The Electronic Journal of e-Learning provides perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Learning initiatives
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Journal Article

Constructive Disruptions for Effective Collaborative Learning: Navigating the Affordances of Social Media for Meaningful Engagement  pp132-146

Patient Rambe

© Mar 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, ICEL 2011, Editor: Philip Balcean, pp1 - 158

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Abstract

The essentialist view that new technological innovations (especially Social Media) disrupt higher education delivery ride on educators’ risk averse attitudes toward full scale adoption of unproven technologies. However, this unsubstantiated logic forecloses possibilities for embracing the constructive dimensions of disruptions, and grasping the tremendous academic potential of emerging technologies. Community of inquiry and virtual ethnography were adopted as theoretical and methodological lenses for exploring the productive pedagogical impacts of appropriating Social Media in an Information Systems course at a South African University. Lecturer‑student and peer‑based postings on Facebook were examined to understand the influence of Facebook adoption on student meaningful learning and pedagogical delivery. The findings suggest that Facebook constituted a collective “Third space” for student enactment of counter scripts, augmented traditional academic networking, fostered “safe” havens for student democratic expression, and afforded learning communities for student co‑construction of knowledge. Shortfalls identified include challenges of developing quality academic discussions and fostering student engagement at epistemological and conceptual levels to ensure deep learning. The study recommends a multi‑pronged strategy that foregrounds contingent relaxation of academic authority, on‑task student behavior, strategic alignment of powerful collaborative technologies with pedagogical designs, and learning needs and styles of students.

 

Keywords: Facebook, constructive disruptions, disruptive technology, meaningful engagement

 

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Journal Article

Building Creative Critical Online Learning Communities through Digital Moments  pp387-396

Wendy Barber

© Oct 2020 Volume 18 Issue 5, Editor: Rikke Ørngreen, Mie Buhl and Bente Meyer, pp373 - 459

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Abstract

This paper is a mixed methods case study measuring student perceptions of a pedagogical strategy called “Digital Moments” (DM) for developing creative interactive online learning communities. The theoretical framework within which this resides is the Fully Online Learning Community (FOLC) model (vanOostveen et al, 2016), based on a foundation of problem‑based learning, cognitive and social presence, and learner‑centred pedagogies.The article reviews a specific teaching strategy for increasing social presence and student engagement through the use of creative and artistic expression in problem‑based learning spaces. Using “Digital Moments” as a way to build inclusion in two synchronous graduate online courses, the author describes how the teaching strategy increased student participation, developed student ownership of learning, and encouraged collaborative processes between participants. This teaching strategy makes a significant contribution to digital pedagogy. Although the growth of online learning is quite substantial, our ability to develop online communities that inspire critical and creative thinking has not kept pace. Traditional teacher‑centred learning environments do not meet the needs of students in today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution. As such, the FOLC model provides an online learning community model that removes traditional teacher‑learner roles, allows the instructor to act as a facilitator and challenges learners to co‑design and co‑create the learning process. Within this digital space, collaborative disruption is encouraged, and, in fact necessary for the types of critical and creative thinking to emerge that are central to the FOLC model. Digital Moments, is one example of a pedagogical strategy that enables learners to co‑create and own the digital learning space, within a fully online learning community.

 

Keywords: Critical thinking, creativity, online learning, communities, disruption

 

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