The next four articles are the result of the research and study of the Theory of Cooperative Freedom for the course “Processos Pedagógicos em eLearning”. The analysis associated with witch article reflects my learning outcomes for this course activity.
1. Paulsen, Morten Flate. “The Hexagon Of Cooperative Freedom: A Distance Education Theory Attunedto Computer Conferencing.” The DistanceEducation Online Symposium DEOSNEWS, 1993, Vol. 3 No. 2 edition. http://www.nettskolen.com/forskning/21/hexagon.html.
The Theory of Cooperative Freedom was published as an article, in 1992, by Morten Flate Paulse who presented as a “theory of autonomy and independence” to support distance education. In this first approach, the author defends that students should decide the level of autonomy they want for their educational progress, because “distance students need cooperation as well as freedom.” The main goal of this theory is to develop “distance education system that combines freedom for the individual with group cooperation”. He defends that the term freedom must be contextualized in the “Hexagon of Cooperative Freedom”, giving flexibility for students personal learning progress. The Hexagon off cooperative freedom is based in six vectors: time, space, pace, medium, access, and content. This vectors combined allow us to understand how much conditions a student faces for developing a feeling of belonging in, or out, a group activity. Paulsen vision for the developing of new approach and framework for distance education is well expressed in the conclusion of the article: “Future adult students will seek individual flexibility and freedom. At the same time, they need group collaboration and social unity. Computer-conferencing, when integrated with other media, can be the means of joining freedom and unity into truly flexible, cooperative distance education programs.”
2. Paulsen, Morten Flate. “Cooperative Online Education.” Seminar.net. http://www.seminar.net/index.php/volume-4-issue-2-2008-previousissuesmeny-124/100-cooperative-online-education.
This second article shows a development of ideas in Theory of Cooperative Freedom presented in the first article. One of the first things to stand out in the article is the conceptualization of learning styles: individual learning, collaborative learning and cooperative learning. Although there is some mismatch with other authors, Morten Flate Paulse defends that “Collaborative learning requires participation in a learning community, but limits individual flexibility. One may say that collaborative learning requires that students sink or swim together” and “Cooperative learning focuses on opportunities to encourage both individual flexibility and affinity to a learning community. Cooperative learning seeks to foster some benefits from individual freedom and other benefits from cooperation in online learning communities.” With these well defined concepts, the importance of cooperation within a learning community is enhanced as one vital factor for students engagement in online courses. For Paulsen “cooperation should be voluntary, but attractive and appealing” allowing students “to be visible as potential partners and resources for others”. These ideas have been applied in the NKI’s Cooperative Philosophy for Online Learning that “facilitates individual freedom within a learning community in which online students serve as mutual resources without being dependent on each other”. But the evaluation of this educational approach was been a challenge for NKI, that was been developing tools such “forms of questionnaires and evaluation forms” and “ermed quality barometer, which continuously records evaluation data and presents dynamic reports on important indicators of quality”. In the article are also showed strategies for assessment, social networking and asynchronous communication. This efforts form NKI are been well received by the students, that expressed themselves throw surveys responses, allowing NKI administrators to conclude that “cooperative learning philosophy and incremental development of cooperative tools and services has been received positively by the respondents.”
3. Slaatto, Torhild, e Paulsen, Morten Flate. “Learning partner - opportunities for cooperation in distance learning.” elearningeuropa.info, Outubro 5, 2006. http://www.elearningeuropa.info/directory/index.php?page=doc&doc_id=8294&doclng=6.
In this short article, it is showed the learning philosophy at NKI (Norwegian Knowledge Institute) Distance Education, a “non-governmental educational institution based in Norway, operating in both traditional distance education and large-scale integration of technology into distance education”. With a long experience in distance education, the NKI was been developing a framework for online education based on the Theory of Cooperative Freedom, that supports “individual freedom within a learning community in which online students serve as mutual resources without being dependent on each other”. This approach was been developed in NKI online courses, with the support of self develop LMS that allows students to chose their learning plans and decide how much they want to participate in the learning community. With this new service, NKI expects “that student satisfaction will improve and, eventually, it will also contribute to increased enrolment”. The article also shows examples of two students experiences that illustrates different contexts of user interaction within the community.
4. Dalsgaard, Christian, e Morten Flate Paulsen. “Transparency in Cooperative Online Education.” Text.Serial.Journal, Junho 26, 2009. http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/viewArticle/671/1267.
This article has a very interesting starting point: What is the potential of social networking within cooperative online education? In an educational system that “seeks to develop virtual learning environments that allow students to have optimal individual freedom within online learning communities” how can it be possible to integrate the characteristics of social networking? The used approach is to promote transparency between students. The term transparency is described as the ability for “students’ and teachers’ insight into each other’s activities and resources. Transparency means that you and your doings are visible to fellow students and teachers within a learning environment”. That approach has been developed by the implementation of personal pages that “provides opportunities for personalization; the individual can choose the look and content of the page” much as what social networking services, like Facebook, provides. This is not only useful for the students itself but also for other students that may want to “connected to other personal pages of other individuals” “through subscriptions and notifications” allowing Socialization. This socialization between students promotes cooperative learning, as it’s showed in the conclusions of the article: “In the perspective of the theory of cooperative freedom, the special kind of communication and interaction afforded by social networking sites is interesting and has pedagogical potential. The potential of social networking lies within transparency and the ability to create awareness among students.”