Week 10 Interactive and Collaborative Learning
As we know, the teamwork palys a dominant role in online courses so that learners need to use interactive technoloies to communicate with peers. The use of interactive technologies in online courses will affect the virtual teams’s process and performance.
In my opinion, it is more convenient for learners to take online courses more easily and efficiently. For example, they could not only distribute information and resource to peers more efficiently, but also have the online community for extended discussion. Nevertheless, online courses still have some drawbacks, including the lack of nonverbal cues, potenial misinterpretation from text-based communication, and above all low effectiveness of teamwork etc.
The crucial points I have learnt from week 10’s readings with reflections are as follows:
“Successful online teaching and learning require thorough instructional planning and knowledge on appropriate usage of advanced technologies.” (Lee, Magjuka, Liu & Bonk, 2006).
We could classify three different modes of interactive technologies, including communication, cooperation, and collaboration. And, each of tehm has its weakness and strengths. Instructors should effectively integrate the technology into instruction based on the need of online course.
“Asynchronous features of discussion forums boast the potential to foster reflective discourse among virtual team members by allowing them enough time to think about and elaborate their ideas before participating in discussions.” (Lee et al., 2006).
Although some online discussion messages seem to fall on deaf ears (Clark, 2003), asynchronous features of discussion forums allows learners to have enough time to think about the idea more deeply.
Also, as far as I am concerned, learners may need time to come up with a valuable idea or feedback in online course community. Compared with face-to-face courses, learner are required to reply immediately due to the limited time, but those replys usually are not deep and coomprehensive enough to make the interaction more meaningful.
“The nature of team tasks should be taken into consideration when instructors select particular technologies.” (Lee et al., 2006).
Because of the attributes of each level of technologies, they have different advantages and disadvantages. Thus, instructors should find out what’s the need based on effective technology integration so as to select the appropraite technology for learners to use. Also, adopting the newest technology doesn’t necessarily mean that learners would be more active and engaged in teamwork. Sometimes, Complex technology would confuse learners somehow.
“Older distance learners were much less likely to participate in active and collaborative learning and had fewer enriching experiences and less contact with faculty than younger distance learners.” (Chen, Gonyea & Kuh, 2008, p.3).
Older distance learners were more familiar with online learning then younger distance learners. Not surprisingly, older distance learners don’t need to contact with faculty for the basic questions on However, old distance learners were less likely to engage in collaborative learning, which begs the question: Are these older distance learners less likely to participate in active and collaborative learning in face-to-face courses TOO?
Interestingly, these older distance learners were more engaged in deep learning activities and have greater gains in practical competence than learners of traditional age. And, it reminds me that when I take the online course this semester for my first time, I find out that some of older distance learners are not inclined to communicate with peers, mainly because they don’t have enough time for discussion.
"It seems that the online environment provides students more opportunities to be involved in active learning as individuals, but limits students’ ability to collaborate with each other." (Chen et al., 2008, p.3).
Chen, P., Gonyea, R., & Kuh, G. (2008). Learning at a distance: Engaged or not?. Innovate, 4(3).
Clark, T. (2003). Disadvantages of Collaborative Online Discussion and the Advantages of Sociability, Fun and Cliques for Online Learning. Proceedings of the 3.1 and 3.3 working groups conference on International federation for information processing: ICT and the teacher of the future. Melbourne, Australia.
Lee, S. H., Magjuka, R. J., Liu, X., Bonk, C. J. (2006, June). Interactive technologies for effective collaborative learning. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning.