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Comparing Communities of Learning:

Incoming Bachelor Students & Working Professionals

Martin Rehm, Bas Giesbers, Bart Rienties (Maastricht University)


S-ICT 2009, Amsterdam
Wednesday, 16th of December 2009
New Educational Challenges

• Setting
–Institutions of higher education
• Bachelor – Master structure
• International Students
–Organizations
• ‘Lifelong Learning’
• cost-saving / efficiency
• Learning Methodology
–Acquisition Participation
ICT in Education
Community of Practice
“group of people who share a concern, set of problems
or passion about a topic and who deepen their
knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting
on an ongoing basis” (Wenger, et al., 2002, p.4)

Community of Learning
“engaging in collaborative learning and reflective
practice involved in transformative learning”
(Paloff & Pratt, 2003, p. 17)
Community of Learning (CoL)

• Open dialogue
H1: On average, working professionals will contribute less
often, but more elaborative than regular students

• Level of participation
H2: The level of activity in CoLs will be positively skewed

• Spaces for informal discussions


H3: The amount of informal communication will be higher
for the bachelor cohort
Platform

• Blackboard™
– Hosting ‘static content’

– Asynchronous discussion forums


• practical, real-life task

1. Café Talk
2. Content-driven
Online (Preparatory) Course
“Economics”

N = 82; N = 158;
6 CoLs; 14 CoLs;
members = 13.66; members = 11.29;
age = 19.00; age = 44.73;
50 % female 53.79 % female
--- ---
8 weeks 11 weeks
6 modules 5 modules
Workload: 60-80 hrs. Workload: 60-70 hrs.
40% of Final Grade 50 % of Final Grade
Hypothesis 1: “Open Dialogue”
Hypothesis 2: “Participation”

70,0
35

60,0 30

50,0 25

C o n tr i b u ti o n s
40,0 20
C o n t rib u t io n s

15
30,0

10
20,0

5
10,0

0
0,0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Week
Week

Average Contributions Average Contributions


Hypothesis 3: “Informal Discussions”
Participants Expectations and
Perceptions

• Bachelor students were more eager to


create a positive image of themselves

• Working professionals appear to be


more critical about the quality of the
course
Conclusions

• CoLs provide a valuable learning


enviornment
• Facilitation is of crucial importance
• CoLs ‘work’ across different target
groups

(neo)apprenticeship style learning


Comparing Communities of Learning:
Incoming Bachelor Students & Working Professionals

Martin Rehm, Bas Giesbers, Bart Rienties (Maastricht University)


S-ICT 2009, Amsterdam
Wednesday, 16th of December 2009