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Towards Technology for Supporting Effective Online Learning Groups

TitleTowards Technology for Supporting Effective Online Learning Groups
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMayende, G, Andreas, P, Muyinda, PBirevu, Norbert, IGhislain M
Book TitleInteractive Mobile Communication and Learning
Abstract

Group learning has been advocated for increasing active learning among distance learners. However, there is limited understanding on how to engage learners in online courses. Following the design science methodology, we iteratively developed guiding factors for supporting effective online learning groups. The factors for effective online learning groups cover five key dimensions, namely institutional policies, institutional technology, group activity, group composition, and facilitation. The factors are validated through repetitive evaluation using authentic online learning courses, as well as using a focus group discussion with experienced online facilitators. This way, the factors provide pedagogical and technological guidelines for introducing online course groups. Moreover, they give requirements for online learning systems supporting effective online learning groups.