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ERIC Number: ED457978
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Collaborative Learning On-Line: Overcoming the Tyranny of Distance.
Sumsion, Jennifer; Patterson, Catherine
This study explored first-year distance education students' experiences in an innovative early childhood "Teachers as Researchers" class that required a collaborative student research project. Distance education students comprised about 25 percent of the total class, and requirements for on-site and distance students were kept as similar as possible. Study data consisted of: (1) Student Evaluation of Teaching (SETS) questionnaires administered centrally by the university and completed anonymously by students; (2) students' postings on the class's electronic bulletin board; (3) reflections from students about their experiences in the collaborative research process; and (4) responses to an exam question in which students were asked to critically review what they had learned about themselves as researchers and the research process. Findings revealed the following themes: (1) learning as negotiating meaning from experience; (2) learning as "becoming"; (3) learning as enhancing practice; and (4) learning as social practice and belonging to a community. While the students reported many benefits to the technology-supported collaborative learning, pitfalls were also present in the form of communication difficulties, ineffective use of time, and equity issues. (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A