Web-based cooperative learning in distance education

Dean Litao Zhu, Ruisong Wu and Shaoling Ye
Yunnan Open University

Kunming, China

With the modernization of Chinese society, studying only in conventional classes no longer meets the needs of learners in the knowledge-based economy. Web-based cooperative learning should be used to complement the traditional class system.

This paper describes the use of web-based cooperative learning in distance education, and proposes the following ideas on how to train students for this approach with information technology. Firstly, the learners should be divided into small study groups. Secondly, the students must make an effort to collaborate with their classmates to organize, develop and implement learning programmes; and, in addition, they should learn and adopt a collaborative learning strategy, and make a self-assessment. Thirdly, we should try to stimulate students' motivation and initiative to be guided by the theory of collaborative learning. Fourthly, in order to support students' active learning, teachers should share their information resources generously. Fifthly, mastering the use of modern communications equipment plays a significant role in open and distance learning. So, before the start of the course, it's necessary to teach students to use it correctly. Finally, the feedback from both teachers and the class must be as quick as possible.