Online Collaboration Tools: Theory and Reality

A university developed an online collaboration tool based on a constructivist framework. Instructors have used this tool for more than ten years. Recently an analysis of its use was done. The reality was that most instructors used it for students to submit their homeworks and some used it for online discussions. Most instructors did not grade the discussions and many of those that did grade tended to grade the number of entries in the discussion. Students did have a virutal shared work space in which to work on prescribed assignments. These uses do not reflect a constructivist envionment



A public school librarian told me about the blogs in his school. Again, they used an online collaborative tool mainly for students to post their thoughts on topics but with no interaction among the students. Each student got to put in one thought about the topic. The contents of the blog were not studied in class and the students were not tested on the content of the blog.

The question becomes “How can we promote in-depth learning through online collaborative tools?



1 Response to “Online Collaboration Tools: Theory and Reality”

  1. 1 Johnny U August 24, 2006 at 11:14 pm

    This is a very important question and it goes to show that even good ideas, money and technology are not enough to help our students in their education. I am not an expert in education but from my own experience I learn the most when I get feedback from other people. It seems like these children would be better served if they received more feedback from their teachers and their peers and it looks like it is up to their educators to guide them in this direction so that they can effectively use this technology in their education.

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