Edev_502 response wk8_7

Thanks for the clarification. I can see readily how being together in the same physical or online space doesn’t necessarily engender collaboration. Zhao et al.’s (Zhao, Sullivan, & Mellenius, 2013) categorisation of online activity into collaboration, interaction and participation (p. 817) offers a good conceptual map of how firstly to view online activity and then how to encourage deeper and more collaborative interaction. It doesn’t distinguish between ‘collaboration’ and ‘cooperation’, but this is a minor quibble in an otherwise excellent resource. Zhao et al. also list Murphy’s (2004) six-process models for collaboration. An analysis of how we interact in this forum against Murphy’s model would be instructive.

The Barlow article (Barlow, Mccrory, & Blessing, 2013) contains good evidence for the social reproduction of pedagogic methods over direct instruction in alternate ways during teacher training. This will be the topic of next week’s discussion, but here it has relevance in that teachers themselves can reflect on the constructs of their own teaching identity and how their beliefs may have been shaped at critical junctures in their own learning careers. I have a worry, though, that standardised teaching may reduce the effectiveness of some individual students’ development. This pamphlet by Columbia University (Columbia University, 2013) summarises the pros and cons of standardised testing (not teaching per se), and an analysis of the items shows that the advantages typically centre on management of education whereas some disadvantages deal with learning issues.


Barlow, A. T., Mccrory, M. R., & Blessing, S. (2013). Classroom Observations and Reflections: Using Online Streaming Video as a Tool for Overcoming Barriers and Engaging in Critical Thinking. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, 1(4), 238–258.

Columbia University. (2013). Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing. Retrieved from http://worklife.columbia.edu/files_worklife/public/Pros_and_Cons_of_Standardized_Testing_1.pdf

Zhao, H., Sullivan, K. P. H., & Mellenius, I. (2013). Participation, interaction and social presence: An exploratory study of collaboration in online peer review groups. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(5), 807–819. doi:10.1111/bjet.12094

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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