E-learning in collaborative professional development programs The case of training for curriculum design in higher education in Suriname
Tuesday, October 16 3:00-3:20 PM Location: Las Vegas Ballroom 7
Presider: Eloho Ifinedo, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland
Abstract: E-learning opens up possibilities for active and social didactics and allows for greater flexibility in learning and engagement with peers compared to traditional face-to-face (F2F) education. This provides a basis for collaborative learning. Time invested, content, active learning and enhanced competences reflect the effectiveness of professional development programs: Common forms of professional development (conferences, workshops) have been criticized for being ineffective in providing sufficient time, activities, and content to increase participants’ competences and to foster sustained changes in their professional practice. Well-designed E-learning strategies provide not only control over content, learning sequence, pace of learning, time spent, and the use of media but strategies focusing on collaborative learning can include the social dimension of learning in ways F2F learning often fails to do. Recent technological developments contribute to this potential. We discuss professional training of curriculum developers in higher education in Suriname and report on the added value of collaborative E-learning experienced by participants compared to the outcomes of the more traditional training in which they participated earlier. Our research shows that participants –especially those with less theoretical knowledge and les practical experience in their professional domain (in this case curriculum development in higher education) – benefit from collaborative E-learning.