Making it happen : the online collaborative community, from theory to practice

Charlesworth, Zarina M. (Haute école de gestion Arc, HES-SO // Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale)

As with every decade, the 2010-2020’s are not without their buzzwords and the one making the most noise at this time is the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” [1]. So much noise in fact, that it has come to the attention of those involved in higher education. Already under pressure to embrace a paradigm change which sees education going from a more content-centred to a learner-centred position [2], educators are now being asked to take into account their other major stakeholder – industry and develop competencies on top of core subject knowledge in their students. The research presented here examines how a virtual community and can be used for collaborative learning, with a specific focus on how educators can make the leap from theory to practice successfully [3]. The methodology used was action research which, as per Dick [4], is a three-step process that can go through several iterations. These steps: intention, action, and review, were acted upon, in three iterations, over a three-year period. The sample comprised adult further education students (n=95) enrolled in a certificate course in management also doubling as a prerequisite to entry into an Executive MBA programme. The results, based on the analysis of the ensuing communities and that of a self-report questionnaire, provide insight into the student use of a virtual space for the development of a collaborative learning community and their perception of such a tool for collaboration. The changes made from one iteration to the next allow for a better understanding of what is needed to encourage students to embrace what, for them too, are changes in the learning experience. The paper closes with a discussion of the development of such a community and practical suggestions of how to make it work.

Conference Type:
full paper
Economie et Services
Institut du Management et des Systèmes d'Information
Barcelona, Spain, 3-5 July 2017
Barcelona, Spain
3-5 July 2017
6 p.
Published in:
Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
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 Record created 2017-10-16, last modified 2020-10-27

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