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Discussion across borders: benefits for collaborative learning

Whatley, J and Bell, F 2003, 'Discussion across borders: benefits for collaborative learning' , Educational Media International, 40 (1-2) , pp. 139-152.

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Abstract

Online learning is facilitated by various forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC). In higher education, CMC presents an opportunity to expand the learning community, even across national borders. This paper reports on two cycles of action research into the use of online discussion forums to enable groups of students from different countries to collaborate with each other in achieving learning outcomes specific to each group. The research data was obtained from questionnaires and focus groups with students and analysis of the content of the online discussion. The discussion was focused on the evaluation of prototype learning systems, produced by one group of students and evaluated by groups from two institutions in different countries, each of which had different, yet reciprocal, objectives to achieve from participating in the activity. The findings highlight the potential complexity of such an asymmetric collaborative activity, but indicate several advantages to students when the activity forms a distinct part of the pedagogical framework of their modules. For tutors planning similar trans-national collaborations, guidance points are offered that incorporate the findings from the research.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Subjects / Themes > L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School > Centre for Digital Business
Journal or Publication Title: Educational Media International
Publisher: Routledge Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 09523987
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2009 10:27
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:53
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/1215

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