Barriers to success in two collaborative e-learning projects
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Two collaborative e-learning projects using cloud-based productivity tools were undertaken in a large first year commoncore business information systems and information technology course at an Australian University. The first project involved collaborative synchronous and asynchronous annotation of lecture slides, and the second project involved collaborative synchronous and asynchronous summarizing of course materials. Participation was optional and very low (less than 3 percent of approximately 600 students) and active participation was even lower. Results indicate that studentsare reluctant to engage in collaborative learning behaviors. Many are not keen to use Web 2.0 tools for learning and may not value peer-generated content, preferring traditional instructor-led approaches and tools instead. It was observed that students do not tend to study incrementally, but rather in preparation for exams, which is a barrier to collaborative participation over the course of a semester. There were also concerns from active contributors about lurkers benefitting from their efforts.
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