Collaborative Learning

Martin Terre Blanche

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.

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Creating the conditions for collaborative learning

posted by Martin on Friday, August 22, 2003
Web Based Communities Conference

Got this announcement about an interesting upcoming conference from Conference Alerts:

IADIS International Conference: Web Based Communities 2004
25 to 26 March 2004, Lisbon, Portugal

Deadline for submissions: 7 October 2003 (for all contributions)

* Conference background and goals

The mission of this conference is to publish and integrate scientific results and act catalytically to the fast developing culture of web communities. The conference invites original papers, review papers, technical reports and case studies on WWW - in particular the emerging role of so-called WWW-based Communities.

Domain: It is increasingly important for our culture to bring people together and to promote dynamics in professional organizations, mutual understanding, learning and harmony. Creating "virtual communities" is one major way to do this. The Web Based Communities 2004 conference aims at sharing and aggregating scientifically proven methods on how to organize and moderate WWW-based communities. These communities do not limit participants to particular locations - the international and multicultural dimension is a most challenging one. Good WWW communities undergo a continuous evolution and adapt to the changing world. The nature of these communities can be corporate, scientific, social or educational. Pragmatic questions which need to be addressed include: What software tools are the most adequate and how to use them? How to promote your community so that new members can find it? How to protect the members' privacy? How to moderate discussions and how to provide information that people can use? How to create and maintain a sense of trust and commitment among the members? In addition, sociology, education, communication and philosophy issues are addressed as the main disciplines reflected in building WWW-based communities, although critical theories on societies and post-modernism are also relevant starting points. New and imminent technologies will be discussed.

Objectives: The Web Based Communities 2004 Conference aims at bringing together new vital understanding of WWW communities and what new initiatives mean. Each new perspective is potentially a catalyst for finding new architectures. National and regional-oriented communities may soon be relegated to a subordinate position compared to interest-oriented communities. Multiculturalism, critical thinking, expressing aesthetic aspects of our identity, and finding sparring partners for sharpening our ideologies, are all processes that need the new communication infrastructures.

The targeted audience is scientists and members and moderators of WWW communities who feel responsible for optimizing its quality and effect.

* Format of the Conference

The conference will comprise invited talks and oral presentations. The proceedings of the conference will be published in the form of a book. The better papers will be candidates for the recently-started "International Journal of Web Based Communities" (IJWBC); ISSN: 1477 - 8394 [4 issues per year]

* Types of submissions

Full and Short Papers, Posters/Demonstrations, Tutorials, Panels and Doctoral Consortium. All submissions are subject to a blind refereeing process.

* Subject indications (but not limited to)

The history, architecture and future of virtual communities
1. From mobility to connectivity
2. Identity and augmented ideologies
3. Visionary web architectures, implanted computers
4. Network revolutions, post-colonial and post-modern societies
5. Escaping from reality, virtual reality and multi-user games
6. Towards alternative ways of presence

Group processes and self-organization
1. Tele-democracy, morality, netiquette
2. Social networks, tribal- and open communities, peace education
3. Computer mediated-, hyper- and narrative communication, woven stories
4. MUDs, MOOs and avatars
5. Hosting web-based communities
6. Nationalities, ethnicities and gender effects

Cyborgs, teleworking, telemedicine, art games and learning communities
1. Fading hierarchies and epistemic dictatorship
2. Distributed cognition, the electronic cortex and constructivism
3. Community directories
4. Mechanic world, organic computer
5. Agents and the vectorized self
6. Beyond metaphors: imagining and representation
7. Communizing as a marketing approach

Expanding markets through virtual communities
1. The WWW as digital market place
2. The enterprise as a learning community
3. The learning as a road map for business
4. Universities as online communities
5. Business-to-business communication in profit- and non profit sectors

Virtual communities for people with special needs
1. Access to public spaces
2. Accessibility and long-term disabilities
3. Virtual communities in health care

* Important Dates:

- Submission Deadline: 7 October 2003
- Notification to Authors: 9 December 2003
- Final Camera-Ready Submission and Early Registration: Until 19 December 2003
- Late Registration: After 19 December 2003
- Conference: Lisbon, 25 to 26 March 2004

* Conference Location

The conference will be held in Lisbon, Portugal.

* Secretariat

Rua Sao Sebasti?o da Pedreira, 100, 3? 1050-209 Lisbon, Portugal
Web site:

* Scientific Committee

Conference Co-Chairs
Piet Kommers, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Pedro Isa?as, Universidade Aberta (Portuguese Open University), Portugal

Program Chair
Miguel Baptista Nunes, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

for the full Committee Members list please access

posted by Martin on Wednesday, August 20, 2003