Quality Considerations In Collaborative Pathway Toward Learning Education Essay

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"Awareness is Authority" is not only appropriate and correct but also put up with it an ocean of wisdom and meanings. The awareness is headed toward learning and its rout to knowledge. It is the knowledge that had been considered for the human beings, as a symbol of superiority over the angles and what so ever is there in the heavens and the earths, to be the best creation of the GOD. Knowledge is the supreme category of data and the refined form of learning.

The study is an attempt to explore and describes the current challenges of quality management in new learning environment. The emergence of innovative technologies like Multimedia in learning environment poses great challenges to level of learning, mainly because the way it has been designed, in many cases, does not fit with supporting competence and proficient aptitude development. Rather, it facilitates the simple transfer of knowledge. Two different modes of learning environments are differentiated and described: the distributive and the collaborative learning modes. It is argued that the collaborative mode holds more potential for competence and proficient aptitude development rather than the distributive mode, especially with reference to the Pakistani educational learning environment.

Keywords: Quality Management, New Learning Environment, Innovative Technology, Multimedia, Competence, Proficient Aptitude

INTRODUCTION:

Connectedness

Understanding

Relations

Knowledge

Information

Awareness

Principles

Patterns

Perception

Wisdom (Learning)

DataHuman being sanctified with senses through the organs namely Ear, Eyes, Skin, Tongue, and Nose. These God gifted senses have led the human being to set his journey from perception [3] to awareness, also heading towards education that formed its rout to knowledge and to conclude with the learning level. The figure-1 shows the structure of learning formation.[9]

Figure 1. Steps to formation of Learning

The ever-inquisitive nature of the reformers, thinkers, philosophers and scientists made learning to evolve in various forms i.e. learning by heart (Verbal Learning), Learning through writing on stones, Leaves & Leather etc. to the printing and later on to Vocal (Radio), Vision (TV) and different other styles of learning up to the current form termed as new media.

There is more than one type of learning. A committee of colleges, led by Benjamin Bloom [3], identified three domains of educational activities: Cognitive: mental skills, Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas, and Psychomotor: manual or physical skills. The cognitive domain involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. This includes the recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. The affective domain includes the manner in which we deal with things emotionally, such as feelings, values, appreciation, enthusiasms, motivations, and attitudes. The psychomotor domain includes physical movement, coordination, and use of the motor-skill areas. The combination of the Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor learning led towards the development of proficient aptitude for success, which is in short the competence of the person. Competences become visible through an individual's performance of an action as a response to a specific situational context.

TECHNOLOGY & METHODOLOGY:

The research under consideration focuses on the sector of Technological Learning in higher education and suggests that today's challenges in Technological Learning in higher education lie in the development of competencies. The next section defines concepts and gives background for the field of competence development. In the section after that the challenges of achieving competence development through Technological Learning are delineated. Then a section suggests a shift from a distributive to a collaborative mode of Technological Learning with the Computer Supported Methodologies as a approach to facilitate competence development. To underline the fundamental differences in both approaches (distributive and collaborative). The shift from Technological Learning in a distributive way to Technological Learning in a collaborative way is proposed as a concept which makes the difference. The next section identifies the main actors involved in the Technological Learning environment. In parallel the effects and contributions in the development of excellence in competence can also be addressed. The final section summarizes the main aspect of the article and concludes that more research on individual competence development processes through Technological Learning is needed.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS:

The concept of "competence" is a concept which defined and perceived in various dimensions. Within the systematic contest different hypothetical perceptions of competence can be identified. Competence is a roughly specialized system of abilities, proficiencies, or individual dispositions to learn something successfully, to do something successfully, or to reach a specific goal. This can be applied to an individual, a group of individuals, or an institution. This definition of competence leads towards the system of human personality, nature and spirit, which are the fundamentals for the construction and development of consequential behavior and activities through practical experience and learning processes.

Competence is defined as the ability to act within a given context in a responsible and adequate way, while integrating complex knowledge, skills and attitudes [4]. It expresses that the application of competences always has to take part in a specific situation, and that these actions are influence through knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Attitudes in turn are shaped through values, motives, and experiences of a person.

