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Preparing students for online group work in distance education
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Lisa SoonLisa Soon, M Sarrafzadeh
E-learning technologies such as Web-CT, Blackboard, Moodle and Sakai are the common learning management systems used in teaching these days. Using technology to support group work is a more recent practice than using it for teaching material delivery. Research in preparing students to use technology for online group work especially in distance education is limited. This research is a case study that investigates how students could be prepared for their use of e-learning such as the features of learning management system (Sakai) tools for group work in a subject entitled “Information Management in Organizations” offered at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Students were grouped together to work online with team members geographically distributed worldwide. Students used communication and storage of documents tools. Students progressively develop their assignment in Wiki. Interviews, observation, documentations, and anonymous web-based evaluations were used to investigate their group work experience. Student perceived a wide range of factors related to their experiences of online group assessment such as their experience using technologies, working with students from a different country and the challenges that they face in using the features of tools for group assignment are discussed. The research highlights the importance of preparing students in their learning environment using technology to support their distance education group work.