Academic Digital

Flexible, Open, Social Learning: Communities & Collaboration #FOS4L

“Proponents of collaborative learning have long heralded the power of well managed group-based interaction as a means of promoting positive interdependence, individual accountability, social skills, and group processing. In this third topic we will encourage learners to explore aspects of collaborative, cooperative and community learning especially in relation to networked online spaces for learning, personal learning networks and environments and discuss the relevance of peer learning and the development of learning communities in the context of self-directed and self-organised learning within and beyond institutional boundaries (formal, informal and non-formal learning).”

Scenario – developing a new online masters programme – what is required, and how much time will it take?

Pick one of the following activities:

  1. Responding: Create a response to the scenario in collaboration with others based on the discoveries you made together through investigating this. Remember, you could use FISh. (ilo-1)
  2. Reflecting: Reflect on the concept of learning communities within your own practice.  (ilo-2)
  3. Making: Create a comic that captures your thinking around collaborative learning and community as it is developing. (ilo-3)

Today, just going to refer people to this article I co-published with David Rush.

Students arrive at university having grown up in an individualistic/competitive context, so group-work can be hard, particularly once you put that online. Online need to choose appropriate materials/tasks as in face-to-face, and need to set up a sense of group-bonding – responding to queries suggesting others to connect with to prompt groupwork.

Try Wiggio or Huddle for groupwork – such software leaves traces which enables those who contribute more can have their marks adjusted, whilst the whole group also benefits.


#NMTrain Newcastle



The chief executive of Bullying UK, John Carnell, saw #charitytuesday on Twitter that day (12 May 2009) and decided to back it. He enlisted the support of Bullying UK’s (then) 5,400 followers.

“It’s done absolutely remarkably well,” says Carnell.

“It opens up communication in a way we’ve never really had before.”

The benefits of using #charitytuesday for charities seem substantial.

No one is hassled for money, rather they are asked to contribute to a conversation, or give a show of support.

Rather than targeting potential supporters in the street or by phone when they are busy, charities can simply post information for followers (who they already know are interested) to access when they have time.

Carnell calls it: “The ultimate permission-based marketing.”

“It gives a single day, if nothing else, that we should be on Twitter,” he said.

Read full story.