Idea for trial 2

April 26, 2007

We have been analysing a lot what happened in iCamp trial 1. Principally it was a collaborative activity, which demanded a lot of regulation to take place when people worked with distributed tools and tried to realise communicative and productive actions in these.

What i mean by collaboration and collaborative is traditional understanding (Dillenbourg, 1999) where he distinguishes it from cooperative activity on the basis of ‘are the goals shared’ and ‘how do people plan, and realise actions’ – individual-subtasks based for shared goal (cooperation) or do they share and circulate roles and tasks constantly in the process (collaboration).

Cooperative work is accomplished by the division of labour among the participants where each person is responsible for a portion of problem-solving, whereas collaboration involves the mutual engagement of participants in coordinated effort to solve the problem together (Rochelle ja Teasley, 1995). In collaborative situation individuals have to explain their ideas and conceptions to others, and through this externalization process they have to construct a better mental model about the issue or concept in question.These can be subsequently elaborated further by collaborators. Thus the former is more individualistic to contribute with some pierces to the joint product while the activities might be distributed, and the latter is more joint activity when the joint product is being built together.

3 modes

My figure illustrates individual, cooperative and collaborative approach of learning.

Now, Mart Laanpere has pointed to the interesting approach from Norway by Paulsen. where they suggest that the solution in shared learning environments might be emphasis on cooperative aspect, where learners can be both self-directed, and keeping their learning contracts, as welll as group-oriented if they for instance form so called study-pairs and can evaluate each other’s accomplishments according to those contracts.

Here i suggest my personal view trial 2 ideas for iCamp.
We have decided that the focus will be in self-directed learning and we wanted to use some learning-contract ideas in dynamic manner.

In collaborative settings the application of learning contract-based self-regulation is hindered, because the team needs to dynamically make changes in their individual contracts and orchestrate those at team level to be succesful as a team. This takes alot of effort and the student is thinking less of himself than of the team at monitoring level.

If we decided, that Trial 2 was cooperative, another setting would be formed – each individual can keep its personal contract and realise the cooperative subtasks, but nevertheless at certain moments of the overall activity the learners would need to orchestrate their initial contracts. But they can revise their individual accomplishments with subtasks on the basis of individual contracts, this can be done on study-pair bases, and finally they can also evaluate themselves how well their accomplishments were in line as part of the team contract.

What comes to my mind is jigsaw type of activity proposed by Aronson. I scetched a figure that could be discussed and developed.

DILLENBOURG, P. (1999). Introduction: What do you mean by ‘collaborative learning’? In P. Dillenbourg (Ed.), Collaborative learning. Cognitive and computational approaches (pp. 1-19). NY: Pergamon.


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