EDTE674 With Dr. Lee Graham
Week 3 Initial Blog Post
There is a difference between cooperative learning and collaborative learning. Cooperative learning groups divide the responsibilities between group members who in turn work independently on their role or assignment. Collaborative groups are student-centered, work together to solve problem, and are based on “critical thinking and teamwork skills” (Qiu, Hewitt, and Brett, 2010, p. 426). Within a social context, learners share meaning, then process and clarify meaning to make it concise. Traditionally learning is viewed as something that is acquired and possessed within an individual’s mind. Conversely, collaborative learning that occurs within a participation framework can be described as; “cognitive activities are always embedded in social and cultural contexts and cannot be understood in isolation” (Xie and Ke, 2011, p. 917).
The textbook names Online Collaborative Learning (OCL) as a theory to base course design on. Pedagogy for online learning begins with generating ideas, organizing ideas, and culminates with intellectual convergence (Harasim, 2012). To involve students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and experiences in online courses, OCL is exactly what is needed. Previous didactic (exhortative and instructive methods) will not reveal whether students coming from a multitude of perspectives understand the academic content dispensed. In an OCL environment, students not only listen to the instructor, the stop and discuss their learning along the way. It is much like meta-cognitive reading. Students think about their thinking as they learn (or read) before, during, and after the lesson. One way they do that is from “reading other people’s notes but also from having to construct their own ideas in their own notes. Writing is essential for learning, even more so than reading. . .” (Qiu, Hewit, and Brett, 2012, p. 430). OCL is more than reading posts made by teachers for assignments, it includes reading, writing and creating for relevant purposes.
A digital or virtual platform provides space for collaboration to take place. The Knowledge Age mindset expresses the need to collaboratively build knowledge, using technology as a means for bringing together communities of people who may live at a physical distance from one another. Scientists, doctors, engineers, lawyers, are students within their own professions who may collaborate in a project or professional development setting. Also, as in our class, we may have cross-disciplines working to create a credit-recovery class.
In our text on page 99, the online learning environment provides a place for knowledge-creation processes. I am thinking about embedding links to You-Tube video clips for our literature class, and other educational video clips to make learning for accessible to students who are English Language Learners (ELLs), Limited English Proficient (LEP), or who may struggle with reading or writing, as in a learning disability. Since meeting with our group on Tuesday through Skype, I expanded my thinking to scaffolding learning by using an iPod to upload pre-read poems or other documents related to the literature topics; these artifacts would be read by students in our literature class who would benefit from rereading practice for a real-world purpose. Students taking the class would hear same age peers on a podcast. This could be called high school Reader’s Theater if they take parts in a short story. What do you think Literature Group?
Harasim, L. (2012). Learning theory and online technologies. New York, NY:
Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group.
Qiu, M., Hewitt, J. & Brett, C. (2012). Online class size, note reading, note writing and
collaborative discourse. Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7, 423-
Xie, K. & Ke, F. (2011). The role of students’ motivation in peer-moderated
asynchronous online discussions. British Journal of Educational Technology,