When group work leaves the classroom does group skills development also go out the window?

Baskin, Colin, Barker, Michelle, and Woods, Peter (2005) When group work leaves the classroom does group skills development also go out the window? British Journal of Educational Technology, 36 (1). pp. 19-31.

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In moving towards what Lemke (1996) terms the ‘interactive learning paradigm’, higher education has adopted two key principles consistent with group learning technologies:

• learning is always mediated by and occurs through language (Falk, 1997; Gee, 1997); and • learning is distributed across a range of other people, sites, objects, technologies and time (Gee, 1997).

A third and relatively recent principle to emerge on the higher education scene that seems to ‘contradict’ accepted views of group learning technologies is that:

• many universities now choose to offer ‘learning resources’ online.

This paper asks whether Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are ‘robust’ enough to support, sustain and address industry, employer and government calls for greater attention to group skills development in university graduates. Data features an examination of respondent feedback (n = 171) in an ‘ICT-rich’ group work setting, and the subsequent ratings of group skills development over a 13-week period. This discussion offers an account of learner outcomes by adopting Kirkpatrick's (1996) four levels of evaluation of learning as a classification scheme for determining learner satisfaction (Level One), the effectiveness of learning transfer (Level Two), its impact on practice (Level Three) and the appropriation of learning behaviours by participants (Level Four). The contrasting patterns of ICT use between female and male users in the data are discussed in relation to building social presence and producing social categories online. Differences reported here indicate that ICT group work is moving forward, but opportunities to challenge rather than reproduce existing learning relations and differences, remain largely unresolved.

Item ID: 13987
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-8535
Keywords: group work; ICTs in education; interactive learning
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2010 01:27
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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