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ComputerSupported Intentional Learning Experiences and Cooperative Learning In Higher Education: A W


I have provided an 'On-Line-Discussion' site for participants of this session. ... I like the online discussion in that you gave us a topic but we were able to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ComputerSupported Intentional Learning Experiences and Cooperative Learning In Higher Education: A W

Computer-Supported Intentional Learning
Experiences and Cooperative Learning In Higher
EducationA Web based Chat Room.
  • Lawrence W. Sherman, Ph D.
  • Department of Educational Psychology
  • School of Education, Health and Science
  • Miami University, Oxford, Ohio USA
  • http//
  • A presentation to the
  • JUNE, 2008

Abstract of Session
  • This experiential session will provide hands-on
    activities utilizing an asynchronius web-based
    chat room environment. Cooperative learning
    will be emphasized in all activities, especially
    positive interdependence in distance
    communication. Software will be distributed to

I have provided an On-Line-Discussion site for
participants of this session. It is available at
the following address
  • Introduce myself
  • Introduce participants to each other
  • Do Circles of Learning to build community
  • Simulate an On-Line_Discussion
  • Demonstrate Program
  • Questions and answers

Five Basic Elements of Cooperative Learning
  • Positive Interdependence
  • Individual Accountability
  • Face To Face Interactions
  • Heterogeneous Grouping
  • Social Skills

Some examples of pages from the On-Line
Discussion sites
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A Simulated example of the On-Line_Discussion
  • The Link here

Some Examples of student comments from their
e-portfolios concerning the On-Line-Discussions
Netpost Reflections
  • Over the course of this semester, we have
    completed a reflection and reaction every week.
    They have been based on what we learned in class
    and I have found them to be very beneficial.
    They have challenged my mind and I have greatly
    enjoyed what my peers have had to say about each
    prompt. We have completed ten of these
    reflections and they are included in the next
    pages. You can also get to them by clicking on
    the following numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
    7, 8, 9, 10.

Netpost Reflections
  • I believe that this is an invaluable aspect of
    the class and should be implemented more in other
    classroom settings. By requiring students to
    personally respond to what they are learning
    about in class, it forces the students to
    critically think about the concept and put it
    into their own words, furthering their
    understanding of the concept. Additionally, it
    allows students to view one another's thoughts
    and ideas. This type of assignment could be
    given in any content area classroom. I can see
    myself using it in either my future math
    classroom or my future language arts classroom.

Return to Index
  • EDP 303 Section A Online Discussions
  • I liked having a part of this class as
    reflections online. I felt it was beneficial to
    know other classmates thoughts on the concepts we
    have learned this semester. I also like how we
    could react to other students. I like the online
    discussion in that you gave us a topic but we
    were able to make it personal to us by showing
    how we can apply certain ideas in a classroom.

Reflections Reactions
  • Reflections Reactions were beneficial in
    allowing us to think outside of class over topics
    related to our discussion. Instead of having our
    own perspective we were able to see twenty-five
    others from our classmates. The only problem real
    that I had with reflections reactions was
    sometimes not having access to a computer over
    the weekend, which resulted in either not posting
    or a late post. Another problem was having to
    depend on Miamis server to be up continuously,
    which is a rarity. I can remember at least once
    when the entire internet on campus was down, and
    others when the server was down. However, I
    thought this was an excellent method to encourage
    outside thinking.
  • Return to index

Ten Pitfalls to Avoid
  • The pitfalls follow

Web Discussion Pitfall 1 Too much information
  • Problem.
  • Teachers fail to organize conversations,
    participants become confused.
  • Solution.
  • Plan and streamline course discussions. Plot the
    duration and focus of discussion threads. Have
    students take turns running discussions about
    course content

Web Discussion Pitfall 2 Students
technologically handicapped
  • Problem.
  • Students are easily stumped by online tasks
  • Cutting and pasting text on the Web sometimes
    they lack Web expertise, misunderstand directions
    or are unsure whats expected of them.
  • Solution.
  • Structure online activity. Provide guidelines for
    posting and pasting material, how often to
    comment, length of comments and what to say to

Web Discussion Pitfall 3Unjustified comments.
  • Problem.
  • Students comments lack justification. They often
    make assertions without provident evidence.
  • Solution.
  • Model ways to support arguments. In your own
    postings, cite research studies or theories to
    back up your comments.

Web Discussion Pitfall 4Making course content
  • Problem.
  • Students seldom connect their online comments to
    specific course concepts because they dont
    realize theyre expected to, and they tend to
    speak anecdotally. Comments are often unrelated
    to course readings, theories or research topics
    discussed in class.
  • Solution.
  • Frame questions in terms of concepts. When
    posting a question for students, ask them to
    answer it using specifics from course readings

Web Discussion Pitfall 5Being too nice on the
  • Problem.
  • Students are too nice on the Web. Perhaps
    because students also see each other regularly
    face-to-face, and because their comments are
    recorded online, many hesitate to criticize.
  • Solution.
  • Encourage role-playing. Assign students to play
    out roles of devils advocate, pessimist, or
    optimist, to help them take different sides and
    spur debate.

Web Discussion Pitfall 6Camaraderie lacking
  • Problem.
  • Peer camaraderie is lacking. Students tend not
    to reach out to each other online as fully as
    they do face-to-face.
  • Solution.
  • Assign online buddies. Pair up students to help
    each other troubleshoot software problems and
    respond to one anothers questions about course

Web Discussion Pitfall 7Instructor preaching
  • Problem.
  • Instructors struggle to teach and not preach.
    Instructors easily fall into lecture mode,
    jeopardizing student interaction.
  • Solution.
  • Encourage students to initiate discussion topics.
    Require them to take turns running discussion
    threads about particular course readings.

