Interaction synchronicity in web-based collaborative learning systems
Ari Bader-Natal, Grockit, Inc., United States
E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Vancouver, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-76-1 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA
While many web-based learning systems connect students asynchronously, fewer systems focus on facilitating synchronous interactions among learners. Given the value of real-time communication – the social and motivational benefits of having a cohort of peers and the ability for a student to get immediate answers to pressing questions – it is perhaps surprising that more systems do not support interaction synchronicity. We suggest that this is due, in part, to a mismatch between the hypertext document-oriented nature of the web and the social activity-oriented nature of learning, and we explore how several systems address this discrepancy. We discuss Grockit, a web-based learning environment that we designed to support both synchronous and asynchronous interactions, and share lessons learned from grappling with the choices enabled by this flexibility: Which interactions should to be synchronous? Which should be asynchronous? Which should be a mix? What should that mix be?
Bader-Natal, A. (2009). Interaction synchronicity in web-based collaborative learning systems. In T. Bastiaens, J. Dron & C. Xin (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2009--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 1121-1129). Vancouver, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2009 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)