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Collaborative Open Online Learning COOL. A webinar for Oxford Brookes University’s Teaching Online Open Course 24 March 2014. Jenny Mackness : Source of image; /. Roles for this session. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Collaborative Open Online Learning


A webinar for Oxford Brookes Universitys Teaching Online Open Course24 March 2014Jenny Mackness:

Source of image; you for the invitation.I see this as a session in which I will share my practice and hope you will share yours.I do not claim to be an expert in this, but I do have lots of experience of online collaboration, starting with my first experience when I attended this course in 2004/2005.1Roles for this session Question gatherer Note takerLink gatherer SearcherChat summarizer Session blogger Mind Mapper

Source: year I attended Howard Rheingolds online course Towards a new literacy of cooperation in which we learned about working cooperatively and collaboratively through taking the course and through taking on roles during the course. These are some of them, which we could try here.

Question gatherer collect the questions posted in the chat and draw to the attention of the presenterLink gatherer post links from the white board into the chat Note-taker make notes to post to the course laterSearcher search for other links and information about topics being discussed and post in the chat during the sessionSession blogger blog about the session and share with others during the weekChat summariser could be fed back to the presenter or posted laterMind mapper could be created later and shared with course participants2

COOL: Collaborative open online learning

Jenny Connected:

Many online courses now require students to collaborate, but we know that just putting people together in the same space isnt enough? What should a tutor do to prepare students for collaborative tasks? Interesting that Collaborative Open Online Learning stands for COOL. Im hoping that the session will be a cool one not in the sense of cold, but in the sense of fun

The question posted here is from an interview that I was asked to respond to a few years ago. I blogged about my response (see link). This is a question that we will be thinking about this week.

I created this Wordle from the blog post which brings up some key ideas. Notice that face-to-face is an idea that crops up. We need to think about the differences between online and f2f collaboration.3Collaboration or Cooperation?

Stephen Downes talking and writing about Groups and Networks:

The C in COOL could stand for cooperation. What is the difference between collaboration and cooperation. It is worth knowing since a lot of the way we work together online is often cooperation rather than collaboration.

Stephen Downes talks about this in relation to groups and networks. He describes networks as having four key principles diversity, meaning that activities are not coordinated, autonomy of individuals, openess, i.e. no boundaries to membership, and connectivity, meaning distributed information flow and no central authority. Groups tend to be working towards the same goal, coordinated by a leader, closed with defined membership and one-to-many means of communication.

He talks about these whiteboard notes in the YouTube video and explains its relationship to collaboration and cooperation in the blog post. (See links)

But for me collaboration and cooperation do not have to be a dichotomy we can be moving between the two in our online relationships. It does help though to have clarified in our own minds what we expect from each.

Was the Week 1 icebreaker task collaboration or cooperation?4Collaboration: What does it mean?Exchanging information, altering activities, and sharing resources for mutual benefit to achieve a common purpose.

Exchanging information for mutual benefit.

Exchanging information, altering activities, sharing resources, and enhancing the capacity of another for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose.

Exchanging information, altering activities for mutual benefit and to achieve a common purpose.Source: Himmelman, A.T. (2000) Collaboration for a Change. Retrieved from Which one of these statements, taken from the referenced paper, refers to collaboration. This is a polling activity.Answers are:

A. CooperationB. NetworkingC. CollaborationD. Coordination

Note the emphasis on looking out for other people in collaboration a commitment to others learning capacities5Models for thinking about collaborative learning on and off line

Garrison, Anderson & Archer (2000) Palloff & Pratt (2005)

Harold Jarche (2011)

Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice. Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge. P.73Here are four models for thinking about collaboration.

The one that isnt here which is covered in this course is Gilly Salmons model, where she stresses the need for online learners to be able to access the environment, socialise online and be able exchange information in a non-threatening environment before being able to work together collaboratively.

You have also been asked to read Garrison et al.s work about social presence. This is essential for online collaboration. You cant collaborate online if you dont have a social presence. But what does this mean? Hopefully you are beginning to develop a social presence in this course. People are beginning to know who you are. You are present in the course environment. You will also need to develop a cognitive presence and a teaching presence but for this week focus on your social presence.

Harold Jarche thinks about collaboration in terms of complex tasks and close ties unlike cooperation which is usually associated with weaker ties. There is some overlap between the two in communities of practice but this week whilst the whole group might be a community of practice, your small group collaborative task is likely to need close ties. How will you establish these?

Paloff & Pratt also think about social presence and social constructivism in relation to collaboration. The link is to a short paper by them, but they have also written a book Collaborating Online and Gilly Salmon has written a book with David Jaques Learning in Groups. Both books would be helpful for your task this week.

Etienne Wenger does not talk about collaboration in his book, but these three elements of a community of practice joint enterprise, shared repertoire and mutual engagement seem to me to be key to successful online collaboration. He also in a paper which you can find in the resources section of his website writes about the difference between communities and networks. See at around p.10

A problem with communities and groups could be group think. A problem with networks could be noise and distraction.6Why Collaborate?

Collaboration is the joining together of things that do not naturally want to be joinedStephen Downes ALT-C 2005 Conference

Source of image:

Stephen Downes in his 2005 keynote to the ALT Conference said that people often do not really want to collaborate. So Why do we collaborate? Why do we ask students to collaborate? When is it useful?7Reasons for Collaborating Online

Social presence, connection, interaction and engagementExtending and deepening the learning experienceCo-creation of knowledge and meaningImproving critical thinking skillsOpportunities for reflection and identity developmentIncreased possibilities for transformative learningIncreased opportunities for different learning stylesOpportunities for cross cultural engagement

Deeper LearningIdentity developmentSource of image: are the reasons why collaboration is useful for me particularly that I find more opportunities for deeper learning and since I believe that learning is about learning to be, learning to be who I would like to be, then that obviously impacts on my identity.

I do a lot of online networking rubbing shoulders with others but I find that the smaller group collaboration leads to deeper learning. I do, though, need both.

Opportunities for cross cultural engagement are also a great benefit of online collaboration. I have had some wonderful cross collaborative encounters.8The Long History of CollaborationIn the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed."- Charles Darwin

Source of image: reason for collaborating is that its necessary for the evolution of our species. This is a quote from Darwin pointing this out and there are many examples of animals collaborating that we can find with just a quick Google search.

In his course on the literacy of cooperation that I mentioned before, Howard Rheingold discussed cooperation and collaboration in biology in detail from the level of cell to cell to the level of ecology. You can find out more about this from his TED talk on collaboration (referenced in the list at the end of this presentation) and also in his writing about SMART mobs, such as the demonstrators in the events of the Arab Spring 2010, when huge numbers of peo


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