This article by Rita Cadima, Jordi Ojeda and Josep M. Monguet was published on the online journal Educational Technology & Society, volume 15, issue 4, in 2012.
Social networks play an essential role in learning environments as a key channel for knowledge sharing and students’ support. In distributed learning communities, knowledge sharing does not occur as spontaneously as when a working group shares the same physical space; knowledge sharing depends even more on student informal connections. In this study we analyse two distributed learning communities’ social networks in order to understand how characteristics of the social structure can enhance students’ success and performance. We used a monitoring system for social network data gathering. Results from correlation analyses showed that students’ social network characteristics are related to their performance.
NOVICE is the Network Of Veterinary ICt in Education, an EU funded Project which aims to investigate the use of Web 2.0 tools such as discussion boards in informal lifelong learning. The project has led to the development of a veterinary online community, www.noviceproject.eu.
The project will host a conference entitled 'Insights for online professional communities' on 4th-5th October 2012 at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bucharest, Romania.
The conference aims to bring together members of any profession involved, or wishing to be involved, with their own online professional community. Though the NOVICE website focuses on the veterinary profession and veterinary education, the conference is open to all professions, such as General Practitioners, Medical Educators, Animal Care Assistants, and Pharmacists to name a few.
Abstracts for short communications, poster presentations and workshops are invited before 1st June 2012.
Internet is a social network. It links people, groups of people, organizations, information and applications made by people. When teaching and learning aims to take advantage of the Internet, activities that foster an understanding of the role and impact of social networks become crucial. Both research and hands-on experiments are needed to explore the possibilities the new platforms and practices social networks provide for teaching and learning.
Social networking is definitely not a new phenomenon in the field of teaching and learning. It could be, however, claimed that at some point in history we forgot the importance of social network in the learning process.
In about 387 BC, Plato founded a new school devoted to researching and teaching philosophy and the sciences. In Plato’s Academy the main working practice was dialogue carried out among the participants. An ongoing reflection and evaluation of beliefs was seen to lead to a critical and deeper understanding of the issues. Plato’s Academy was, in effect, a social network capable of carrying out self-correcting inquiry.
For decades, various methods have been applied in educational research to analyse and study the social networks and social dynamics of educational institutions. The majority of these studies have been undertaken at a classroom or school level. Today, with new forms of digital social networks and increasing computing power, research on social networks in learning is more exciting than ever before. The possibilities to experiment with social network services — to carryout design-based research, gather quantitative and qualitative data and to do social network analyses or build computer models — are endless. Both in terms of practice and research, we are only now taking the first steps with using social networks in teaching and learning contexts.
The new issue features 6 articles, 2 of them are in depth insights on the topic and the other 4 are examples from the field of the implementation of social networking supporting education. We thank all authors for their high quality submissions.
From the field
European Conference “Competence Modelling for European HR and Policies: Bridging Business, Education, and Training” (COME-HR)
This European Conference "Competence Modelling for European HR and Policies: Bridging Business, Education, and Training" (COME-HR) is focusing new ways and approaches for the vocational training by competence models, ELearning and social communities.
UPDATE: Paper submission deadline: September 25, 2011 (prolonged!) ‐ Notification of acceptance: September 30, 2011
‐ Camera‐Ready copy due: October 7, 2011
The "Competence Modelling for European HR and Policies: Bridging Business, Education, and Training" (COME-HR) 2011 continues the discussion developed at the first four related European conferences in Vilnius (Lithuania), Budapest (Hungary), Bucharest (Romania) and the planned European conference "Innovations in the Environmental Sector" (INES) which will take place in Brussels (Belgium) in September 2011. The eCOTOOL consortium has organized and utilised these previous opportunities, along with national workshops in each of the eCOTOOL partner countries, to raise the awareness of the stakeholders in the agricultural sector, human resource development, and vocational education and training concerning the benefits and implementations of competence modelling in relation with Europass and qualification standards.
The conference is organized together with an experience session on the 10th of November which gives all participants the opportunity to exchange their experiences face-to-face. On the 09th of November 2011, next to the key note speeches, the results of the eCOTOOL project will be presented: The Europass CS eco-tools and the Competence Model supporting a better description and recognition of competences and their online representation which will contribute to European competence standardisation and improve vocational education and training and the mobility within Europe.
Attendance at the European conference "Competence Modelling for European HR and Policies: Bridging Business, Education, and Training" (COME-HR) is free of charge and requires online registration as places are limited.
The HEXTLEARN Network aims at increasing the level of attention of the Higher Education Community
The HEXTLEARN Network aims at increasing the level of attention of the Higher Education Community by
- generating awareness, commitment and networking on quality assurance aspects and strategic integration of ICT in teaching, learning and the innovation of Higher Education;
- promoting mutual understanding and common purposes towards quality assurance and common innovation strategies among the groups active in ICT teaching and training in Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and addressing the different lifelong learning (LLL) subsystems;
- disseminating replicable solutions to help setting up communities at EU level, establishing a community of decision makers in the context of a LLL strategy and to support the modernisation agenda for European organisations of Higher Education from a community of expert peer reviewers able to serve the quality development of ICT use for teaching and learning in HEI.
Over 300 higher education professionals make use of the HEXTLEARN project’s web 2.0 community space (http://hextlearn.eu/) by sharing their experiences. In the framework of the project, good practices on ICT use in Higher education are being discussed online and recommended for peer reviewing. Community members receive tailored news on what is happening now in ICT for Higher Education around Europe while members may establish their own groups to discuss topics of their interest.
The HEXTLEARN network maps the use of ICT by carrying out an extensive research of good practices, analysing the straightness of the different approaches in ICT/eLearning processes in implementing lifelong learning strategy in the educational institutions. Using the good practice contributions, a pool of peer reviewers carry out peer review exercises based on collaboration among experts of the ICT approaches and applications. To date numerous interesting good practices have been uploaded by community members and several Groups were created. Practices in different territories such as the Finnish Virtual University teamed up by 21 Finnish Universities or the University of Ulster’s good practice supporting both on- and off-campus students via ICT indicate that ICT use in Higher Educational Institutions is turning innovation into everyday practice.
During the peer review process international and national face-to-face and online networking actions aim the exchange of information and practices, to foster the communication and the interaction between transversal learning communities. Any institution described by a good practice at the HEXTLEARN online community is eligible for peer review in case it gets rated and recommended by the members of the online community. Peer reviews will be focused on quality aspects of the ICT use in institutional framework: learner services; learning delivery; learning development; teaching capability; evaluation and assessment capacity; accessibility; technical capability and institutional capability.
Extracted from EDEN