Diverse Practices; Common Futures

Is it necessary to assess it?

Picture of Liz Bennett Organization: University Of Huddersfield   
Name: Liz Bennett   
Location: QA138   
Date: 21 Jun 2006   
Time: 10:00   
Code: A4   
Email: e.bennett@hud.ac.uk   

Full Title: Is it necessary to assess it? Online learning and communities of practice.   
Abstract: This paper reports on how ideas of Communities of Practice (Wenger 1998) have informed the design of a blended learning master programme. Software dialogue tools delivered through a VLE (virtual learning environment) including synchronous chat, discussion forum were used.

Student activities including online collaborative product and a forum for providing mutual support and sharing of expertise were evaluated. These activities were found to form a valuable part of the students’ experiences on the programme.

Although research has demonstrated the importance of linking assessment to online activities (MacDonald and Twining, 2002) this case study has shown that in a blended learning situation the social aspects of learning can be used to motivate students to participate in online activities. 

Biography: Liz Bennett is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield where she is the course leader of an MSc in Multimedia and Elearning. Previously she worked at the Open University where she was involved in developing online courses (Computing with Confidence: Learning Online and You, Your Cometer and the Net). She is committed to making elearning a successful and fulfilling way of delivering learning. Her research interests are in applying Wenger’s ideas of Communities of Practice to elearning.   
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