Leveraging Trust to Support Online Learning Creativity – A Case Study

October 7, 2012

The insights shared through this article build on data collected in real life situations. The work described here attempts to understand how trust can be used as leverage to support online learning and creative collaboration. This report explores this under- standing from the teacher perspective. It examines trust commitments in an interna- tional setting within which learners from different European countries collaborate and articulate their learning tasks and skills at a distance. This research endeavour aims to recognize both individual and group vulnerabilities as opportunities to strengthen their cooperation and collaboration. We believe that by understanding how to assess and monitor learners’ trust, teachers could use this information to intervene and provide positive support, thereby promoting and reinforcing learners’ autonomy and their mo- tivation to creatively engage in their learning activities.

The results gathered so far enabled an initial understanding of what to look for when monitoring trust with the intention of understanding and influencing learners’ behav- iours. They point to three main aspects to monitor on students: (1) their perception of each others’ intentions, in a given context, (2) their level of cooperation as expressed by changes in individual and group commitments towards a particular activity; and, (3) their attitudes towards the use of communication mediums for learning purposes (intentions of use, actual use and reactions to actual use).

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