Encourage Collaborative Learning through Study Projects

Gene Richardson


The goal of this paper is to provide a computer supported model of a specific project-based collaborative learning environment. The environment stimulates intensive collaborative knowledge construction by students during study projects due to maximization of the number of interactions inside collaborative groups and the presence of a special schedule for performance of project tasks. The Intelligent Tool provides computer support of the model. The tool dynamically forms project-based collaborative learning environment by means of dynamic co-ordination between building of the temporal sequence of groups of project tasks and assigning of collaborative group students for performance of the tasks. Such formation of the environment provides adaptation to dynamically changing project task characteristics and personal knowledge. The tool assists an instructor in evaluation of the outcomes of the collaboration among the students and in measuring course learning efficiency of each student. An opportunity for adaptive computer-mediated management of project-based collaborative learning emerges.

Comprehension of Wiki from the Perspective of Systems

Branson Kane & Matthias Graham


Clearly delineating the border between the social system (the wiki) and the cognitive systems (the users) is crucial for understanding how collaborative knowledge building works. What is happening when people work mutually on one common artefact, thereby introducing their knowledge to the community and building new knowledge collaboratively?

In this paper, two processes are proposed as the basis for the crossing of the border between the social and the cognitive system: we refer to these processes as externalization and internalization respectively.

How is the system of Visual Monitoring Conduct Supportive?

Alexander Brown


Americans spend upwards of 90% of each day in buildings that account for two-thirds of electricity usage. Because the supply of smart buildings will take time to catch up with demand, efforts are sought to develop informed and educated people to live and work in these “dumb” buildings. Additionally, energy efficiency alone may be inadequate to achieve major reduction in carbon emissions (Darby, 2006). Finding ways to intentionally change the lifestyle behavior in a household should have significant implications in reducing environmental impacts as fossil energy use in resident homes is directly related to the exploitation of natural resources and a leading cause of air pollution and global warming (Poortinga, p 71). This paper attempts to understand how visual monitoring systems can be used by communities to assist in identifying and modifying collective and individual behaviors that result in reduced energy use. Specifically, the paper is a case study of a community of undergraduates on a Midwestern US college campus who have experience with three types of equipment that monitor and display information regarding energy use. Understanding user experience within the Campus Resource Monitoring system at Oberlin College in Ohio, this study explores intentional lifestyle modification for sustainable behavior through the use of technology, complemented by competition and educational programming. The findings are threefold. First, the prime motivating factor for participation in the contest was not a prize, as might be expected, but maintaining social networks. Second, the technology prompted the students to be more concerned about their direct personal impact rather than their aggregate energy use. Third, several students replied that the technology influenced them to self-reflect, and in so doing, they changed their ideas about what it means to be an environmentalist.

Learning on the front lines for Warrior Students

Kole Barr


This paper offers a detailed account of the challenges encountered during the implementation of a unique distance learning program which provides graduate courses to active duty military students serving onboard combative ships. The paper begins by providing an overview of the distance learning technology which makes it possible to provide live classes simultaneously to students who are on board ships located in multiple time zones up to thirteen hours away from the professor teaching the class. Despite the advancements in this distance learning method, there remain several challenges for both the students and the professor participating in this distinctive program. To that end, five specific challenges are explored. These challenges include: classroom conditions onboard the ship, conflicting priorities, security restrictions, multi-time zone scheduling, and student isolation. Lastly, commentary is provided which contemplates the future of distance learning programs to “warrior students” on the open seas.