• Maria Hartman Nielsen
  • Bethina Kuhr
4. term, Information Science, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis is about the intention of initiating and setting up a learning environment in a Google+ Communities for supporting learning, collaboration, competence development and sharing of knowledge in a group of teachers in a learning institution. The goal is through this CSCL-system created in Google+ to help the teachers implement blended learning activities in their everyday teaching. This is to overcome an emerging challenge of taking the step further from when teachers are being presented to Blended learning activities in seminars or workshops to actually using them in the teaching of students. This can happen in the follow-up development activity in the online discussion forum in Google+. The research revolve around investigating in what kind of setting and what kind of social and work culture such a follow-up development system can be implemented. Our collaboration with the education and the teachers also concerns a process including two workshops, which we draw into our research, when understanding our process and collaboration with the education. In working with this particular problem we take on a viewpoint that can be described as retrospective, because we elaborate on the process, wherein the system should have been taken into use.
In this thesis our standpoint of philosophy of science is social constructivism, which is a sociological theory of knowledge and where we take our point of departure in understanding our data and in the creation of knowledge. In the thesis we also draw upon action research which lets us turn knowledge into action in a democratic process with the participants. Other theory used is Community of Practise, which we use in terms of understanding how knowledge can be created and shared among teachers and affect the individuals professional skill development. Learning theories on adult learning and workplace learning from Illeris is included in understanding the circumstances in which the teachers learn and work and what it means to their motivation in participating in the Google+ Community. Data is collected through interviews and our own description of the collaboration process.
It has come to our knowledge partly through working with this thesis, that the first steps concerning implementation of such a system depends on many conditions and circumstances which influents the success of initiating such a medium with the purpose already mentioned. User’s readiness, motivation for learning, workload and other preconditions is of significant importance to consider, when taking the system into use. When looking back on our collaboration process with the education we find that the working conditions due partly to economic cutbacks and very high expectations to the outcome of our collaboration with the education manager, plays a role in understanding how the online discussion forum in Google+ Communities did not fully succeed as planned. The outcome of this research is of great value to our further work in implementing systems for supporting learning, collaboration, competence development and the sharing of knowledge in educational context and we hope it will be useful to others working with similar issues.
Publication date30 May 2013
Number of pages121
External collaboratorUniversity College of Northern Denmark
Hans Jørgen Staugaard hj@ucn
Information group
ID: 76966333