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The student-centered teaching paradigm focuses on students engaged in learning high-order skills. Pedagogical research results suggest that the use of active learning within a cooperative environment is the best way to obtain these skills. In this context, the use of the Internet for these educational purposes-a concept known as electronic learning-can eliminate the physical barriers to cooperative learning. However, the implementation of such an electronic learning environment is often attempted using ad-hoc strategies that considerably limit its final impact and applicability. This work demonstrates how to design cooperative learning activities on the Internet by using basic principles derived from contemporary pedagogical research results. These activities were successfully applied in the context of forums repeated twice in two years in an artificial neural networks laboratory belonging to an engineering program.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2005