Learning objects for collaborative learning in engineering programmes
by Neelam Soundarajan; Robert J. Gustafson
International Journal of Collaborative Engineering (IJCE), Vol. 1, No. 3/4, 2014

Abstract: The importance of collaborative learning for engineering students to succeed in their programmes and in their professional careers is widely recognised. Many undergraduate engineering programmes include a variety of activities such as team projects and other collaborative activities to help students learn from each other. A number of researchers have worked on developing suitable technologies, such as specialised wikis, to support collaborative learning. Most of these tools are designed to be general-purpose, rather than being focused on specific items of knowledge. Along a different line, the approach of learning objects has focused on knowledge-related issues, ignoring collaborative-learning aspects. The goal of the work reported in this paper is to present an innovative model of learning objects that, while retaining the focus of a given learning object on a specific knowledge item, integrates collaborative learning into it. As we will see, the approach enables the instructor to scaffold the students' collaborative learning efforts in such a way that it is tailored to the particular knowledge item. Moreover, the approach also enables, in a natural manner, the students to reflect on their collaborative activities during later review.

Online publication date: Fri, 11-Jul-2014

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