The Challenge of Collaborative Online Learning

There has been many changes since 2002 on how quick and convenient communication for learner support has become.  Changes in communication technology have included internet speed, internet availability, pricing on technology, technology advancements in general, and cell phones.  Many people, including myself have smart phones, which makes it very easy to send and reply to emails from classmates and instructors.  This has made communicating much faster with receiving knowledge through emails very quickly and being able to respond on the go.  From 2002-2012 many changes in technology have made internet faster, readily available, and more convenient for learner support.  These changes have had a huge impact how people communicate and the easability to communicate regardless of distance.  Support for Open and Distance Learning can be done through the internet with more resources available.

CD-ROMS and paper materials being sent in the mail are out of date.  Yet, synchronized and asynchronized course still have the same issues as now.  A course being an interactive CD-ROM or a asynchronized class on a LMS, both do not have personalized information.  Without a “live” person/instructor dialog and interaction is limited.  A mixture of synchronized and asynchronized is ideal for maximizing learning.  “The availability of learners to eachother and to the tutor has the potential to overturn the emphasis on distance education as an individual form of learning. The potential to create extensive dialogues and interchange electronically means that online teaching is often prioritising the learning group as the chief resource for learners and the focus for the tutor, rather than the needs of each individual learner, though these to can be accommodated in the pedagogical design supports that” (Thorpe, 2002).

~CM

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