Interuniversity collaborative learning with wiki toolsets

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Interuniversity collaborative learning with wiki toolsets is a 2013 conference paper written in English by Katzlinger E., Herzog M. and published in Proceedings of the European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL.

[edit] Abstract

This paper reports about a study of a collaborative learning scenario in university education within the subject of e-business. In business education advanced collaboration skills and media literacy are important for surviving in a globalized business where virtual communication between enterprises is part of the day-to-day business. To facilitate communication and collaboration between partners who work in different places at different schedules and even in different time zones, tools of web 2.0 are adequate in supporting this process. Especially working together with Wiki and similar collaborative Web-Tools satisfies asynchronous communication processes because all group members can trace changes, view the history of their colleagues work, and communicate about it. To transform these global working situations into higher education, a learning scenario was created where hundreds of students from two universities in Germany and Austria worked together in small interregional learning groups. Participating students had to collaborate virtually to prepare and report a shared case study online. The e-business case study had to be documented in a Wiki, and presented in the classroom of each university. When working together, learners used different tools for close virtual collaboration around a Wiki toolset such as forum, chat, video conferencing and other social media. Based on the didactical concept of moderate constructivism that should be best implemented by editing realistic problems and project tasks as well as cooperative learning, the case study method was chosen for collaboration. Students applied given case studies (e.g. from Harvard Business Review) or they worked out a business case from their own experience, which covered a range of upcoming e-business topics. An attending evaluation study with around 270 participants from two universities could show several substantive effects like • Tremendous influence of interregional group work for media competencies • Hidden social aspects and conflict potential • Scenario design and different media usage • Teaching effort vs. learning outcome of such a scenario • Learning impact for different student groups and learning styles: Who benefits most from such a learning scenario? Collaborative learning with a Web 2.0 tool like a Wiki in combination with the case study method can be quite effective in higher education settings. Methodical design of a learning scenario and choosing the media toolset is worth to plan carefully. Especially the presentation and debriefing requires a personal reflection of the case study itself and virtual collaboration about it in several groups. However this resulted in a high professional and social learning outcome on the part of the individual students. The online survey collected data from student groups who worked together in interuniversity or regional teams on case studies within the subject area e-business. The findings of this study show several interesting aspects of media usage and how students benefited from this learning scenario.

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