02 SES 09 A, Collaborative Learning And Training In SMEs
Parallel Paper Session
Whilst educational technology has been adopted for use in large enterprises, research suggests there is little use of ICT for learning in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) (Attwell, 2007). One reason for this may be the limited provision of Continuing Professional Training opportunities in SMEs. Yet SMEs are seen as critical for economic growth and the creation of employment and rapid technological change and changes in materials, ecological and quality requirements and changes in the organisation of work require the development and deployment of new competences.
Through a European Commission funded Transfer of Innovation project, 'Webquest 2.0 for HTM', the authors have adopted the Webquest 2.0 approach trialled before for langaige learning (Perifanou and Mikros, 2009) to the context of Continuing Professional Development in SMEs.
The name ‘webquest’ is comprised of two parts: a) ‘Web’ – to indicate that the World Wide Web is used as the primary resource in applying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information, and b) ‘Quest’ – to indicate that a question is presented within the webquest, which encourages learners to search for new meaning and deeper understanding (Pelliccione L. and Craggs G.J., 2007).
Webquest 2.0 activities take advantage of the possibilities that current Web 2.0 technologies offer and are based on a revised Webquest 2.0 framework created for educators and trainers. “A Webquest 2.0 is an inquiry–oriented activity that takes place in a Web 2.0–enhanced, social and interactive open learning environment, in which the learner can create his or her own learning paths choosing different tools and the on line resources needed for the completion of the Webquest 2.0” (Perifanou, 2011).
The aim is to develop effective, complex, authentic learning and training environments. Trainers should be able to design and develop their own content and generate learning materials that can help their trainees and can also be shared with others.
The development of the Webquest 2.0 approach is based on the Collaborative Blended Learning Model (CBLM) (Perifanou, 2012). There are four key elements to the model. Firstly the model is based on the idea that Webquest 2.0 activities can be undertaken face to face, in a blended model of face-to-face and online learning, or purely on line. Secondly it is based on a mix of individual and small group activities which collectively allow participants to explore a larger question or theme. Thirdly the Webquest 2.0 should generate outcomes which can form an organisational learning resource for a community of practice beyond the initial learning activities. Finally the Webquests 2.0 are based on a seven-stage model – Learning Circles - which both scaffolds learning and provides templates for trainers to create Webquests.
The model and the Webquests 2.0 are being piloted with SMEs in Poland, the UK and Sweden.
Attwell, G. (2007) Searching, Lurking and the Zone of Proximinal Development: e-learning in Small and Medium Enterprises, Vienna: Navreme Pelliccione, D. L., & Craggs, G. J. (2007). WebQuests: an online learning strategy to promote cooperative learning and higher-level thinking. Paper presented at AARE Conference, 2007. Perifanou, M. A., & Mikros, G. K., 2009. ‘Italswebquest’: a wiki as a platform of collaborative blended language learning and a course management system. International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, 5 (3-4), 273-288. doi: 10.1504/IJKL.2009. Retrieved from: http://inderscience.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,6,12;journal,5,21;linkingpublicationresults,1:112926,1 Perifanou M. (2011) Web 2.0 - New era of Internet tools in learning and teaching Italian as a foreign language - WebQuest 2.0 activities and Collaborative Blended Learning Model. Proposals of blended learning. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Athens.
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