Friday, September 14, 2007

Immersion -- Week 3

Define ... Collaboration ...

In my Advanced Instructional Design class, we had a discussion related to the Merrill/Jonassen "Reclaiming Instructional Design" debate. In his position, Merrill claims that "groups don't learn, individual's learn". However, Jonassen feels that people "collaborate to construct meaning". But how does one define collaboration? Is it the act of interacting with another person, or is it the mere interaction with objects in your environment? Gibson's Affordance Theory suggests that how a person perceives and considers possible action with their environment influences knowledge building. Is a mother telling a child, "Do not touch the stove, it is hot," signify collaboration, but the act of the childing touching the stove to discover that it is hot an individual experience; or is the mere act of touching the stove a form of collaboration? I feel that your interaction with the environment around you impacts knowledge acquisition. As I was hunting around for some additional information on collaboration, I came across this interesting blog post that suggests that for some collaboration, especially in the corporate setting, is a form of social control. Hmmm ... I'm not sure how the constructivists would react to that statement. What do you think?

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