quinta-feira, 3 de junho de 2010



I produced this comprehensive annotated bibliography compiling, refining and expanding the annotated bibliographies I have written so far in this course.
It was my goal to improve and finalize my previous ABs, according to the feedback I received from Prof. Morten about first and second Unit and others aspects I have learned from this course. I hope I have managed to achieve this goal.


These are the articles I found most interesting related to Collaborative Learning and Cooperative Learning.
I believe they are very useful to understand the meaning of these two concepts.

An article that caught my attention was the one of Ted Panitz, "A Definition of Collaborative vs Cooperative Learning", (Panitz, 1996), retrieved March 9, 2010 from http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/deliberations/collaborative-learning/panitz-paper.cfm, where we can read:

"Collaborative Learning is a personal philosophy, not just a classroom technique. In all situations where people come together in groups, it suggests a way of dealing with people which respects and highlights individual group members' abilities and contributions. There is a sharing of authority and acceptance of responsibility among group members for the groups actions. The underlying premise of collaborative learning is based upon consensus building through cooperation by group members, in contrast to competition in which individuals best other group members. CL practitioners apply this philosophy in the classroom, at committee meetings, with community groups, within their families and generally as a way of living with and dealing with other people.
Cooperative Learning is defined by a set of processes which help people interact together in order to accomplish a specific goal or develop an end product which is usually content specific. It is more directive than a collaborative system of governance and closely controlled by the teacher. While there are many mechanisms for group analysis and introspection the fundamental approach is teacher centered whereas collaborative learning is more student centered."

Another article which I also found very interesting was "What are Cooperative and Collaborative Learning?", retrieved March 9, 2010 from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/coopcollab/index.html, which states that:

"Collaborative Learning is a method of teaching and learning in which students team together to explore a significant question or create a meaningful project. A group of students discussing a lecture or students from different schools working together over the Internet on a shared assignment are both examples of collaborative learning.
Cooperative Learning, which will be the primary focus of this workshop, is a specific kind of collaborative learning. In cooperative learning, students work together in small groups on a structured activity. They are individually accountable for their work, and the work of the group as a whole is also assessed. Cooperative groups work face-to-face and learn to work as a team."

Finally, I will also mention the article of Stephen Balkcom, "Cooperative Learning", (Balkcom, June, 1992), retrieved March 9, 2010 from http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/OR/ConsumerGuides/cooplear.html, where he explains this concept:

"Cooperative Learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Documented results include improved academic achievement, improved behavior and attendance, increased self-confidence and motivation, and increased liking of school and classmates. Cooperative learning is also relatively easy to implement and is inexpensive."

However, I used Prof. Morten's articles "Cooperative Freedom: An Online Education Theory", (Paulsen, 1992) and "Cooperative Online Education", (Paulsen, 2008) to search for clues that allowed me to seek answers to the questions raised by this Unit.

The first step was to understand the Theory of Cooperative Freedom and the difficulty in reconciling individual independence, flexibility and freedom with group collaboration, the necessity to contribute in a learning community, and social unity.

Also the definitions of individual, collaborative and cooperative learning were important for me to understand this theory. Quoting Prof. Morten in his interview by Michael F. Shaughnessy and Susan M. Fulgham:

"Individual learning provides superior individual flexibility, but very limited affinity to a learning community.
It has a strong position in online education delivered by institutions with a tradition in distance education.
Individual learning is conducted alone.

Collaborative learning requires participation in a learning community, but limits individual flexibility.
One may say that collaborative learning requires that students sink or swim together.
Collaborative learning is common in online education offered by traditional face-to-face institutions.
Collaborative learning depends on groups.

Cooperative learning focuses on opportunities to encourage both individual flexibility and affinity to a learning community. Cooperative learning seeks to foster some benefits from individual freedom and other benefits from cooperation in online learning communities.
It thrives in virtual learning environments that emphasize individual freedom within online learning communities.
Cooperative learning takes place in networks."

Finally, another concept that was essential for me to know was the set of dimensions of special importance to distance education: time, space, pace, medium, access, and content.

I believe that in this course we will need both individual and cooperative learning, giving preference to cooperative learning, since we are in an online learning community.

The fact that we know that our freedom in all dimensions spelled out in the hexagon of cooperative freedom will be respected is the best way to ensure our dedication and commitment, empowering and rewarding our efforts.
For so, thank you Professor Morten.


The next articles and eBooks are the result of my research of Online Teaching Techniques:

Ebook "Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online", Linda Marie Harasim, 1995, chapter 6, Teaching Online, (p. 173), retrieved April 8, 2010 from http://www.google.com/books?hl=pt-PT&lr=&id=I3afczci0OYC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=online+teaching+techniques&ots=hpCluJcWNu&sig=8Gd53MKT-X6cZF2lrrf__kiZTaE#v=onepage&q=online%20teaching%20techniques&f=false

According to the author's own words, teaching online is a genuinely enjoyable intellectual experience and may be a rich and enjoyable intellectual and social experience for all the participants:

"Teaching online is a genuinely enjoyable intellectual experience. (...) This chapter explores techniques that can be used to improve the probability that using CMC will result in a rich and enjoyable intellectual and social experience for all the participants and to decrease the probability that problems will arise. These techniques apply to online teaching regardless of the course design that is chosen and regardless of the level or type of education."

