Distributed collaborative learning across disciplines and national borders

  • Sorensen E
  • Takle E
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Networked computers and methods of distance learning are increasingly being used to meet the growing educational need for lifelong learning on flexible conditions. This paper reports on a cross-disciplinary and international collaboration between two web-based courses, which - each in their way - mirror an attempt to meet this need for flexibility in education: a Danish Distributed CSCL course from the Humanities on how to design teaching and learning in pedagogically appropriate ways using ICT-technology (i.e. the whole research area of CSCL), and an American mixed-mode CSCL course (on-campus and web-delivered) from the Sciences on global environmental issues. The overall intention behind the collaboration has been "mutual learning" and the dissemination of knowledge across both disciplines and national borders. In very broad terms, the Danish course is an example of what it teaches, and the collaboration has brought a dimension of virtually based "practice" and of "reflection in practice" into the Distributed CSCL situation of the Danish students. As for the American course, some pedagogical aspects of the Global change course were evaluated using the pedagogical tools within the course itself, and the designers enjoyed the benefit of feedback from the Danish students on design, delivery and pedagogical techniques. From the perspective of CSCL-technology, we intersected two ICT-tools within the cross-disciplinary, collaborative learning context (the web and videoconferencing) to explore their synergism.

Author-supplied keywords

  • computer-mediated communication
  • evaluation
  • web

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  • Elsebeth K. Sorensen

  • Eugene S. Takle

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