domingo, 14 de março de 2010

Cooperative Learning or Collaborative Learning?

Specific features can be assigned to both approaches if one thinks about the student's and the teacher's role, the amount of liberty, the knowledge, the interaction, the processes ...

Annotated Bibliography

Panitz, Ted. Collaborative Versus Cooperative Learning: Comparing the Two Definitions Helps Understand the Nature of Interactive learning in

In this paper Ted Panitz, an American educator who has been working on Interactive/Collaborative Approaches to Teaching and Learning and Adult Education, states his own definitions on collaborative and cooperative learning. These methods have their foundations in constructivist epistemology. Ted Panitz reviews the authors who guided him in his research, explains the theoretical issues in each of them and acknowledges the benefits of cooperative and collaborative techniques. Despite the differences between them, which require a different philosophy and different attitude of the teacher, Ken Brufee “sees the two approaches as somewhat linear with collaborative learning being designed to pick up where cooperative learning leaves off”; collaborative learning is also seen as “a personal philosophy, not just a classroom technique”.
“Interactive learning relies on the application of computer technology as the collaborative medium between student and teacher. But all three learning approaches recognize that learning is indeed a two-way street with teaching and learning being two components of the same educational system. The approaches diverge in the amount of freedom allowed the participants; collaborative learning strategies are the most open.”  
The point is to involve the students in the learning process, no matter if you promote cooperative or collaborative approaches.

Online Education Procedures, Tools and Services that Meet Cooperative Freedom Needs

Cooperative learning occurs when the right procedures, tools and services are at the learner's disposal.

Annotated Bibliography

Paulsen, Morten Flate. Cooperative Online Education in Seminar.Net – International Journal of Media, Technology & Lifelong Learning, Vol. 5 – Issue 2 – 2009

This article presents the results from surveys and experiences on NKI’s Cooperative Philosophy for Online Learning. M. Paulsen’s theory of Cooperative Learning argues that virtual environments are the ideal ones to implement successfully cooperative learning on online distance education. The author states the differences between individual, collaborative and cooperative learning and highlights what he calls “the three pillars” of the theory: “voluntary but attractive participation”, “means promoting individual flexibility” and “means promoting affinity to learning community”. Several issues promote cooperative learning: transparency, producing and sharing information through the social software and web 2.0, cooperative evaluation and quality barometers, individual flexibility and affinity to learning communities. Focusing on cooperative evaluation and quality barometers, the article points out some challenges and procedures that may conduce to transparency and quality control. Individual flexibility can be implemented through individual progress plans with follow-up strategies, flexibility in time given by asynchronous communication, a flexible submission system and a teachers’ response barometer. Again web 2.0 and transparency play a central role in creating affinities within learning communities and enable tools and services such as student catalogues, cooperative learner profiles, learning partners, cooperative assignments and cooperative gating.
Mostly based on surveys and examples from NKI Distance Education and with contributions from other institutions and researchers the article presents effective examples of practice within the theory of Cooperative Learning.
NKI experience attests that online education is being transformed by the ultimate tools and services in web and at the same time adds to crucial changes in education itself.

Slaatto, Torhild and Paulsen, Morten Flate. Learning Partner - Opportunities for Cooperation in Distance Learning in, 5 Out. 2006

The article reveals NKI Distance Education new online service: learning partners, a Norwegian innovation.
Based on Morten Paulsen’s Theory of Cooperative Freedom, NKI Distance Education philosophy for online students argues that students can stand as mutual resources and not being mutually dependent. Adults choose online education because of its flexibility and freedom but they often want group collaboration and social unity too; NKI Distance Education seeks “to foster benefits from both individual and cooperation” in the learning community.
Two other assumptions from Cooperative Learning are on the basis of the learning partners’ concept: although students are free to study by themselves, NKI Distance Education intensely promotes learning cooperation; flexibility in time, space and pace should be priorities.
Thus, M. Paulsen starts the learning partner service in the Norwegian institution in order to meet students’ needs for improved cooperation, although very aware of privacy issues.
There is already a large number of students in this learning community and those who have experienced it state some of the benefits: “cooperation accelerates learning” and course progression, “newcomers may learn from experienced students”, “senior students learn from helping junior students” and “cooperation is a strong motivational factor”.
Learning partners contribute to prove that cooperation can be possible and effective on online distance education.

The Theory of Cooperative Freedom

Introduced by Morten Flaute Paulsen this theory is much more than the backbone of NKI (Norwegian Knowledge Institute) Distance Education. It meets online education needs arguing that virtual environments may combine flexibility and freedom of individual learning with group collaboration and social unity.

