Designing environments for peer-to-peer and collaborative learning

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This article was downloaded by: [Istanbul Universitesi Kutuphane ve Dok]On: 20 December 2014, At: 16:09Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UKClick for updatesInteractive Learning EnvironmentsPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information: environments for peer-to-peer and collaborative learningSue Greener Co-editorPublished online: 11 Jul 2014.To cite this article: Sue Greener Co-editor (2014) Designing environments for peer-to-peer and collaborative learning, Interactive Learning Environments, 22:4, 399-400, DOI:10.1080/10494820.2014.936117To link to this article: SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLETaylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever orhowsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arisingout of the use of the Content.This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms & of access and use can be found at by [Istanbul Universitesi Kutuphane ve Dok] at 16:09 20 December 2014 environments for peer-to-peer and collaborative learningIn Thomas and Seely Browns A new culture of learning: cultivating the imagination for aworld of constant change (2011) there is a story about a nine-year-old child who playedScratch, a multimedia programming tool developed in 2003 at MIT Media Lab. Theauthors suggest that as a result of playing with this imaginative software, the childlearned not just about programming, and taking part in online communities with other par-ticipants, but also how to learn from other participants. This is a story which goes to theheart of the debates in this journal: how digital learning environments can, through inter-action of learners within these environments, build knowledge and meaning for themselves.The environments become actors within this process, offering affordances for learningwhich may complement learning interactions in the physical world. An environment is aplace where things happen. If we want learning to happen, we need to understand whatelements of that environment help learning to happen. Teachers, of course, are principalactors in this process too. They and their beliefs about teaching and learning will shapethe environment offered to learners, particularly when that environment includes digitalspaces and not just last century classrooms.Interactions and dialogue in physical classrooms often follow traditional cultural norms,based on authority residing in the teacher. However in digital spaces, these norms change;peer-to-peer interaction is enabled more freely and, in the right conditions, given a trustingand supportive culture of learning, learner/learner interaction can capture the imaginationand fertilize or cultivate the process of learning. The dynamics of social media tell usthat change, novelty and connection entice people into digital spaces. The challenge for tea-chers and trainers in professional learning worlds is to be sufficiently open to thesedynamics, without letting go the standards of excellence required for the furtherance andconstruction of knowledge.As Lu and Churchill show in their small-scale study of a social networking environ-ment, cognitive engagement within digital social networks is by no means a foregoneconclusion. We are still learning about learning in these digital spaces and the studysuggests the design of authentic tasks and environmental constraints, as well as culturalfactors, may increase social activity to the detriment of cognitive activity. Hwang andWus study of childrens collaborative relationships in the control of robots also focusseson social interaction, and how students learn to work together through negotiation,which is best facilitated, according to their study, by a peer co-ordinator who can see thebig picture.Two comparative studies are included in this issue. Park et al. also underline the impor-tance of environmental design in their comparison of physical and virtual delivery methodsin an agricultural course; a study which favours learning outcomes achieved through virtualdelivery. Bicen, Ozdamli and Uzunboylu contrast blended with fully online learning 2014 Taylor & FrancisInteractive Learning Environments, 2014Vol. 22, No. 4, 399400, by [Istanbul Universitesi Kutuphane ve Dok] at 16:09 20 December 2014 designs for multimedia development courses in teacher education. Here, the blended designscores more favourably. Just like the childs story cited by Thomas and Seely Brown, par-ticipants were motivated by learning from peers online.Outdoor learning is the theme for Pan, Tu and Chiens paper which reviews and evalu-ates a Kinect-based context-aware system for activating film in situ. As learners approachthe spot where a learning task is planned, video material is switched to run, without the useof hand-held devices or prompts. Where outdoor learning is important, this approach offerssome benefits over radio-frequency identification (RFID) tools.Finally, Chen and Chiou focus on the much-discussed issue of learning styles and theextent to which they may be predicted to relate to effectiveness in hybrid or blended learn-ing environments. Unlike some earlier papers, this study suggests that there is some effectfrom learning style, as discussed by Kolb, although these results can be read both as privi-leging accommodator styles of learning, and as offering encouragement to teachers whoprefer to design for all styles.What we do know is that peer learning can be encouraged and directly required in learn-ing tasks, and digital spaces can enable such peer interaction to occur productively. Thegreat thing about digital spaces is that they give learners and teachers freedom to escape,or simply broaden the reach of, the classroom, and in so doing, can lose the constraintsof formal authority models and instructivist knowledge transmission, bringing informaland authentic activities within the sphere of effective learning.Sue GreenerCo-editor400 EditorialDownloaded by [Istanbul Universitesi Kutuphane ve Dok] at 16:09 20 December 2014


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