Feedback on iCamp trial paper

February 20, 2007

Our paper Taming social spaces for collaborative learning in Web 2.0. iCamp case was not accepted to the CSCL conference. The three reviewers commented the following aspects, that might be also considered by other iCamp authors:

What was critical
In the introductory section you argue that Web 2.0 brings independency of tool choice. At the beginning of the subsection on analysis you restrict this independency. This is understandable due to a manageable case study but does not support the real use of Web 2.0?

The important thing about Web 2.0 that might want to focus on is the availability of these tools without having to invest in a central system and how this might change the e-Learning landscape.

From reading this paper I got the feeling that the authors take for granted the proliferation and extensive use of Web 2.0 technologies for e-learning. They need to make that argument stronger and put in more citations. In addition, they need to make explicit how and what about Web 2.0 technologies is different compared to other e-Learning systems (beyond the O¡?Reilly examples such as Yahoo! Photos³ Flickr).

I would be interested to study the influence of the tutor and his preference in media on forming the group learning space. I would assume that his preference has a great influence.

I don’t understand what is significant about the two examples that are presented.

The choice of the cases is questionable. From my point of view they show good-practice examples for forming learning spaces and should be rated as those. However, also the other groups should be analyzed in order to get a complete view on the problem of forming learning spaces.

I think the better contribution of this paper, from my perspective, is the activity-space model and operation-types in activity space. This might prove to be a useful way of comparing and contrasting how groups and teams differ in their use of systems. Of course, this still doesn´t tell us why they differ but at least this is an analytical approach in that direction. This model can also tell us about the affordances of different technologies and how they might better support interaction.

The activity space model (fig. 1) focuses on activities and do not give hints on tools/technology use. However, the discussions of the cases refer to exactly this tools/technology use and you relate this to the model. In fig. 5 a complete different view on activity space is presented. I can relate this to the findings from the cases but not to fig. 1. Please clarify these relations.

(Fig.1 and 5 are presented in the previous blog entry)

What was positive 🙂
Despite my negative comments, the paper is interesting to read. When the analysis matures there may be some substantial results.

The paper addresses an actual topic. It presents solid work on theories.

We will now proceed with the paper to the second round. Since it was written and anlaysed in a real hurry with one week during the ongoing trial, it was quite expectable not to be mature enough.


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