Collaborative Learning: A Connected Community Approach

John Rae, Carole Roberts, Gary Taylor
InSITE 2006  •  Volume 6  •  2006
Collaborative Learning in group settings currently occurs across a substantial portion of the UK Higher Education curriculum. This style of learning has many roots including: Enterprise in Higher Education, Action Learning and Action Research, Problem Based Learning, and Practice Based Learning. As such our focus on Collaborative Learning development can be viewed as an evolutionary. This collaborative and active group learning provides the foundation for what can be collectively called connectivist ‘Learning Communities’. In this setting a primary feature of a ‘Learning Community’ is one that carries a responsibility to promote one another’s learning. This paper will outline a developmental collaborative learning approach and describe a supporting software environment, known as the Salford Personal Development Environment (SPDE), that has been developed and implemented to assist in delivering collaborative learning for post graduate and other provision. This is done against a background of much research evidence that group based activity can enhance learning. These findings cover many approaches to group based learning and over a significant period of time. This paper reports on work-in-progress and the features of the environment that are designed to help promote individual and group or community learning that have been influenced by the broad base of research findings in this area.
Learning, collaborative learning, learning communities, VLE, connectivity, groups, action learning, learning environment, coaching, mentors, team work, learning technology, knowledge management
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