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ERIC Number: EJ958725
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
Lessons Learned from Adopting Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning in Oman
Porcaro, David S.; Al Musawi, Ali S.
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v34 n4 2011
Despite recent investments in and rapid modernization of university campuses in places like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, higher education in the Middle East still faces many obstacles. One of the greatest has been a fundamental disconnect between education and employment, a possible factor contributing to many of the recent riots in the Arab World. In 2008 the World Bank published a report that highlighted the massive unemployment among college graduates across the Middle East and suggested that the traditional instructivist teaching methods long dominant there--which emphasize lecture, rote memorization, and high-stakes testing--have done little to prepare graduates for work in the 21st century. They suggested that in conjunction with other possible solutions, greater emphasis should be placed on constructivist methods, including student-centered learning and collaborative problem solving, coupled with a greater use of information and communications technology (ICT). Others agree that to build knowledge societies, people need to improve students' abilities to think for themselves, weigh competing claims, argue their position with others, and work together to solve problems. One powerful way of increasing the opportunities for students to develop these skills and habits of mind in formal courses is computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Well-constructed CSCL environments provide opportunities for students to develop the critical thinking skills they need after graduation, and to learn to create, rather than simply consume, knowledge. This article examines the effects of introducing CSCL into a Middle Eastern undergraduate course and the cultural, institutional, and societal factors to consider for sustainable design. (Contains 7 figures, 2 tables and 18 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oman