Annotated Bibliography

Paulsen, Morten Flate. 2003. Cooperative Freedom: An Online Education Theory in Online Education and Learning Management and Systems, Global E-learning in a Scandinavian Perspective, p.39-49, Oslo: NKIForlaget

In this chapter the author updates and revises his distance education theory, Cooperative Freedom, which was first published in 1992.
To back up his theory the author defines the major elements in a distance education program and the implications of CMC in this type of education. From the three theoretical positions on distance education identified by Keegan, Cooperative Freedom is classified as a theory of autonomy and independence. Based on other authors, M. Paulsen defines cooperation as a process implying voluntary interaction among learners, which may be facilitated by the new technologies. The “freedom” concept establishes the wide range of choice a learner should have.
The hexagon of cooperative freedom, another concept coined by M. Paulsen, pictures the six facets of special importance to distance learning, which are: time, space, pace, medium, access and content. Cooperative freedom in distance education takes place in a system that balances students’ freedom and cooperation; the author presents the strengths and the weaknesses of each of the six facets in freedom.
Freedom, flexibility and cooperation and to what extent they are provided in distance education define how far this theory can be effective.
Although online distance can be seen as a solitary process, this theory argues that virtual learning environments foster individual work and group collaboration at the same time, enhancing the advantages in each of them.

Professor Morten explains his theory in this video:

You may also find a cartoon about the Theory of Cooperative Freedom at

This slide presentation shows Cooperative Freedom as a "guiding star for online education":

quarta-feira, 10 de março de 2010

Digital Learners

Provocador, inquietante, controverso, perturbador, aliciante ...

segunda-feira, 8 de março de 2010

Milhares de revoluções web

Com a abertura da u.c. Processos Pedagógicos em Elearning comecei hoje o Mestrado.

Como texto introdutório à revolução que também vai acontecer na minha apreensão do conhecimento, deixo aqui um texto actual, com uma abordagem panorâmica e interessante.

Para comemorar os seus 20 anos, o jornal “Público” compilou no Caderno 2 de Sábado, 6 de Março de 2010, textos que abordam 20 temas que marcaram os últimos 20 anos.

Nesse contexto surge o texto “Milhares de revoluções Web” de José Vítor Malheiros.

Destaco as ideias que se seguem.
  • Não há uma única área da vida em sociedade que não tenha sofrido alterações com a introdução da web.
  • É cada vez maior o número de pessoas que sente que não está verdadeiramente viva quando não está ligada à web.
  • No futuro o ciberespaço será o nosso principal interlocutor.
  • A web começa a ser um mundo onde todas as coisas falam com todas as coisas, onde cada objecto está dotado do seu dispositivo identificativo.
  • “Paradoxalmente, nesta sociedade onde todos aceitam que "saber é poder", a web facilitou a difusão do saber, mas não melhorou a distribuição do poder.”
  • Como será regulado um mundo centrado no controlo, onde as liberdades individuais terão um papel secundário?

    quinta-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2010

    Perto do início do Mestrado

    Agora que já passaram alguns dias sobre o fim do módulo de ambientação julgo que consigo fazer uma análise mais distanciada da experiência que ele constituiu.
    O enquadramento feito na primeira actividade levou-nos a pesquisar o conceito e-learning, a utilizar o Delicious como ferramenta para organizar e anotar a bibliografia e deu-nos, ainda, uma primeira oportunidade para desenvolver um trabalho em grupo – selecção dos três sites mais significativos para o grupo.
    De seguida, tratou-se de identificar e reflectir sobre as exigências que se colocam a um estudante online, tendo presente o modelo pedagógico da Universidade Aberta.
    Paralelamente a estas duas actividades foi sendo feita a descoberta do Second Life: criação e aperfeiçoamento do avatar, exploração das ilhas de orientação, encontros da turma neste ambiente virtual.
    Como última tarefa do Módulo de Ambientação surge a criação deste blog, o qual se destina a publicar conteúdos no âmbito do Mestrado.
    Foram semanas de aprendizagens intensas, onde, a par das novas ferramentas, os aspectos que mais me surpreenderam foram o trabalho colaborativo e as intervenções nos fóruns.
    O Mestrado vai exigir-nos uma exposição em termos de comunicação escrita com a qual não estava a contar.
    Da leitura dos sites de referência verifico que os comentários aí inseridos reflectem análises sérias e fundamentadas e começo, agora, a ter a noção da dimensão da partilha de conhecimento que se dá nestes espaços.
    Como referi num dos fóruns, estou a aprender imenso com as intervenções dos colegas e não consigo evitar questionar-me continuamente sobre a pertinência dos meus comentários.
    O equilíbrio entre a quantidade e a qualidade continua a ser o busílis da questão.

    sexta-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2010

    A Minha Experiência como Estudante no Módulo de Ambientação

    Aprender a distância não é para mim uma novidade. Em momentos anteriores do meu percurso académico e profissional cruzei-me com este tipo de ensino: frequentei o Ano Propedêutico (o 12º ano de então) e fiz o estágio profissional através da Universidade Aberta.
    Porém, as ferramentas de que se dispõe hoje em dia estão a anos-luz do que se fazia nos finais dos anos 70 e 80 do século passado! O peso destas duas palavras, "século passado",  adequa-se ao percurso que tem sido feito.
    Foram duas semanas de ambientação a um ensino a distância que é exigente não só no uso das ferramentas como no modo de interacção pessoal.
    A caminhada que se aproxima irá certamente modificar todos os que nela irão participar,  já que se perspectiva intensa e desafiadora.

    Dia 1

    Blog para o Mestrado em Pedagogia do Elearning da Universidade Aberta.