sábado, 27 de março de 2010

Review of AB and LO

Review of António Pedro's AB: http://eeducandu.blogspot.com/2010/03/cooperative-freedom-annotated.html

The first bibliographic reference that António present it’s about Prof. Morten Paulsen’s Theory of Cooperative Freedom. António managed to transmit the key ideas of the theory in a summarized and clear way. The description made about Cooperative Freedom as a “mix balance from group cooperation and individual autonomy” it’s well achieved. Next, he adds that “can be achieved if we can balance time, space, pace, medium, access and content”.

On his second reference, António uses Terry Anderson’s chapter “Social Software to support distance education learners”, on “The Theory and Practice of Online Learning”. On it we can find a reference to the Theory of Cooperative Freedom, on which the author adds a dimension to Paulsen’s hexagon, Freedom of Relationship. Anderson states that the students should choose the partners that are more adequate to their capacities and social necessities.

António presents some essential ideas made by the author using citations and words of his own.

The third bibliographic reference concerns a workshop about cooperative and collaborative learning. He makes a small description of it, presenting some questions made during the workshop and about which it tries to answer.

António concludes with a small text, not about the bibliography itself, but presenting instead some of his own thoughts about cooperative and collaborative learning.

At the end of the essay there is an annotated and illustrated bibliography. On my perspective, it’s easy reading allows contextualize it, for what it could even come up on the beginning of the essay, as an introduction, and not at the end, after the conclusion.

domingo, 14 de março de 2010

Cooperative Freedom - Annotated Bibliography

When I started researching and reading about cooperative learning, I thought I understood the concept and the distinction between it and collaborative learning. However, as I kept reading, more doubts arose about their true concepts: "After all, when do we actually face collaborative learning or cooperative learning? Can we distinguish both concepts?". In an attempt to surpass this challenge, I looked into the dictionary for the meanings of ‘cooperate’ and ‘collaborate’. What I found was:
2.Operate simultaneously and collectively; Collaborate.

1.Working jointly with others. = COOPERATE, assists
2.Figurative - act with others to achieve a particular result. = HELP
3.Participate in collective work, often literary, cultural or scientific. = JOIN

As you can see, each term has an active role in the definition of the other. I came to the understanding that the two are intertwined and one implies the other. If so, then what is actual distinction of collaborative learning and cooperative learning?

Here are some sources that helped me to understand these two concepts:

Panitz, Ted - Collaborative versus Cooperative Learning - A comparison of the two concepts which will help us understand the underlying nature of interactive learning
In this article Ted Panitz argues that “Collaboration is a philosophy of interaction and personal lifestyle where individuals are responsible for their actions, including learning and respecting the abilities and contributions of their peers; Cooperation is a structure of interaction designed to facilitate the accomplishment of a specific end product or goal through people working together in groups". Thus, we can say that what distinguishes the two concepts is the environment in which they are applied. According to Stephen Downes (2007), collaborative learning depends on group and cooperative learning takes place in networks.

Paulsen, Morten – Cooperative Freedom: an online Education Theory in Online Education
Paulsen. Morten – Cooperative Online Education, article in Seminar.Net http://www.seminar.net/index.php/volume-4-issue-2-2008-previousissuesmeny-124/100-cooperative-online-education

Prof. Morten Paulsen in his article about online education on cooperative presents us a theory of cooperative freedom, which is based on three pillars:
1. Voluntary, but attractive participation;
2. Means promoting individual flexibility;
3. Means promoting affinity to learning community.
A point made by Professor Paulsen is transparency; it supports cooperation to improve the quality of the learning process. Students can have access to the contributions of others, learn from them and receive and give feedback. In this article, Professor Paulsen presents the results of some studies on cooperative learning in the NKI and concluded that this model is well accepted by students. In "Cooperative freedom: an online education theory”, he explores the theory of cooperative freedom and concludes that "future adult students will seek individual flexibility and freedom. At the same time, many need or prefer group collaboration and social unit. These aims are difficult to combine, but online education, when integrated with other media, can be the means of joining individual freedom and collective unity into truly flexible, cooperative distance education programs”.

Johnson, David W.; Johnson, Roger - Cooperative Learning And Social Interdependence Theory

In this article the authors state that "Cooperative learning exists when students work together to achieve joint learning groups (Johnson, Johnson & Holubec, 1992, 1993)". For them, the Social Interdependence Theory is associated with cooperative learning - the action of someone may have a negative, positive or neutral influence in the work of others. The difference lies in the structure of the situation; if it is cooperative, the result is positive; if it is competitive, can be negative and if it is individual, it is neutral to others. The results depend on the interaction between the partners. However, not all groups are considered cooperative. It is not enough to just sit them in the same space and tell "now, cooperate". Basic elements as “positive interdependence, individual accountability, promotive interaction, appropriate use of social skills, and group processing” are needed.
Some conclusions of the authors:
1.The research on social interdependence has an external validity and a generalizability rarely found in the social sciences
2.Clear and specific operationalizations of cooperative learning have been made based on understanding social interdependence theory and the variables that mediate and enhance cooperationist effectiveness
3.Cooperative learning can be used with some confidence at every grade level, in every subject area, and with any task
4.Cooperative learning should ideally be used the majority of the school day
5.Cooperative learning is here to stay.