Provisioning participatory learning: Creating opportunities for student-centred online cooperative academic support
Keywords: participatory learning, social constructivism, Web 2.0, social learning environment
AbstractThe idea that learners can and do significantly contribute to each other’s learning is not a new one; indeed, constructivist theorists Piaget and Vygotsky both promoted peer learning (Falchikov, 2001). In recent years, peer learning has been gaining momentum and renewed interest. Locally, Van der Meer and Scott (2008) have suggested that a “paradigm shift” in learning support from teacher-centred delivery to “peer-learning primacy” could be an important one for transitioning first-year students. Many educators are also enthusiastic about 21st century social media technologies that facilitate peer-to-peer exchange and the development of co-constructed knowledge (Bostrom, Gupta, & Hill, 2008; Dabbagh & Reo, 2010; Huijser, Kimmins, & Evans, 2008; Ladyshewsky & Gardner, 2008). But how might it be possible to develop an online learning skills website that departs from the usual teacher-centred approach, accommodates peer learning and harnesses the potential for students to cooperatively engage in mutual academic skills development? SNAPVU is a Web 2.0-based social learning environment that has been developed by the Student Learning Unit of Victoria University to provide a platform for students to engage in peer learning support. As with most academic skills support sites, use of the site is voluntary. This paper looks at the design of the site, its pedagogical underpinnings, evaluation of its use during the pilot semester, and its redesign in light of student and staff evaluation and feedback. It raises some questions about the readiness of tertiary students and staff to embrace voluntary participatory learning and teaching, and asks what conditions may be necessary for the development of active and cooperative learning communities in tertiary institutions.
How to Cite
KirkwoodK. W. (2012). Provisioning participatory learning: Creating opportunities for student-centred online cooperative academic support. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 6(1), A89-A102. Retrieved from https://journal.aall.org.au/index.php/jall/article/view/144
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