Collaborative mentor support in a learning context using a ubiquitous discussion forum to facilitate knowledge sharing for lifelong learning

Fu Hsiang Wei, Gwo Dong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Internet has recently been identified as a potential enabler of lifelong learning. Web-based learning systems enable learners easily to access rich resources and actively participate in learning activities without time and distance limits. The main challenge in lifelong learning is providing the opportunity for discussion and collaborative knowledge construction to engage learners in acquiring and applying knowledge in the context of learning, working and collaboration. Moreover, knowledge sharing is a key component in the formation of communities of lifelong learners. Most online collaborative learning communities use Web text-based discussion forums for knowledge sharing. However, such discussion forums are separated from the context of learning activities. Furthermore, the facilitation of beneficial dialogue through discussion forums, requires the involvement of mentors as facilitators. This study proposes an e-book interface that enables learners easily to annotate or enter queries in a text in which questions arise, where a query context is transferred to a discussion forum. The subsequent anchors of questions are linked to a discussion forum for actuating sustained participation. A mentor finder recommends a collaborative peer based on learner knowledge level to answer the questions. Learners can also use mobile phones to access this ubiquitous discussion forum using voice/text anytime and anywhere. The experimental results showed a clear increase in the level of discussions, and most learners indicated that they benefited considerably from collaborative mentor support in an e-book learning context through the provision of a ubiquitous discussion forum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-935
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

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