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“A Case Study of Online Collaboration” by Ling Thompson

The main purpose of the article “A CASE STUDY of Online Collaboration” is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such a relatively new phenomenon as distance education and methods of improving it. This article describes the experiment which was conducted on the degree of online collaboration between online students from the point of view of participation, synthesis, dependence, and interdependence.

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The experiment showed that there were conflicts among group members and ineffective communication that are considered to be the main drawbacks of online or distance education.

First, it must be taken into account that this kind of learning is a relatively new one; however, the number of distance education institutions has considerably increased in recent years(Thompson). But what are the reasons for this increase, naturally it must be mentioned that distance education provides a great number of opportunities, for instance, it is more student-oriented in other words a person cannot be in any way distracted from the learning process? Naturally, it gives students who live abroad the opportunity to obtain good education without leaving one’s room, and at the first glance, it seems almost flawless.

Nevertheless, there is always the reverse side of the coin and it stands to reason that distance education has its disadvantages. First of all, it should be mentioned that we discussing some computer-version of the classroom, but the trouble is that group members practically cannot interact with one another, so there is some sort of isolation between them. In traditional education, two students can easily talk to each other after classes and discuss some problems or perhaps projects. It is next to impossible if we are speaking about distance education.

Any sort of information can be better absorbed if it is discussed with group members or classmates. However, it is hardly possible in the context of online education because students are practically devoid of this chance

Finally, it must be mentioned that distance education provides practically no opportunity for independent group works due to some schedule conflicts. Group members must be able to work with each other and not turn to the instructor for ready answers. It is extremely difficult to coordinate the teamwork because the members of the team can be separated from each other.

As far as the process of communication is concerned, we must say that it is very slow. A task, which normally requires a fifteen-minute conversation in the traditional classroom, may be hours in the virtual one. However, this problem can be easily resolved now for instance using a video conference.

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As it has already been mentioned before the experiment, which was aimed at measuring the degree of collaboration between group members in online education showed very poor results (Thompson). First of all, it is a low degree of participation, which is by far the most important constituent of any learning because students must be able to share their views and ideas (it is the cornerstone of learning).

Even though all group members had wide access to the means of communication, which means that they could easily send messages to each other it turned out that students still preferred to work on their own. Nevertheless, the experiment showed that with time passing these collaborative groups produced some good quality projects, and their attitude towards group work changed which means that they tried to be more communicative. Still, such phenomenon as loafing was present in each group.

Thus, we may conclude that the main challenge of distance education is the problem of communication and interaction.

The question arises of how these obstacles can be surmounted. The first step to be taken is that all group members could instantly get connected. It requires the introduction of high technologies such as instance skype this will naturally quicken the very process of communication, and make teamwork more productive. Moreover, students who can see each other face-to-face are more likely to be on friendly terms.

It is also of utmost importance that the advisor can communicate and cooperate with group members otherwise, he or she will remind Big Brother from 1984. It can enable group members to establish better working relationships in the virtual classroom.

Another problem to be resolved is such a social phenomenon as loafing, which may hinder the learning process. Perhaps students must be grouped according to their educational background and psychological characteristics.

Having analyzed such a phenomenon as distance or online line education we may conclude that it has its pros and cons but it can be further developed. The main drawback of distance education is the problem of interaction between the student and the instructor, but shortly, it will undoubtedly be resolved.

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Bibliography

Ling Thompson, Heng-Yu Ku “A CASE STUDY of Online Collaboration” University of Colorado.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, September 18). “A Case Study of Online Collaboration” by Ling Thompson. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/a-case-study-of-online-collaboration-by-ling-thompson/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, September 18). “A Case Study of Online Collaboration” by Ling Thompson. https://studycorgi.com/a-case-study-of-online-collaboration-by-ling-thompson/

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"“A Case Study of Online Collaboration” by Ling Thompson." StudyCorgi, 18 Sept. 2021, studycorgi.com/a-case-study-of-online-collaboration-by-ling-thompson/.

1. StudyCorgi. "“A Case Study of Online Collaboration” by Ling Thompson." September 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/a-case-study-of-online-collaboration-by-ling-thompson/.


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StudyCorgi. "“A Case Study of Online Collaboration” by Ling Thompson." September 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/a-case-study-of-online-collaboration-by-ling-thompson/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "“A Case Study of Online Collaboration” by Ling Thompson." September 18, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/a-case-study-of-online-collaboration-by-ling-thompson/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) '“A Case Study of Online Collaboration” by Ling Thompson'. 18 September.

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