Collaborative Virtual Environments to Support Communication and Community in Internet-Based Distance Education

Sam Redfern, Niall Naughton
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
In this paper we discuss the use of modern information and communication technologies for distance education (DE) purposes. We argue that current technologies and implementations do not adequately support the key concepts of communication and community that many practitioners believe to be important, particularly if modern pedagogies such as constructivism are to be supported. We propose that collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) are appropriate tools for improving DE, and we discuss the current developments in the areas of CVEs in particular and in computer supported co-operative work (CSCW) in general. We also note those areas in which the majority of CVEs implemented to date have not reached their full potential for DE support, discuss current thought regarding online community, and outline a proposed CVE-based system for DE.
Distance Education, Online Learning Communities, Collaborative Virtual Environments
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