Work collaboration in an on-line computer supported environment

Year: 2004

Author: Wong, Angela, Divaharan, Shanti, Liu, Woon Chia, Peer, Jarina, Quek, Choon Lang

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In Singapore schools, Project Work (PW) is implemented in grades 3 - 5,7 - 9 and 11. The purpose is to help students develop thinking skills, communication, collaborative learning, self-directed inquiry and life-long learning skills. When PW was first implemented, teachers were provided detailed guidelines and resource packages to help them get started. After that period, teachers were expected to design authentic project tasks independently. They would therefore have to schedule and hold numerous face-to-face discussions with their colleagues to discuss the requirement, scope and depth of each project task. This was still manageable if all of them are in the same school. However, with an increasing number of inter-school collaborations, such face-to-face meetings became more difficult to schedule. This is where technology could be deployed to help teachers hold such discussions more effectively. This paper reports how a group of high school teachers from different disciplines and schools used the Knowledge Community (KC)e-learning platform to collaboratively design project tasks for their students. The activities they engaged in and the feedback obtained from focused group discussions will be shared. Suggestions and the feasibility of adopting such an online learning approach for PW in schools will also be discussed.