Exploring a cross-institutional research collaboration and innovation: Deploying social software and Web 2.0 technologies to investigate online learning designs and interactions in two Australian Universities

September 21, 2012

One significant manifestation of the proposition of a ‘classroom without walls’ is the online learning environments evident in most contemporary Australian universities. A key element of the effectiveness of those environments is the quality of the interactions that they foster. Planning and implementing rigorous research into that quality is crucial if these particular ‘classrooms without walls’ are to deliver enhanced and sustained learning outcomes. This article explores selected aspects of a cross-institutional collaboration linking two Australian universities researching the quality of learning interactions in their online courses. In particular, the authors analyse the utility of the social software and Web 2.0 technologies that have been deployed to facilitate their collaborative research. Despite the constraints and tensions attendant on within- and cross-organisational learning, teaching and research activities, the article records evidence of a developing innovation in investigating both the online learning designs and the research project developed to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of those designs.

Journal of Learning Design

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