Week 3

EDET 674 Week 3 Essential Question: What is the role of discourse, collaboration and technology for distributed learning in online courses?

This century is known as the “Knowledge Age,” which requires learning that emphasizes collaborative discourse, knowledge creation, and use of online communication technologies (Moore, et.al, page 81). Discourse is “conversation mediated through Internet tools, (Nichols, 2009) and collaborative learning are discussions among the whole class, or within smaller groups in an online environment (Brindley, et.al, 2009).

There are three distinct models defined by online learning which all play key roles: Online Collaborative Learning (OCL), Online Distance Education (ODE), and Online Courseware (OC). According to Moore, OCL employs a significant teacher role and an emphasis in student discourse and collaboration. ODE uses a correspondence model of course delivery through a tutor, and OC is based on individualized learning with courseware without any instructor or peer interaction (page 87).

The role of technology in online learning is used to create learning communities among students in new ways (page 86). Online learning through the use of technology will make learning an independent, personal activity.

The role of technology in OCL is to allow learners to work together to identify and advance issues of understanding and apply their new understanding to solve problems (page87). OCL courses may be offered both asynchronously or synchronously. The role of the teacher is to structure the discussions into small or large groups. MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) is another example. “Course topics are offered through a course site developed by facilitators: participants use the site to interact and discuss ideas, share their contributions on their blogs and maintain ties through technologies,” (McAuley, et.al, 2010). Our distance classes are examples of OCL and MOOC. I enjoy collaborating with peers on building our knowledge and actively participating in the learning process.

Online Distance Education is classes offered through correspondence. The content and assignments are emailed and the tutor provides feedback. The use of technology in ODE allows for faster, more efficient delivery of course material and tutor feedback (page 88). I took a correspondence class before. All the material was mailed to me, and upon completion, I e-mailed all assignments back and was provided feedback in a timely manner.

Online Courseware, which can also be referred to as Online Computer-based Training, is using the Web to access content online. The content is self-paced, which means the content only moves forward when a module is completed. Post-tests are taken to assess understanding after each unit. If the student fails, remediation is applied and the student has to retake the test before moving forward (page 89). The technology used assesses student understanding and provides immediate feedback. I’ve taken OC through my work. When it’s completed, I get a certificate.

“OCL theory provides a model of learning in which students are encouraged and supported to work together to create knowledge: to intent, to explore ways to innovate, and to seek the conceptual knowledge needed to solve problems…” (page 89).


Brindley, J., Walti, C., & Blashke, L. (2009, June). Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an … Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/675/1271

McAuley, A., Stuart, B., Siemens, G., & Cormier, D. (2011). The MOOC Model for Digital Practice. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://www.edukwest.com/edumooc-2011-and-blended-learning/mooc_final/

Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2012). Distance education: A systems view of online learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Nicholson, M. (2009, May). Online Discourse. Retrieved September 20, 2016.


One thought on “Week 3

  1. Teresa

    Hi Genevieve,
    You mentioned that, “Online learning through the use of technology will make learning an independent, personal activity.” I think that’s a huge statement. I think with technology, learning has become much more personalized and possibly in that way, more meaningful to the learner. People feel more a part of the community because more personalized work was put into the development of the learning – if that makes sense.

    You also mentioned OCL courses may be offered both asynchronously or synchronously. I’ve taken both types of courses and do believe there are pluses and minuses to each. With the availability of these different types of coarsest opens up access to more people everywhere.


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