Synopses & Reviews
This book analyzes some of the main educational, social, and technological issues in the use of computer-mediated communication and computer networkingfor online collaborative learning, both in distance education and in corporate and organizational environments. Collaborative learning is defined as "individual learning as a result of group interactions and processes". The papers in the book arose from a NATO Advanced Research Workshop held on the sailing ship Najaden. They focus on the use of computer conferencing as a medium which frees participants from the constraints of time and place, and which provides a "collective memory" of all group interactions and exchanges. The book contains contributions from users and implementors of computer conferencing systems in major universities and companies, from researchers and evaluators analyzing the processes and outcomes of online group learning, and from software designers working on new systems for enhancing networked collaboration in groups. Collectively, the contributions mark out the boundaries and directions for the "third generation" of distance education and open learning systems, based on the use of national, international, and global telematic networks for interpersonal communication and group interactions.