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This paper describes how the Computing Department of the Open University uses the Internet for collaborative learning in a distributed educational process. Their research has been to see the extent to which traditional communications media can be replaced by electronic communication for the whole educational process and in...
This paper describes how the Computing Department of the Open University uses the Internet for collaborative learning in a distributed educational process. Their research has been to see the extent to which traditional communications media can be replaced by electronic communication for the whole educational process and in particular to assess the role of collaborative learning in a distributed education environment. The paper sets in context what constitutes a distributed learning environment and examines whether collaborative learning can be supported in this environment and what form the collaborative learning embodies. The authors report briefly on a set of trials and pilot studies were tuition through collaboration is practiced. The model they have developed provides a collaborative environment in a way that is not normally available in a conventional setting. They have found that a distributed educational process naturally supports collaborative learning environments in which students and tutors interact and provide essential support for students studying at a distance. They have found that tutor?s feedback to students has improved and that tutors are happy to work in the new environment.