Grazing or digesting? preparing university students for the information economy

Emma Duke-Williams, Terry King

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After working with student groups in online learning communities over a seven year period, the authors compare the nature and the quality of the student learning resulting from student knowledge building in Knowledge Forum ® software and the more dialogue driven approach to collaborative work in the Web 2.0 educational social networking software, Elgg®. With reference to research into the content of postings and student focus groups, initial findings indicate that, due to the rich interconnection of postings both within and between communities, substantial knowledge building is demonstrated in Elgg® even though the grazing and dipping approach taken by the students would appear to be much less focused than the more channelled nature of the work in Knowledge Forum®. The various implications of these findings for teachers working in e-learning are discussed including the need for a change of role with wider acknowledgement of the participation culture, being willing to delegate more control to such learning networking software, and the expansion of their own skills set, while acknowledging the contribution that personal blogging may have to building student confidence.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2008
EventIPPC 2008 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 13 Jul 200816 Jul 2008


ConferenceIPPC 2008


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