Collaboration Over Time:

How Learning Communities Form, Develop, and Sustain


Workshop held full day, Sunday June 7, Gothenburg, Sweden

Organizers

Dani Ben-Zvi, University of Haifa, Israel
Yotam Hod, University of Haifa, Israel
Katerine Bielaczyc, Clark University, USA

Workshop Content

This pre-conference workshop builds off the successes and momentum gained from ICLS 2014, where 30 international researchers committed to the study of learning communities (LCs) came together to explore the key issues and future direction of LC research. Having now formed CIRCLES, the Collaboration of International Researchers on Learning Communities (http://lc.edtech.haifa.ac.il), we seek to take the next step forward as a collective by focusing our theme on an experience that we, as a community, are going through ourselves: emergence, development, and sustenance.

Based on the enduring interest of the computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) community to investigate LCs, we make a call with this proposal to develop a strand of research on collaboration over time. As we saw during our ICLS 2014 workshop, there is great work being done on LCs across a range of settings, populations, and content areas. Based on the feedback and outcomes of our first workshop, as well as consideration of the CSCL 2015 conference theme, are goals now turn to investigate the following main and sub-research questions: How is collaboration formed, developed, and sustained within LCs?


To explore these questions, this pre-conference workshop includes a unique merging of learning processes with the content of study. Meaning, participants will be able to recursively relate their own research perspectives on LCs with their experiences of being an active CIRCLES member. This provides a rare opportunity for the international researchers to develop shared discourse on a common experience, which we hope to leverage to become a theme-based special issue publication on collaboration within LCs.

Participation modes

We invite practitioners and researchers, both new and returning CIRCLES members, in all domains who are actively researching, are interested in researching, or want to learn more about the theory and design of LCs. This includes various settings (face-to-face, online, blended, classroom, school, professional, etc.), technologies that support LCs, as well as learning and teaching processes within LCs.

The workshop is open to LC key contributors and participants.

Key contributors are those who actively research LCs in various forms and show initial interest in publishing within a special issue on this topic. They will, in addition to being a full participant in the day’s activities, present the research and design of their LC at the workshop, which will be a great opportunity to get feedback from a knowledgeable audience. Key contributors will be asked to submit a 1-page letter of interest that states their qualifications, provides a short background of the LC they are interested in discussing, and makes some connection to the workshop theme.

Participants will be selected based on their interest in actively participating in the workshop and on their experience with LCs. Participants will be expected to engage in the day’s activities, contributing to the collective knowledge of the group. Participants with limited or no LC experience, who would like to come to learn, are encouraged to apply.

Please register via the formal CSCL online submission system. If you are interested in being a key contributor, please send your 1-page letter of interest to Yotam Hod at yotamhod24@gmail.com by April 30, 2015. If you have any questions you can send them to the same address.

Circles