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The World Wide Web has developed as the de facto standard for computer based learning. However, as a server-centered approach, it confines readers and learners to passive nonsequential reading. Authoring and Web-publishing systems aim at supporting the authors' design process. Consequently, learners' activities are confined to selecting and reading (downloading documents) with almost no possibilities to structure and arrange their learning spaces nor do that in a cooperative manner. This paper presents a learner-centered, completely Web-based, approach through virtual knowledge rooms. Based on this concept, the goal of the presented work is firstly to develop a theoretical framework to explain the design potentials of technology-supported learning processes (distinguishing individual and cooperative primary media functions). Secondly, a technical framework (cf. should be developed to allow for study of different technical configurations within the traditional university setting. Considering the systems design, the concept of virtual knowledge rooms is to combine event-based technology of virtual worlds with the classical document management functions in a client-server framework. Knowledge rooms and learning materials such as documents or multimedia elements are represented as a fully object-oriented model of objects, attributes and access rights. The paper does not focus on interactive systems managing individual access rights to knowledge bases, but rather on cooperative management and structuring of distributed knowledge bases. (Author)

Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Oriented Programs, Computer System Design, Cooperative Education, Cooperative Learning, Educational Technology, Instructional Design, Instructional Materials, Learner Controlled Instruction, Learning Activities, World Wide Web

Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), P.O. Box 3728, Norfolk, VA 23514. Tel: 757-623-7588; e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Autor: Hampel, Thorsten


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