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Designs & tools to augment collaborative learning in computerized conferencing systems

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1 Author(s)
Harasim, L. ; Dept. of Commun., Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby, BC, Canada

Consideration is given to the use of computer conferencing for knowledge building and networking, with specific attention to designs and tools to enhance group learning processes and tasks. Field trials of educational computer conferencing demonstrate that with careful attention to design, computer conferencing can support and augment important aspects of active and purposeful collaborative learning. Work to date indicates that the intentional structuring of computer conferences-such as in the definition of individual, paired and small group tasks, and in the definition of sub-group and whole-group discussion-facilitates and increases active student input and peer interaction. At the same time, experience and research suggest that the medium is incomplete: organization of the collaborative work is not contextualized within the operating system and teachers and learners find it necessary to provide information management outside the operating environment. Tools are needed to support specific teacher and learner activities, such as active reading and idea linking and organizing. The author reports on the use of intentional design and hypertextual tools to support and augment collaborative learning within current computer conferencing systems

Published in:

System Sciences, 1991. Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Hawaii International Conference on  (Volume:iv )

Date of Conference:

8-11 Jan 1991