In this paper we propose a learning model, The Conversational Learning Community that we have been developing mostly through web-based course activities. We show that the core features of this learning model involve strategies to manage knowledge and enhance user interaction of the world wide web, particularly instructional interactivity. We identify three main types of instructional interactivity: learner-learner, learner-instructor, and learner-resource. We then argue that the most important feature embedded within the Blackboard WebCT platform, an online proprietary virtual learning system, on which we develop our model that can be exploited for achieving interactivity and eventually knowledge construction, is the Discussion forum. As empirical evidence for this argument we present a report of activities from a recently taught course on Language and Information Technology. The report shows that of all the sections within the WebCT platform such as Course Notes, Glossary, Quiz Section, Presentation Forum, etc., the Discussion forum was by far the most patronized by students. We also propose certain facilitative measures that various agents within the Blackboard WebCT platform knowledge management group (as well as other learning platforms), such as technical support staff, can do to enhance the use of online learning tools like Blackboard WebCT for achieving an interactive learning community for knowledge construction such as the Conversational Learning Community that we have developed over the years.
|Keywords:||Interactivity, Conversational Learning Community Blackboard WebCT, Information Communication Technology, Web-based Learning and Teaching|
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Research Assistant, Department of Linguistics, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong