amy Sugar and Jessica Vargas (2014). Discussion Rubrics. In K. Thompson and B. Chen (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning. Retrieved August 8, 2016, from https://topr.online.ucf.edu/index.php?title=Discussion_Rubrics&oldid=3649

Marcinek, Andrew (2011), Importance of Collaborative Assessment in a 21st Century Classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/collaborative-assessment-digital-classroom-social-media-tools

Walden University (2012). Rubric for Discussion Board. Program Resources. Retrieved from http://inside.waldenu.edu/c/Student_Faculty/StudentFaculty_15198.htm

Witney, D. & Smallbone, T. (2011). Wiki work: Can using wikis enhance student collaboration for group assignment tasks? Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 48(1), 101-110.  Retrieved from the Walden Library.

3 thoughts on “Fostering Effective Online Collaboration in VLE’s

  1. Online collaboration activities and collaboration assessment is a domain that is beginning to emerge in online learning environments, both synchronous and asynchronous ones (Palloff & Pratt, 2007). As 21st century skills have made their way into the syllabus and the learning instruction of many countries worldwide and as their overall purpose is to aim at the collaboration and the communication among learners in order to prepare them for their future work environment (P21, 2007), this practice will definitely, in my opinion, grow bigger in the near future.
    As part of my online learning and work environment, online collaboration tools are essential tools of my everyday life. As Web 2.0 tools have made their way in both education and in working environments, they have facilitated many practices and activities conducted in those environments as opposed to the past. Within my working environment, collaboration among members of the same departments or different ones, is happening through web conferencing/IM applications such as Skype, Viber, Webex, etc. and online digital platforms. These tools are used for the conduction of meetings, for delivering and receiving important materials and finally for the construction of products such as digital applications (IWB/iebook software) or digital platforms that our institution is creating.
    One of the many helpful Web 2.0 tools that is mainly used for the purposes of education and more specifically learning instruction, is a Wiki (Simonson et al. 2015). Wikis are digital tools that aim at constructing learning through collaboration and communication and also aim at making learners learn by their peers and transfer information to them, themselves. Since Wikis are mostly used for group projects and group assessment, they offer the chance to learners to construct their own part within the project, to offer suggestions to their peers, to receive instant feedback from them and most importantly to work as part of a group that has a common target. The overall result created by the team can also contribute to the learning community as a really useful resource to learners of the same academic domain. There were many times that during my online learning experience, I have examined a Wiki that was addressed to the same topic like the one I was analyzing for my assignments.
    Collaboration and communication online tools are means that require the use of higher order thinking skills as defined in the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (Anderson, 2001), as learners need to retrieve information taught in the instruction or gained from the readings of the course and use problem-solving, analysis, synthesis and creation skills to shape responses towards their peers and their instructor. Those skills are tested and practiced when learners need to build on their peers’ responses and when working together with them to produce a common result.
    Collaboration among learners for the purposes of education and learning instruction can also create small learning societies where learners share many interests besides their academic goals. When learning to work together with peers, learners learn to work for their team and not individually. As a result, individual action has less chances, in my opinion, to flourish in their future work environment.
    Nina Dagre

    References

    Anderson, L.W. (Ed.), Krathwohl, D.R. (Ed.), Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer, R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths, J., & Wittrock, M.C. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Complete edition). New York: Longman.

    P21. (2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning, P21 Partnership For 21st Century Learning, Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/docs/P21_framework_0116.pdf

    Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

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  2. In my own experience, I have used a variety of collaborative tools in my distance learning experiences. Most often, this has taken the form of discussion forums that allow for asynchronous collaboration among classmates. For synchronous environments, I have utilized a number of different tools, including Blackboard collaborate which allows real time interaction, screen sharing, polling and chat boxes.

    i believe that wikis can be excellent tools for collaboration because they allow all members of of the group to have access to the same working document (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015). This ensures that students are all working from the most current document and reduces the chances of duplicate records and confusion.

    By their very nature, wikis engender collaborative learning because again they allow students to work together on projects and/or documents that allows true sharing of information, especially in an asynchronous environment.

    I do believe that online collaboration assists with higher order thinking among students (Morisson, Ross, Kalman and Kemp, 2013). In addition, collaboration exercises allow groups of students to engage in problem solving and analysis of case studies.

    Dave Haigh

    References

    Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2013). Designing effective instruction (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

    Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

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