Part 1 - Collaboration and “Community and Curriculum”
Part 2 – Evaluation and feedback
@IOCT_DMUMasters moderated the session.
The Masters Twittter/Diigo experiment’s live chat session was an exploratory activity to test the potential of Twitter live chat to amplify the enhancement of collaborative learning on the MA/MSc in Creative Technologies. Twitter live chat was also tested as a method of collecting instant student feedback and evaluation.
The chat was attended by a group of pre-enrolled students, an alumni student and Masters programme staff. 8 contributors participated in answering direct questions and engaging in some discussion. 129 tweets were posted and participants were based across the locations of Bulgaria, Singapore, Nottingham and Leicester. None of the participants had taken part in a live Twitter chat before. The chat maintained a vibrant and positive tone throughout.
Pre-chat preparation for the participants involved setting up a third party Twitter application, Tweetdeck, Tweetchat or Twitterfall and watching David Cormier’s video on “Community as Curriculum”. Participants were asked to consider the theme of collaboration and were given the option of preparing tweets on the theme.
The live chat session began as tweets were posted to confirm attendance.
After the participants had posted their introductory tweets, the moderator posted a series of questions with the aim of providing an opportunity for students to reflect on ideas presented in the video and to tease out thoughts on the topic of collaboration in general.
It was quickly agreed that David Cormier’s engaging presentation made the concepts of collaborative and networked learning, clear and understandable.
One twitterer posted @tweeter5 I love the way it is presented as it gives a friendly “way in” to the topic. Technology needs a friendly face #ioctx
As the questions moved on, the group were asked to make a group definition of collaboration. Tweets included:
@tweeter3 #ioctx sharing of information
@Tweeter1 #ioctx Understanding together
@Tweeter6 expanding your ideas & knowledge by other people input!? #ioctx
@Tweeter2 #ioctx learning and working together. Finding ways to understand each other better.
@Tweeter5 in collaboration you don't have to do things the same time but people can have an 'ambient awareness' of what's going on #ioctx
@Tweeter7 Q2 #ioctx Collaborative learning – “joint intellectual effort by students and teachers together” (Smith and MacGregor, 1992)
In thinking about the different role of a teacher in the “old” school, “new” school and “networked school”, participants agreed that the teacher role transforms throughout the various schools, shifting from teacher-led to shared learning through to everyone in a network, building knowledge together.
The group identified key skills needed for successful collaboration. Openness, and a positive aptitude for experimenting, exploration and curiosity were the skills that dominated the call for key skills required. Understanding was also one of the most frequently mentioned skills. Other skills identified as being important to participants were; an awareness of others and a willingness to take part, confidence in own abilities/ideas, the ability to compromise and listen. Resourcefulness, patience and responsibility were also identified as key skills in successful collaboration as were persistence, sensitivity and flexibility.
In gathering opinion on the benefits and challenges of collaboration,
the group identified the main beneficial outcomes of collaboration as being:
Increased innovation, “broadened horizons”, considered multiple perspectives, new ideas created, unexpected and alternative results achieved, own practice challenged, knowledge widened and increased networking, complex problems solved.
The issue of the time-consuming nature of working with others was identified as the main challenge of collaboration. Other challenges highlighted by participants made reference to conflicting ideas, resistance to change, lack of confidence and the challenge of establishing common language and common goals.
Part 2 - Feedback and evaluations
In providing feedback on the live Twitter chat the participants viewed the session as being useful and enjoyable.
@Tweeter2 #ioctx The live chat is a great (and a bit challenging) way of sharing information
@Tweeter3 #ioctx infact we get to know each other here even before our 1st hand shake!! :D
@Tweeter1 #ioctx It’s like a tiny speed collaboration :P
When asked to state their preferred tool of the experiment as a whole, a clear expression of both the benefits and drawbacks of each tool (Twitter and Diigo) was indicated.
Feedback gathered through the live chat on the Twitter/Diigo experiment in general suggested that participants had enjoyed using the tools and also enjoyed the social elements of the activities.
@Twitter1 #ioctx yes, lets do it again and please invite me!
Notable Web Links Highlighted During the Session:
David Cormier’s video on “Community as Curriculum”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4LrB-jFEgM
Points of Reference:
Smith and MacGregor, 1992, What is Collaborative Learning learningcommons.evergreen.edu/pdf/collab.pdf