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Peer-to-peer collaborative learning

Posted by ssemus 
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Peer-to-peer collaborative learning
May 29, 2008 08:58AM
I am Sam Ssemugabi – a Senior Lecturer at the School of Computing at UNISA. I am doing a pilot study to determine the extent to which students engage in peer-to-peer corroborative learning. I will be grateful if I could get feedback from you on the following questions with respect to your tertiary study at UNISA or any other institution.

Question 1 (Q1)
On the UNISA registration form, there is this question: “May your name, e-mail address and contact numbers be given to fellow students for academic purposes?�. State the response you gave to this question and briefly explain why you gave that response.

Question 2 (Q2)
Consider the statements:
“Discussing subject-related problems with other students doing the same course, helps me to learn the subject better.
This is especially the case in technical subjects such as those that involve programming�.
What is your comment on these statements?

Question 3 (Q3)
Which of the following methods would you prefer to use for collaborative learning with other students? [You may choose more than one; can comment on it/them , and give your experience in using it/them, if any]:
Face-to-face (for example, in or outside a classroom) ; telephone; email; discussion forum (like those on MyUnisa or Osprey); Instant Messaging; Video conferencing; blogs; Wikis; Social networks such as MySpace and Facebook.

You may give your responses on this discussion forum or e-mail them to me at ssemus@unisa.ac.za

Thank you for your contribution.
avatar Re: Peer-to-peer collaborative learning
May 29, 2008 10:37AM
Q1: Yes - cause I'm not parnoid about the MIB are going to find me smile

Q2: Agree. Sometimes explaining something to somebody else shows you what you understand about the topic.

Q3:Email / IM / Video Conferences / WIKI

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Don't Assume Everything is a Nail Just Because You Have a Really Big Hammer
Re: Peer-to-peer collaborative learning
May 29, 2008 04:13PM
Hi Sam,

Q1: Yes - Thought the it would be nice to interact that why, But I am thinking to remove it cause every time I was contacted by fellow students via e-mail the student in need send a e-mail to thousands, then someone reply to all, then I go grrr, what about BCC couldn't they just rather use BCC.

I was also found few times by fellow students from Benoni that saw on myUnisa that I was also from Benoni where in fact I'm from Heidelberg and Unisa list me under the Benoni Region so that also was very much purposeless.

I think a forum like osprey's is a much better tool than e-mail and telephone cause it's a bit more structured and you can see when somebody got an answer and don't have to reply in duplicate.

Q2: Yes agree, osprey and study groups are great.

Q3: the Forum I think works great! IM and Video conferencing would be nice. Email and Telephone should be a secondary method of communication, after you've invited or requested a fellow student to communicate through those means.

In conclusion I think some forms of communications is an invasion of once time were others like forums, IM etc I AM are in control of my time.
Re: Peer-to-peer collaborative learning
May 30, 2008 01:08AM
Mr. Ssemugabi,

Q1: I responded "Yes", because I thought it would help when forming study groups.

It was mostly unsuccessful, since most of the students who initiated contact did not seem to know good email etiquette, and often sent an email to *every* name on the list, regardless of location.

Q2: I strongly agree that discussing problems with other students helps with learning, and not only in technical subjects.

I suspect that it's more successful in the "technical subjects" because Osprey has better forum software that myUNISA, and because those learning technical subjects typically already know how to use the Internet.

Q3: Discussion forums (like on Osprey, *NOT* myUNISA), wikis, online community sites, content management systems (like Drupal or Joomla). Lecturers might find blogs useful to communicate to students.

The myUNISA forum software is terrible. Osprey has much better forum software, but could be improved by having more experienced moderators around, and a published set of etiquette rules, to help new users learn to use the medium.

Wikis are simple to use, and especially useful for creating subject-related concept networks.

An online community site (designed using principles from http://philip.greenspun.com/seia/) could enable students to form a community, organize and schedule study groups, discuss subjects, help one another and share resources.

A generic content management system (CMS) could provide some of the features of a custom community site. While not be as efficient as a custom designed community site, it would be cheaper to implement since there already exist many modular CMS/community packages like Drupal or Joomla.

I have an (incomplete) list of sites created for UNISA students. It can be found here: http://gustavbertram.com/learning/unisa
avatar Re: Peer-to-peer collaborative learning
May 30, 2008 12:53PM
I would like to make a footnote to my answers:

I would like ranking system when somebody answers another students questions. Something similar to experts-exchange.

This would allow others to see how good this person was at answering. There are unfourtanetley people on phorum who like insulting others (less) knowledgable than them.

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Don't Assume Everything is a Nail Just Because You Have a Really Big Hammer
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