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Title: Freedom to create? : computer supported co-operative and collaborative learning in art and design education
Author: Sclater, Madeleine Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0001 3557 1434
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: Glasgow School of Art
Date of Award: 2007
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The study is located in the context of the practice of Art and Design Education, as a community within higher education. It suggests that some of the 'trends' and 'tensions' identified in this community, evident both in its current position and its recent history, point to the potential value of e-learning designs that support collaborative and co-operative models. To understand the efficacy of these 'participative' fonns of learning, in which peer review is also a central pedagogic consideration, three case studies were undertaken to explore the way in which cooperation and collaboration are developed between distributed participants, engage~ in producing a series ofjoint artefacts (textual and visual). The thesis argues that networked co-operative and collaborative Learning (e-learning) might help resolve some practical issues associated with these tensions, including widening participation, thinking about learner support, and including ways of productively linking. learning and teaching. It also raises the possibility for assessment to be made a more valuable and fonnative tool in visual learning. In line with this, the thesis set out to examme the introduction of networked collaborative learning into studio-based practice as a pedagogical strategy. The research presented here is a qualitative investigation of co-operative and collaborative pedagogical models and designs that may support creative, visual practice-based learning in networked (e-Iearning) environments within Art and Design education. The research explores the effects that these more 'participative' fonns of learning have on the development and realisation of creative visual thinking processes and outcomes, where communication is largely text-based and asynchronous. The first case, a pilot study, is set in an adult education context that is not 'visual' but provides a 'testing ground' for developing the design that is used in the later work. The two main case studies focus on visual, creative contexts. The second case explores the model, and design, in an international, professional and infonnal setting. The third study focuses on undergraduates working in two locations in UK higher education. One distinctive feature of this research is that it uses key 'explanatory features' of several overlapping theoretical frameworks in order to focus the investigation, and interpret the findings. The main purpose of this approach is to attempt to develop a more detailed and mu1ti~layered understanding of the nature of the learning that occurs (creative, open ended, visual) and how it occurs (for e.g. through social interaction) in participant groups working to create their joint visual artefacts. These frameworks include Social Constructivism, Situated Learning, Socio-Cultural Theory, Activity Theory, and Motivational Theory. A second distinctive feature of this research is the main finding of the study. This suggests that visual creative processes, and effective, planned learning, can and do occur in groups of geographically remote (,distributed') individuals, working collaboratively through the Internet, using an educational (textual and image based) design that structures learning activity. This finding is used to explore and develop some pedagogical de~ign implications for Art and Design Education. This study attempts to articulate some of the details of these new designs, based upon empirical evidence drawn from the research, in real educational settings. For example, it summarises designs that emphasise the value and efficacy of more social forms of learning in helping learners and practitioners to develop and visualise their creative ideas within a· networked environment. These designs include provision for social grounding, the progressive development of collaborative skills, and forms of assessment that take account of peer involvement and the processes of learning and creativity, as well as their products.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available