Competence Development in Technological Learning Environment:

Most of the Technological Learning environments in higher education are following the paradigm of distribution rather then collaboration and in doing so merely facilitate the logistics of learning material supply [5]. These kinds of learning environments have their strength especially in the support of information and presentation which support the gain of methodological and subject matter knowledge and job-related qualifications [5]. Modern employability, on the other hand, demands job-related action competence and stresses apart from special/ subject matter competences also personal, activity related and socio-communicative competences which are routed in rules, values, and norms. If and how technology enhanced learning environments can be used for the development of such action competences is especially in relation to the described contradiction still open and subject to the theme debated in this article.

One clue how Technological Learning has to be organized can be taken from step-by-step concept of competence development [6]. Figure-2 represents an adaptation of the knowledge concept of North [6]. It shows that competence development builds on practical application, motivation and the ability to assess actions against existing standards.

Figure 2. Steps to professional competence

The concept shows the interrelation between knowledge, skills, and action. In the first step information is connected and on the second step they are applied and result in abilities. This is transformed in activity through motivation and determination. Competence, however demands evaluation if the performed activity is suitable in a given context. For this, an individual needs standards then lead beyond the concept of competence to professionalism. The last three steps activity, competence, and professionalism are seen as difficult to be realized through Technological Learning [7]. He suggested that Technological Learning has great difficulties in creating experience-related and value-oriented learning opportunities.

Having successfully coped with such a situation, the interiorization of new values takes place. In interiorization the Technological Learning can become a full scale alternative to competence based face-to- face learning environments in which not only subject mater knowledge can be distributed but also action competence acquired, and experiences made and expertise learned [8]. E-learning can then make the difference. Interiorization thus means the acquisition of rules, values and norms under the influence of individual emotions and motivations.

Learners have to interact in problem-oriented scenarios in groups, and confront their own values, solutions, and situations with those of other individuals and groups. Collaboration, labialization, and irritation are therefore the basis for competence oriented e-learning [7].

Shifting the Technological Learning Mode to Collaboration:

However, the shift from a distributive mode of Technological Learning to a collaborative mode of Technological Learning, from a knowledge transfer model to a competence development approach, opens not only the opportunity to make the difference but also poses great challenges to the planning, organization and provision of Modern learning. The ever growing demand for a competence oriented educational process and the use of Technological Learning models, which hardly are made to stimulate competence development, can be seen as a basic contradiction in the field Technological Learning, since its introduction. On the one hand the use of Technological Learning in higher education is growing and growing, on the other hand many of the presently implemented models of Technological Learning are often unable to support the development of individual competencies because they use Technological Learning in a simple distributive model to facilitate the logistics of Technological Learning material transfer. Table-1 compares the distinctive characteristics of Distributed Technological Learning and Collaborative Technological Learning

Distributed Technological Learning

Collaborative Technological Learning

Awareness, Knowledge

Aptitude, Competence

Technology Used for Presentation, Distribution and information transfer

Technology Used for Collaboration, Association and Communication

Learner focus on acquisition of information

Learner focus on Participation and Contribution of information sharing

Teacher focus on Teaching, demonstrating and representing

Teacher focus on Collaboration and Cooperation in interactive exercises

Interaction based on information transfer and transmission mode

Interaction based on perception and experience sharing

Assessment Based on Knowledge reproduction tests

Assessment Based on Performance and evidence based assessment

Table-1: Focus of Characteristics of Distributed and Collaborative Technological Learning systems

Shifting the mode in Technological Learning makes a difference. It helps to use Technological Learning to support the development of competences and leads to changes in at least three ways:

It enables Technological Learning to not just replicate what is going on in traditional classrooms settings but to use technology to enhance the existing learning opportunities by creating new forms of access and by connecting people and resources in form of collaborative networks.

It has an individual dimension which addresses the needs of individuals to develop competencies for taking part in an emerging learning society.

It has an organization dimension. Educational organizations need to change and to open their rigid traditions of time-pattern oriented, and hierarchically structured knowledge transfer if they want to enter into a knowledge co-construction process with their learners.

Working together as a collaborative team, however, is challenging for most students. Collaboration is a dynamic, social process that goes well beyond coordination of separate efforts [9]. It is shared awareness and understanding as new ideas or products are constructed through interactions with others. Social solidarity and joint responsibility for reaching group goals must be emphasized. Active participation and student-to-student support are also part of the process. Such activity can result in a major shift in student values and attitudes towards learning [10].

