Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Collaborative Complex Learning Objects in Support for Social and Collaborative Just-in-Time Networking

Néstor Mora, Santi Caballé


Two types of networks are considered with special interest for e-learning environments: social and collaborative networks. There is no consensus about the frontiers dividing the two types, though a set of common interrelated characteristics is found during any learning experience, such as social identity, interaction and empowerment. These and other characteristics may greatly influence the e-learning process when combined and addressed appropriately as well as overcome important limitations of current e-learning systems. For instance, isolation is a critical problem found in many virtual environments and it is directly associated with the lack of the learners' social identity and a low level of collaborative interaction with the environment. Isolation can thus be minimized by an innovative use of both types of networking in just-in-time fashion. These and other factors are considered and addressed in this paper to create adequate systems and tools to enable intelligent networking for e-learning. To this end, the requirements of virtual learning environments are analysed in order to meet social and collaborative needs. As a result, a newly-created tool called Virtualized Collaborative Session is described that includes and executes a new type of Learning Object called Collaborative Complex Learning Objects that allow learners to benefit from live sessions of networking with others and in turn leverage the knowledge constructed collaboratively. Eventually, this approach becomes an attractive learning resource so that learners become more motivated and engaged in the learning process.

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