The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies

Abstract

Collaborative technologies offer a range of new ways of supporting learning by enabling learners to share and exchange both ideas and their own digital products. This paper considers how best to exploit these opportunities from the perspective of learners’ needs. New technologies invariably excite a creative explosion of new ideas for ways of doing teaching and learning, although the technologies themselves are rarely designed with teaching and learning in mind. To get the best from them for education we need to start with the requirements of education, in terms of both learners’ and teachers’ needs. The argument put forward in this paper is to use what we know about what it takes to learn, and build this into a pedagogical framework with which to challenge digital technologies to deliver a genuinely enhanced learning experience.

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Correspondence to Diana Laurillard.

Annex 1: A summary of the conversational framework

Annex 1: A summary of the conversational framework

The Conversational Framework poses the following checklist of questions to the learning activities planned for a learning session. Each question checks an action cycle in the Framework. Numbers in brackets refer to Fig. 5.

Do they motivate students to:

  1. 1.

    access explanations and presentations of the theory, ideas or concepts (1, 6)?

  2. 2.

    ask questions about their understanding of the theory, etc, by providing the opportunity for answers from the teacher (2, 3), or their peers (10, 11)?

  3. 3.

    offer their own ideas and conceptual understanding, by providing comment on them from the teacher, or their peers?

  4. 4.

    use their theoretical understanding to achieve a clear task goal by adapting their actions in the light of their understanding (5, 6, 7), or in response to comments (10, 11) or feedback (8)?

  5. 5.

    repeat practice, by providing feedback on actions that enables them to improve performance (5, 6, 7, 8)?

  6. 6.

    repeat practice, by enabling them to share their trial actions with peers, for comparison and comment (13, 14, 15, 16, 17)?

  7. 7.

    reflect on the experience of the goal-action-feedback cycle, by offering repeated practice at achieving the task goal (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 19, 20, 21)?

  8. 8.

    discuss and debate their ideas with other learners (10, 11)?

  9. 9.

    reflect on their experience, by having to articulate or produce their ideas, reports, designs, performances, etc. for presentation to their peers (13, 14, 15, 16)?

  10. 10.

    reflect on their experience, by having to articulate or produce their ideas, reports, designs, performances, etc. for presentation to their teachers (21, 22)?

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Laurillard, D. The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies. Computer Supported Learning 4, 5–20 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-008-9056-2

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Keywords

  • Learning theory
  • Collaborative learning
  • Pedagogy
  • Conversational Framework
  • Constructionism