UCT CS Research Document Archive

An e-Learning Model Based on Collaboration and Sharing

Berman, S. and V. Katoma (2008) An e-Learning Model Based on Collaboration and Sharing. In Remenyi, D, Eds. Proceedings The 3rd International Conference on e-Learning, pages 19-26, University of Cape Town.

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Much of our learning does not occur during times of instruction, but rather during practical application of new knowledge in projects and assignments: we learn best by doing. This paper presents a model for e-learning through collaboration and sharing which promotes computer-enabled learning from one’s peers during that important time when students are applying new concepts and skills in a project of some kind. Our model is based on the use of blogs (weblogs) as a vehicle for students to learn from each other, and on a draft-feedback-refinement approach to assignment/project development. It hones those skills essential to all learning – reading, writing, summarising, arguing and critical thinking, and reduces feelings of isolation and uncertainty. The model includes an automated method of highlighting items that are top quality, highly contentious, or “hot topics”, and an option to automatically reorganise the system accordingly. The simple, familiar, popular, easy-to-use nature of blogs encourages learners to interact with the material, and a number of extensions to the blog infrastructure provide further incentives to work within the system. The paper includes a description of a prototype implementation of the model which was used in a Research Methods course at the University of Cape Town. It outlines the initial audit of current practice and needs; explains how powerful blog creation software tools greatly simplify system construction; and discusses feedback from the students who used it.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:Semantic weblog, e-learning, automated reorganisation
Subjects:K Computing Milieux: K.3 COMPUTERS AND EDUCATION
ID Code:502
Deposited By:Berman, Sonia
Deposited On:24 November 2008