Creating meaning through a community of collaborative learners

Littleton, Karen and Whitelock, Denise (2003). Creating meaning through a community of collaborative learners. In: Mason, Lucia; Andreuzza, Silvia; Arfè, Barbara and Del Favero, Laura eds. 10th European Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, Volume Abstracts. Padova: Cooperativa Libraria Editrice Università di Padova, p. 57.



In this paper we will draw on data derived from an ongoing study of students enrolled on the Open University's MA in Open and Distance Learning. This course is delivered exclusively on-line, to an international cohort of students. These students are from wide-ranging academic backgrounds and an analysis of their collaborative work affords a distinctive opportunity to understand the means by which such students negotiate shared understanding and support each other in the process of learning at a distance. In this context, drawing on contemporary socio-cultural theory and research, we will also explore the salient input of the moderator and the role the moderator plays in supporting joint meaning making and fostering a collaborative community of enquiry.

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