Supporting collaborative learning in science with an online tool
This paper discusses a new approach trialled in a first year core science unit that aims to develop generic skills such as scientific writing, numeracy skills, computer literacy and communication skills. The trial involved integrating online assessable activities to the existing teaching and learning activities. The aim of the online activities was to help students to keep their pace throughout the semester and to facilitate students learning from each other. The online tool used was InterLearn. This is new web-based tool developed at Monash University to support collaborative learning. The tool was designed to simulate classroom interaction where students build knowledge together through discussion. It provides the facility to structure online activities, which students complete within their own workspace. Students can view each other’s responses to the activities and can modify them as they learn from each other.