This study aims to determine the effectiveness of weblogs as a tool for collaborative learning in an online environment, with a particular focus on technology students. Some of the VLEs currently in use in third-level institutions restrict the way in which students interact with one another and with their tutors. The use of weblogs as a tool for collaborative learning can help to overcome several of the shortcomings of traditional VLEs by providing a dynamic, user-friendly way for students to peer-review one another’s work and to communicate with their tutors and with one another. An initial pilot study was conducted over a 10-week period. Salmon’s online learning model was used as a theoretical basis for describing how weblogs could be incorporated into the existing learning environment. The first six sessions focused on the technical aspects of blogs (e.g. permalinks, backlinks, RSS feeds and RSS aggregators). The focus on weblog technology and related technologies (e.g. RSS, XML) was felt to be appropriate for the group as part of their Networks course. In the remaining four sessions, students used their blogs to review one another’s class presentations and to share additional information on their own research with the rest of the class. Preliminary findings show that the use of weblogs in a blended learning environment, in conjunction with classroom teaching and a VLE can enhance the learning experience for both students and tutor. The level of interaction between blogs was high, with students frequently commenting on and linking to one another’s blogs, suggesting that weblogs promote collaborative learning in an online environment.
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
|Event||ALT-C 2006 - Edinburgh, Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland|
Duration: 01 Jan 2006 → …
|Period||01/01/2006 → …|