Group processes online: teaching collaboration through collaborative processes
While many subject areas lend themselves well to off-campus distance education delivery, there have always been some which do not necessarily adapt well to non face-to-face provision, in particular, those subjects where interpersonal interaction is integral. This paper discusses a course teaching group processes which had been previously offered on- and off-campus, and its subsequent redesign for online delivery. The online design of the unit is shown to have enabled many of the on-campus, face-to-face features integral to the teaching of this subject matter to be incorporated for online students. The experience provided an excellent opportunity for students to learn collaboratively and to analyse and reflect upon group processes in an online environment and the applicability of traditional group theory to online experience. Despite a number of major challenges and frustrations encountered in delivering this course online, the students who remained in the course learnt a great deal about group processes in the online environment and developed a sophisticated understanding of the interactive potentials and issues faced in online collaboration.
Fisher, K, Phelps, R & Ellis, A 2000, 'Group processes online: teaching collaboration through collaborative processes', Educational Technology & Society, vol. 3, no. 3. Special issue on 'On-line collaborative learning environments'.
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