This is a diary of my involvement in a project on collaborative learning in the psychology department at the University of South Africa. Most recent posts below and links to previous posts on the left.
I'll be in India from 1 to about 15 April to attend the "Indo-South Africa dialogue on truth, reconciliation and human rights" at the University of Delhi. Hopefully I will get a chance to post to this blog from there.
posted by Martin on Friday, March 28, 2003Tired of the war?
OK, so this isn't about collaborative learning - not exactly - but like most South Africans I am opposed to the war and feel the need to do something to show my concern. The best, and most disturbing, analysis I have read of why the war is wrong, is Slavoj Zizek's THE IRAQ WAR: WHERE IS THE TRUE DANGER?.
posted by Martin on Tuesday, March 25, 2003Sustaining the online learning community
I have just signed up for an online course at my university with the rather exciting title of "Sustaining the online learning community". According to the course blurb it is "aimed at providing staff with an overview of the potential of Internet communication technologies, a new perspective on teaching and learning, and the task of facilitating constructive communication in the online environment." The course (which is currently still only accessible from within the university) looks very professional and is facilitated by people who have lots of background in the field. I also expect that some of the participants will be quite knowledgeable (and that those who aren't will bring useful non-expert perspectives). Two things that may limit my learning from the course a bit:
It is fairly strongly schedule-driven, which may make things difficult for me (e.g., I'm off to India for 10 days in early April). Asynchronous courses often maintain an element of time-boundedness and it will be interesting to figure out how much of this is really necessary and what the advantages are.
The interactive aspect of the course seems to be mainly centred around a series of threaded discussions, whereas I'm interested in a wider range of collaborative work and learning environments. No doubt, though, many of the principles of "sustaining community" that apply to threaded discussions will also apply elsewhere.