Essay Computer-supported Collaborative Learning

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As John Carroll and Ann Bishop state “Most learning takes place in communities.” (2005). This could be informal communities, such as a conversation at a workplace, or it could be a more formal setting such as a distance education course. Regardless of the level of formality, humans learn from one another through communication in some fashion. The issue for educators, then is how best to channel this natural tendency for learning, and how to best utilize technology in the process. Therefore, computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) focuses on employing the benefits of collaborative learning via networked computers (Computer-supported Collaborative Learning, 2007). The end-goal is to make use of the power of technology based on…show more content…
Such items as class blogs and wikis, peer feedback, and digital communication (i.e. email, Skype, instant messenger) all foster collaboration. To take this a step further, CSCL actually promotes group discourse and cooperation in many ways that would simply not be achievable were the class to be offered without it. An important factor of CSCL is the recognition of the importance of socialization to learning and the significance of that socialization to developing higher order thinking skills. Today’s knowledge economy requires a much-advanced set of cognitive and analytical skills. Therefore, the group socialization, discussion, and collaboration play an ever-significant role in defining pedagogical end-goals (Fischer, et. al., 2007). The higher-order cognitive and problem solving skills require the analysis of processes within complex and practical contexts, rather than just end products resultant from a teacher-centered classroom. Like most other educational methods, CSCL can be both difficult to implement and to measure. Historically speaking, providing evidence that any technological progress improves learning has been difficult at best (Carroll, et. al., 2005). However, the traditional model of education is not suitable for comprehending and learning to resolve the types of complex, often ambiguous, issues that are most
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