How to Support Collaborative Reflection in a Learning Community

Abstract

Learning Communities are widely used in different educational contexts. This case presents some viewpoints of using Learning Communities with adult students of Social Services in Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. Adult students coming to study have very different educational backgrounds. Some of them have already completed their Master studies in some different subject and some students have completed secondary-level vocational studies in social services. Some of these students have a lot of experience from social field and other students have none. The students are mainly women, from 23 to 55 of age. The heterogeneity of the group causes some challenges but also provides many possibilities for collaborative and reflective learning. Collaborative and reflective learning demand that students are ready to share their experiences, thoughts and understanding with each other in their learning community. There is also the presumption that students are ready to build shared meanings, joint aims and mutual understanding in different study tasks. This kind of working is also demanding for teachers in several ways. Teacher’s role is not being an expert but more like a facilitator. The facilitator’s role is also possible when teachers are working as supervisors. (Fook & Gardner 2010; Sax 2008; Davys & Beddoe 2010.)



Author Information
Heli Makkonen, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Finland

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2017
Stream: e-learning and collaborative learning

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