Web Discussion Pitfall 8Forming communities of
  • Problem.
  • Its difficult to form a community of learners
    online. Because students cant see each other,
    it takes time for them to build trust and speak
  • Solution.
  • Encourage students to interact casually. Allot
    discussion threads or areas for hanging out and
    personal introductions.

Web Discussion Pitfall 9
  • Problem.
  • Web postings are time consuming to grade.
    Students often post large amounts of text, making
    it hard for instructors to keep up.
  • Solution.
  • Award points according to set criteria. Give
    points for posting regularly, interacting
    concisely with others and showing deep thinking,
    rather than for generating lots of text.

Web Discussion Pitfall 10Technology glitches
  • Problem.
  • Computers crash. Students computers or Internet
    connections may malfunction, or glitches may
    plague online discussion software
  • Solution.
  • Troubleshoot. Check in regularly to see whether
    students need help using the discussion software
    or whether you need to call technology support
    personnel about more serious software problems.

Three additional techniquesAdding context to
  • Reconstructed turn-taking
  • Repair
  • Formulations

Reconstructed Turn-taking
  • Students cut and paste lines from others
    messages, paste them into a new message and
    respond to them in turn.

  • Students correct, clarify or reorient comments
    made by other students by saying, for example, I
    believe student X meant or Building on student
    Xs earlier comment They can also repair
    comments they themselves have made.

  • Students summarize and assess where the
    conversation is headed based on previous messages
    --- for example, someone might say, The tone of
    recent postings has changed, signifying a shift
    in the classs thinking Sometimes students
    suggest new directions or topic shifts starting a
    new thread

Some useful References
  • Bonk, C. J. Cummings, J. A. (1998). A dozen
    recommendations for placing the student at the
    center of Web-based instruction. Educational
    Media International, 35(2), 82-89.
  • Bonk, C. J. Dennen, V.P. (1999). Teaching on
    the Web With a little help from my pedagogical
    friends. Journal of Computing in Higher
    Education, 11(1), 3-28.
  • Bonk, C., Wisher, R. Ji-Yeon, L. (2004).
    Moderating Learner-Centered E-Learning Problems
    and Solutions, Benefits and Implications. In Tim
    Roberts. (editor). (2004). Online collaborative
    learning electronic resource theory and
    practice. Hershey PA Information Science Pub.
  • Bonk, C., Wisher, M. Nigrelli, M. (2004).
    Learning communities, communities of practice
    principles, technologies, and examples. In Karen
    Littleton, Dorothy Miell, and Dorothy Faulkner
    (editors), Learning to collaborate, collaborating
    to learn. Hauppauge, N.Y. Nova Science
  • Brody, C., Baloche, L, Schmuck, R., Sherman,
    L. (2004). The past and future of cooperative
    learning perspectives from leaders in the IASCE.
    A panel session at the IASCE conference,
    Singapore, June, 2004.
  • Hais, M. Winograd, M. (200). Millennial
    makeover MySpace, YouTube, and the future of
    American politics. New Brunswick, N.J. Rutgers
    University Press.
  • Hall, R. (guest editor) (2000). The impact of the
    internet, multimedia and virtual reality on
    behavior and society. CyberPsychology and
    Behavior, 3(1), entire issue.
  • Hara, N., Bonk, C. J. Angeli, C. (2000).
    Content analyses of online discussion in an
    applied educational psychology course.
    Instructional Science, 28(2), 115-152.
  • Littleton, K., Miell, D. Faulkner, D.
    (editors). (2004). Learning to collaborate,
    collaborating to learn. Hauppauge, N.Y. Nova
    Science Publishers.
  • Ludlow, P. Wallace, M. (2008). The virtual
    tabloid that witnessed the dawn of the metaverse.
    Boston, MA MIT Press.

  • Murray, B. (2000). Reinventing class discussion
    online. APA Monitor on Psychology, April, 2000,
  • Roberts, T. (editor). (2004). Online
    collaborative learning electronic resource
    theory and practice. Hershey PA Information
    Science Publishers.
  • Sherman, L., McMahon-Klosterman, K., Meyer, S.,
    and Stephens, P. (1994). "Kids Can Make A
    Difference, Too!" A demonstration of an
    interagency Collaborative Project using
    Cooperative Learning and Telematiques. A
    presentation to the 8th International Conference
    of the International Association for the Study of
    Cooperation in Education (IASCE), Lewis Clark
    College, Portland, Oregon, 9-11 July, 1994.
  • Sherman, L. W. (2000). Postmodern constructivist
    pedagogy for teaching and learning cooperatively
    on the web. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 3(1),
  • Sherman, L. W. (2001). Cooperative learning and
    computer-supported intentional learning
    experiences. In Learning and teaching on the
    world wide web, Christopher Wolfe (editor). New
    York Academic press, pp 113-130.
  • Sherman, L. W. (2004). Computer-supported
    intentional learning experiences and cooperative
    learning the web based Chat Room. A
    presentation to the IASCE International
    Conference, June 21-24, 2004, Singapore.
  • Sherman, L. W., Schmuck, R., Schmuck, P.
    (2006). Kurt Lewin's contribution to the theory
    and practice of education in the United States
    The importance of cooperative learning. In
    (Janusz Trempala, Albert Pepitone Bertram H.
    Raven, editors) Lewinian Psychology. Proceedings
    of the International Conference Kurt Lewin
    Contribution "to contemporary psychology".
    Bydgoszcz, Poland Kazimier Wielki University
    Press, p 191-207.
  • Totilo, Stephen (2008). Playing Games, The
    Nation, June 2, 2008, vol 286, no. 21, pp25-30.
  • WWWBOARD (1995) available from Matt's Script
    Archive at http//

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