"Modelling New Skills for Online Teaching", Salter, G. and Hansen, S., 1999, retrieved April 8, 2010 from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/brisbane99/papers/salterhansen.pdf

In this article, G. Salter and S. Hansen write about the need to model new teaching strategies and skills required for teaching successfully, and the need to provide a clear structure for activities, in an online environment:

"Methods for teaching online include:
• Asynchronous Computer Mediated Communication (eg. email, discussion groups)
• Synchronous Computer Mediated Communication (eg. chats, desktop videoconferencing, groupware)
• Online Assessment
• Learning Resources
• Documents (eg. lecture notes, readings)
• Multimedia (interactive or otherwise)
• Links to external resources
• Student Prepared Material."

"Methods to structure online activities include:
• Requiring a deliverable (eg. plans, designs, papers, portfolios etc)
• Limiting the scope of activities in terms of size and/or time
• Providing closure to activities
• Actively moderating discussions
• Conducting collaborative projects
• Interacting with guest speakers
• Debates & role plays
• Surveys & polls
• Formation of learning teams
• Brainstorming."

However, Prof. Morten provides a wider range of pedagogical techniques for CMC in his article "The Online Report on Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-Mediated Communication", (Paulsen, 1995):

Ebook "Tools for Teaching", Barbara Davis, 2009, Selecting textbooks, readings, and course materials (p. 12) , retrieved April 8, 2010 http://books.google.com/books?id=VuwN_tnazNkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Tools+for+Teaching+Barbara+Gross+Davis&source=bl&ots=aO9LvTHcQd&sig=C-ks0qNoQ1VxdJ1YI2DsYWQQR0w&hl=pt-PT&ei=L1a3S5IryLHhBvnh0OIO&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false

In the chapter "Selecting Textbooks, Readings, and Course Materials" of her ebook "Tools for Teaching", Barbara Davis demonstrates a lot of care choosing materials for online teaching.
She gives us a set of very wise and practical suggestions, such as:

• Choose textbooks and reading assignments that reflect your learning outcomes
• Avoid requiring students to purchase a textbook you have authored
• Consider a range of criteria in selecting textbooks
• Assign a mix of texts and articles, including some current items
• Be mindful of the high cost of textbooks
• Compare the costs and benefits of electronic and paper textbooks
• Consider coursepacks
• Plan how to handle errors in the textbook
• Prepare a set of tips for students on how to use the textbook and readings
• Be aware of your students’ workload

Given the high cost of books at present, these suggestions prove to be very useful, particularly the possibility of respecting copyright, students can access the Web to get eBooks and articles for their research or their study.
Another issue that the author considers in this set of suggestions concerns the management of students' workload, which in a university like Universidade Aberta, where most students have family and professional obligations that take them a lot of time, is an important issue to take in consideration.


Searching materials related to transparency in online education, I found some articles that I want to share with you.

First, we have the articles provided by Prof. Morten in this activity's resources:

Morten F. Paulsen (2009, October 1), "Profiling Online Students", retrieved May 5, 2010 from EDEN President's blog: http://www.eden-online.org/blog/2008/10/01/profiling-online-students/

Shaughnessy, M. F. (2009, December 12), "An Interview with Morten Flate Paulsen: Transparency in Online Education", retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://www.educationnews.org/michael-f-shaughnessy/8076.html

Siemens, G. (2009, April 28), "Teaching as Transparent Learning", retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=122

These articles are very useful for the understanding of the concepts about transparency in online education, such as:

"Transparency improves both quality and cooperation in online education.
Transparency entails that people can see information about each other. It is however difficult to decide how much information they should be allowed to see. Transparency is also an important driver for improved quality. Transparency has the following three positive effects on quality:
- Preventive quality improvement, because we are prone to provide better quality when we know that others have access to our work.
- Constructive quality improvement, because we may learn from others when we have access to their work.
- Reactive quality improvement, because we may receive feedback from others when they have access to our work.
Transparency could reduce the amount of low quality contributions and make high quality work more accessible as paragons for others. In transparent online learning environments, poor teachers and course designers cannot easily hide their work behind closed doors."

These are the principles that Prof. Paulsen puts into practice in our course.
The fact that we have been asked to create a blog where we publish our work is the best example of it.
Thus, our participation will be seen by everyone who has Internet access, including our colleagues, teachers, family and friends.
This is an incentive to improve our work and allows us to see what our colleagues have been doing, enabling us to learn from them.
Prof. Morten also has asked us to comment the ABs and the LOs created by our colleagues, with the same purpose.
For me, transparency in online education has been very helpful, since I have learned a lot, not only from the teacher and from my individual study, but also with my colleagues. For example, I had the chance to know some interesting Web 2.0 tools that my colleagues used in their Learning Objects.

