Document Type

Book Chapter


Collaborative learning has long been part of university study; for example, through group discussion, laboratory work in pairs and group projects (Jacques, 1991). In the past, these kinds of collaborative activities have been available only to full-time, on-campus students because of the difficulties in finding time and space for students to work together (Kimball, 2001). However, Internet-based communication technologies have made possible more flexible approaches to learning that offer new opportunities for students to collaborate (Bonk, Malinkowski, Angeli, & Suplee, 1998; Collis, 1996; McLoughlin, 2002; Oliver & Omari, 1999; Palloff& Pratt, 1999). Support for learning "anytime, anywhere" has changed patterns of on-campus attendance at many institutions, meaning that students come to class irregularly, infrequently or not at all.