To accomplish collaborative learning with technology, new metaphors for teaching - e.g. teaching as choreography or teaching as maneuvering - must emerge as teachers focus more on structuring the learning and social environment to encourage active participation and group self-reliance in completing team work. More individual work needs to be done and technologies to support work flow and document creation, sharing, editing and annotating are needed. A seamless set of technologies to support groups through the collaborative project is desirable.

Three categories of issues concerned with collaborative projects are central to the success of team learning with technology: group dynamics, which is of central importance to the development of group cohesion, cooperation and effective work; pedagogic issues including the changing roles of faculty to support this type of learning; and administrative issues concerned with supporting, regulating and assessing students' collaborative work.[11].

Technology can play an integral part in supporting each of these areas. For example; e-mail, video-conferencing and real-time audio exchange can help support group development, particularly when groups are working in distributed settings. Technology can also provide an electronic record of team activity or support other group processes such as brainstorming and consensus-building, wiring and editing, document versioning etc. Administratively, technology is crucial in facilitating the coordination. Planning and controlling schedules for work delivery is also made easier with the support of technology.

All the examples will point to several important issues regarding the use of technology in collaborative learning:

Technologies can be used to develop students with different learning styles.

There are many paradigms for teaching and learning with technology.

The same tools that offer collaboration can also enhance individual learning.

The lines between synchronous and asynchronous learning begins to fade as faculty and students gain experience with these tools.

Emerging technologies such as wireless computing and intelligent systems will continue to push the edge of how we can use technology for collaborative learning.

The movement towards student-centered learning becomes a natural extension of these tools.

The new teaching and learning paradigms will not only change the way that students learn, but will ask faculty to continually assess the way they teach. Some of the issues and challenges associated with Collaborative Technological Learning are as follows:

In the Collaborative Technological Learning environment the instructor/trainer is required to have knowledge of both course content and delivery technologies. As all instructors/trainers don't have the skills and experience to effectively do so. Instructor's issues also relate to how to keep track of learners progress, how to rate the overall learning and how to assess Learning. Instructor concerns for Collaborative Technological Learning course delivery

Assessing group/individual performance in an Collaborative Learning Environment

Added time requirements to develop content and setup in the interactive environment

Copyright issues

Learning to use software and updates

Developing meaningful assessment techniques

Structuring interactive assignments and providing clear and explicit instructions

Course revisions for both content and delivery technologies

Courses delivered through Collaborative Technological Learning should ensure quality issues relating to the content to be delivered, mode of delivery, which tools/platforms to be used, maintaining learner's interest in the course and overcoming technological constraints like bandwidth problem in internet using.

Quality concerns in Collaborative Technological Learning course delivery;

Adequate infrastructure and technical support

Instructor training

Adequate development and preparation time

Organization and Construction of learning activities (assignments, case studies, discussions topics) specifically for the Collaborative Learning Environment

Structure assessment and exams for the Collaborative Learning

Prompt feedback by the instructor and learners

Clearly articulated directives for assignments, projects, etc

SUMMERY AND CONCLUSIONS:

The article describes that the current challenge for Technological Learning by using Collaborative techniques in higher education is to support competence development. This poses great challenges to Technological Learning in higher education because the way it has been used in any cases so far is not designed to support competence development but rather facilitate mere knowledge transfer. Two different modes of Technological Learning organization are differentiated and described: the distributive and the collaborative Technological Learning mode. It is argued that the collaborative mode stimulates more potential for competence development rather than the distributive mode. To underline the different contributors, contributions and their concerning issues to achieve the excellence in collaborative learning through efficient and effective use of technology.

The article shows the conceptual connections between Leaning and Competence development and suggests the collaborative mode of Technological Learning as a model to stimulate competence development in higher education. However, not enough research has been done in this field; especially not enough empirical evidence has been acquired to show how individuals develop competences through collaborative processes in Technological Learning, and how teachers can facilitate this process. The individual competence development process within a collaborative learning environment between the different actors, like teachers and other learners, should therefore be subject to further analysis. The shift from distributive to collaborative learning is not only a question of pedagogical design but also of organizational processes, a culture of sharing and collaboration within an organization therefore has to be facilitated along with its introduction.

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