Collaborative Networked Learning: A Guide/Introduction/Intermediate

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Collaborative Networked learning, therefore, would occur in the context of a group with a mission or agree-upon-purpose. The work involves the structuring and restructuring of conceptual knowledge. The final product is a message, an external artifact of the group knowledge at a particular point in time,which communicates the knowledge of the group. The message might take the form of a program, a report, a strategy document, a diagram, a drawing etc. Learning-work involves the cognitive processes of assimilation--intake of information from the environment, accommodation--restructuring to fit new into the old, present structure, and integration--directly fitting information into existing structure. And most importantly it involves the resolution of conflict between old and new structures,which can lead to innovation.

Two communication processes or type of dialogs are involved in learning-work: (1) Intra-personal communication--integration, and accommodation--involves processing within the individual. (2) Interpersonal communication involves assimilation-- the intake of information from the environment--and representation of one's knowledge structure in a form and medium that can be shared with another person. As one person,shares ideas with another person, the process becomes an on-going loop from assimilation through representation of knowledge structures.

At any point the learner may represent his/her ideas in order to test out hypotheses to gain agreement or validation. When members of a mission oriented group create shared knowledge structure and produce an artifact such as a written report or a software program, for example, they engage in learning to created a product which is their collective knowledge. As you study the different parts of the guide, it may be useful to keep this model in mind and use it as a basis for developing your own insight and focusing your knowledge creation process. Return to CNL Guide Main Page