Designing courses to develop online teamworking skills: a helical model

Oldfield, Stanley and Morse, David (2007). Designing courses to develop online teamworking skills: a helical model. In: Informatics Education Europe II, 29-30 Nov 2007, Thessaloniki, Greece.



Experiences of online collaborative learning are increasingly part of what recent advances in technology to support computer-mediated interaction allow us to include in undergraduate courses. These experiences can range from simple conversations and socialisation to complex virtual teamworking projects. The sequence of such experiences needs to be structured and managed so that there is a developmental dimension both within a single course and also over a student's degree programme. When we consider existing models for learning, group working, and software process, none of them adequately incorporate a sense of development. In the light of reflection on our own experience of designing and delivering a virtual teamworking course, we present a new, helical model for online collaborative learning. This model, in addition to emphasising the cyclic nature of the collaborative activities undertaken by teams tasked with solving a complex problem, also incorporates a developmental dimension, based on reflection at the end of successive phases of the problem solving process.

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