Then, I read three more articles, also very elucidative in this issue:

Dalsgaard, C., & Paulsen, M. F. (2009, June). "Transparency in Cooperative Online Education", International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Volume 10, Number 3; ISSN: 1492-3831, retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/download/671/1301/671-5807-1-PB.pdf

Dalsgaard, C. (2008), "Social Networking Sites: Transparency in Online Education", Institute of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus, Denmark, retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://eunis.dk/papers/p41.pdf

Dalsgaard, C. (2009), "Supporting Transparency Between Students", The International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace 2009, retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://person.au.dk/fil/16581515/Dalsgaard_Supporting_Transparency.pdf

By reading these articles, I believe that the following concepts are the most important:

"We understand transparency as students’ and teachers’ insight into each other’s activities and resources. Transparency means that you and your doings are visible to fellow students and teachers within a learning environment. For instance, transparency could mean that students and teachers are made aware of and have access to each other’s interests, thoughts, concerns, ideas, writings, references, and assignments.
The purpose of transparency is to enable students and teachers to see and follow the work of fellow students and teachers within a learning environment and in that sense to make participants available to each other as resources for their learning activities.
Transparency is important to online education.
Transparency is a prerequisite for distance students to work cooperatively.
Transparency enables students to be visible to each other as potential partners and resources.
Following the outlined theory of cooperative freedom and the socio-cultural approach, an important objective is to support an individual’s consciousness and awareness of the activities of others. This can be achieved by making a variety of information transparent.
This kind of sharing can provide students with insights into the workings of other students, and, thus, give them an increased consciousness and awareness of the activities of other students.
The pedagogical potential lies within developing social networks in which students’ activities are visible to other students. The potential is to support transparency through a combination of personalization and socialization and through sharing personal information and tools within social networks.
The potential of social networking lies within transparency and the ability to create awareness among students."

In fact, transparency becomes even more important in distance learning, contributing to eliminate the effects of the lack of face-to-face contact and increasing sense of belonging to a learning community.
Making our information transparent to others and being able to access their work creates awareness among students, which is very important in the distance learning.
This can be seen in our course, where our work has been so transparent.

Finally, I found two interesting articles about transparency :

Christopher Hill, (October 20, 2009), "Principles for Improving Online Transparency, Quality", retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/distance-learning/principles-for-improving-online-transparency-quality/

This article is about an initiative based on the premise that an informed student brings benefits to everyone, the Transparency by Design.

"Transparency by Design, an initiative from a consortium of adult-serving educational institutions with significant commitments to distance education, is based on the premise that a well-informed student - or prospective student - benefits everyone. A key focus of the plan is providing program-specific outcomes data that allows students to make informed decisions about their education investment.
Merle Harris, president of Charter Oaks State College, and her associates concluded that there were a few basic principles for institutions that really want to be transparent:
1. Make distance education a central element of your mission: Distance learning really has to be central to what the institution is doing. If it is viewed as an add-on and not part of the central mission then very often it doesn’t get the resources that are needed to carry out a quality program.
2. Accountability to stakeholders: Who are the primary stakeholders in a transparent institution? The prospective student and the enrolled student. “One of the reasons we feel it’s important to have accountability measures and to report on those regularly is because prospective students who are making a decision about where they want to go to school, where they want to take courses should have information,” Harris says.
Accountability to prospective students includes providing adequate information about the program, what it contains, and who’s teaching it. But it also includes measuring what happens to students who go through the program. Harris’ group looks at things like graduation rates, retention rates, what alumni say about the program, and measures of student engagement, with the aim of making this information readily available to prospective students.
3. Responsiveness: In practice this means nothing more or less than good customer service, so that when there are issues and questions students can get quick answers. Responsiveness in the academic process means that faculty respond quickly to a student, so that a student who’s learning online can get an answer to a question or feedback on an assignment within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the institution’s policy. Administratively, responsiveness means that if there are questions about grades going out, about registration, about fees being paid the student will get very quick response either by email or by telephone."

Here, transparency will allow students to make correct decisions. If a student who is searching a school or a university gets enough and accurate information, he will be able to make the right choice for him.
And if that student feels that he did the best choice, he will be the best ambassador of that university.

Michelle Bowles, (September 28, 2009), "5 Twitter Tips for Staying Authentic and Transparent", retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/09/twitter-tips-authentic-transparent/

Although this article is about transparency in Twitter and not about transparency in online education, I thought these rules were very correct and relevant.

"One of the most basic and critical rules for brands on Twitter? Be authentic and transparent in all you do.
1. Reveal who’s behind the Tweets
It doesn’t necessarily matter who it is - the CEO, the social media manager or a marketing intern. It just matters that the person is in fact a person. Putting a face and name behind your Tweets through a photo and brief bio can help followers relate to and connect with your brand.
2. Show some personality
3. Admit when you’re wrong
4. Get to know your followers
5. Don’t get carried away by your accomplishments."

The main issue here is authenticity. Reveal who’s behind the tweets through a photo and brief biography is very important to act with transparency, which is necessary to succeed and please your followers.

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