Online Collaboration Learning

Collaboration flickr photo by Dentsu London shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

This week assigned reading “Online collaborative learning (OCL)” for Tony Bates was a very informative and useful reading. The article describes a networked learning approach. An OCL relies on building a supportive elearning community. I feel this is exactly what Kalyn and I need, in our course, as a communication strategy. As the chapter points out, it is key that instructors /facilitators of the online course are felt to be “present” [Dean L. stressed on that in his blog]. Therefore, an Instructional Design team must be active and present by asking questions related to current issues in online learning and/ or posting articles that will encourage instructors to share their experience and give feedback.

Pixabay, free to use

One of the most challenging tasks when designing an online course is Implementing a meaningful interaction method either between students or between students and instructors. Kayln and I choose discussion forums, course email and Zoom as methods of interactions. We have two types of forums: an announcement/new forum, and a peer support discussion forum. These forums can support students to “work together to create knowledge: to invent, to explore ways to innovate, and, by so doing, to seek the conceptual knowledge needed to solve problems rather than recite what they think is the right answer” [Harasim (2012)]. In a forum, instructors post questions, concerns, successes and challenges they have and other instructors can share their experience with the support of the instructional designers’ team.

By Zoom Video Communications , Public Domain,

The other challenge is how to encourage instructors to share and discuss despite their busy teaching schedule? After Kalyn and I got the course feedback, we decided on adding a zoom room and a scheduler.

Source: moodle

This allows students to book appointments to meet with an ID using the Zoom room to address any concerns. Then maybe we can set a group chat time like in Twitter to discuss among the online community in the course and get other instructors opinions. Therefore, Instructors will relate the current topic to their own experience which will encourage and motivate them to share the knowledge they have. Another idea that we can implement in our course is that the ID team frequently arranges online workshops for instructors who have ideas, knowledge and new strategies teaching online. Instructors share these with their colleagues.
This will lead to another main strength to OCL as stated by Bates “when OCL applied appropriately, online collaborative learning can lead to deep, academic learning, or transformative learning.”

5 thoughts on “Online Collaboration Learning

  1. Dean Vendramin

    Thanks for sharing. I didn’t realize that Zoom had that many features (I use Skype a lot). Instructors need to make interactions a priority even within a busy schedule because that’s part of their teaching too. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks, Dean! I use Zoom a lot in my job. I create instructional videos for instructors or to meet with them. It is easy to use and very user-friendly. Instructors like to use it as well to humanize their online teaching experience.


  2. I think the use of Zoom is great for your course. I also love that you have included a peer support forum! I addition the use of zoom for booking appointments to support students is excellent! Overall well done!


  3. I appreciate that you authentically reviewed your feedback and made changes as you did. Sometimes it is difficult to really know what changes to make. I think Zoom was a good choice. In saying that, I would encourage the instructor to make sure s/he is making the Zoom interactive or engaging. My first blended class was more of a lecture than an interactive learning experience. I am fortunate to have two of Alec’s classes to see how Zoom and be engaging.
    Thank you for sharing!


  4. Pingback: Course Prototype – Nataly Moussa

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