Employing web 2.0 tools to enhance active learning in courses requiring group projects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

There are definite benefits in assigning group work, a form of collaborative learning, to students as part of their gradable course activities. Projects involve "learning-by-doing", improve student participation in the education process, and group projects or collaborative learning in general foster critical thinking, develop positive interdependence, improve problem-solving strategies, internalize content knowledge and promote retention rates, achieve better results, improve personal achievement satisfaction and enhance interpersonal communication skills. Unfortunately, there are also certain concerns relating to group work that need to be addressed by educators. These include: Fair task allocation between group members; Efficient management and coordination of project activities; Uniform presentation and level of work of project deliverables; Grading of project to reflect the whole group's work; Lack of clear objectives; lack of support and training; Difficulties in accommodating different work schedules and other cultural and language differences of members, and; "Social loafing and free riding" which is the term used to describe inequality of contribution and effort among group members. In certain courses, such as Systems Analysis and Design, Software Engineering, and other, a group project is of major importance. Thus, educators will always be willing to investigate new ways and tools to address the above pitfalls while harvesting the fruits of collaborative learning. The authors of this paper became aware of the potential contributions of the Web 2.0 tools, such as weblogs and wikis, towards collaborative projects and decided to explore their use to address the issues concerning group projects. They deployed these e-tools in an MBA course of E-Business which requires the students to work in groups so that they develop a company's strategic plan on an e-business initiative. Results of this small-scale pilot study and student feedback are included in the paper. These could be helpful to educators interested to introduce and further explore the use of Web 2.0 tools in courses which involve group work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2008
PublisherAcademic Conferences Limited
Pages555-561
Number of pages7
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event7th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2008 - Agia Napa, Cyprus
Duration: 6 Nov 20087 Nov 2008

Other

Other7th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2008
CountryCyprus
CityAgia Napa
Period6/11/087/11/08

Keywords

  • Collaborative learning
  • Computer-supported cooperative work
  • Web 2.0 in education

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  • Cite this

    Stylianou, V., & Kokkinaki, A. (2008). Employing web 2.0 tools to enhance active learning in courses requiring group projects. In Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2008 (Vol. 2, pp. 555-561). Academic Conferences Limited.