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Collaborative knowledge building in an Omani teacher-training class: Lessons learned

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Abstract:

The call for constructivist-based education as a tool for building knowledge societies has been sounded in classrooms around the world. However, the ways in which students, teachers, and institutions of various learning cultures react to constructivist pedagogies are varied and complex and are worth further investigation. In an attempt to prepare students for work within an Omani knowledge society, we introduced a collaborative knowledge-building environment based on the principles of Brown and Campione’s Fostering Communities of Learners in a teacher-training technology course in Oman. As part of a larger educational design research study exploring the reactions of students to the innovative pedagogy, we also sought to discover the characteristics of computer-supported collaborative learning environments that are essential for long-term sustainability of the course design.

As part of the educational design research study, we collaborated over the course of three semesters, gathering data through various mixed methods to iteratively refine the course. The first two semesters were taught by an American researcher, and the third by an Omani professor. From the data gathered, design principles have been developed for introducing collaboration and knowledge-building into courses in similar settings, such as in teacher-training courses across the Arabian Peninsula. Among the most salient issues to be discussed are how Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning environments, such as Moodle and FLE4, were used to support culturally appropriate male-female student collaboration and the sharing of ideas. Issues of available online technologies, student motivation, and aligning student-teacher expectations will also be discussed.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485234_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Porcaro, David. and Al-Musawi, Ali. "Collaborative knowledge building in an Omani teacher-training class: Lessons learned" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485234_index.html>

APA Citation:

Porcaro, D. S. and Al-Musawi, A. , 2011-04-30 "Collaborative knowledge building in an Omani teacher-training class: Lessons learned" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p485234_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The call for constructivist-based education as a tool for building knowledge societies has been sounded in classrooms around the world. However, the ways in which students, teachers, and institutions of various learning cultures react to constructivist pedagogies are varied and complex and are worth further investigation. In an attempt to prepare students for work within an Omani knowledge society, we introduced a collaborative knowledge-building environment based on the principles of Brown and Campione’s Fostering Communities of Learners in a teacher-training technology course in Oman. As part of a larger educational design research study exploring the reactions of students to the innovative pedagogy, we also sought to discover the characteristics of computer-supported collaborative learning environments that are essential for long-term sustainability of the course design.

As part of the educational design research study, we collaborated over the course of three semesters, gathering data through various mixed methods to iteratively refine the course. The first two semesters were taught by an American researcher, and the third by an Omani professor. From the data gathered, design principles have been developed for introducing collaboration and knowledge-building into courses in similar settings, such as in teacher-training courses across the Arabian Peninsula. Among the most salient issues to be discussed are how Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning environments, such as Moodle and FLE4, were used to support culturally appropriate male-female student collaboration and the sharing of ideas. Issues of available online technologies, student motivation, and aligning student-teacher expectations will also be discussed.


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