Changing Tools Changing Attitudes: Effects of introducing a computer system to promote learning at work.
In: Euro-CSCL 2001, 22 - 24 Mar 2001, Maastricht, The Nertherlands.
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The use of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) tools to manage and support learning at
work offers a lot of advantages, such as the increase in the availability and access to knowledge.
However, computer systems also introduce new ways of doing things, which may impact on their
acceptability and usage in an organisation. The study considers the issue of re-mediating human
activity through the introduction of a CSCL system to support collaborative organisational learning
(COL) activities as a way of promoting learning at work. A comparative study into the effects of remediating
work practices in an organisation was conducted 'before' and 'after' the introduction of a
CSCL system using three selected constitutive elements of COL namely: collaboration, knowledge
sharing and interactivity. The study used activity theory as a framework for examining the support
mechanisms for the selected elements of COL from a social and cultural perspective in terms of how
they occur, and how they are supported in context. Findings highlighted the importance of accounting
for social and cultural issues relating to the tool user, prior to the introduction of a CSCL system to
support learning at work, as these could impact on the usage and acceptability of such a tool.
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