Breen (2007). Lessons from an International e-Learning Project.

Breen, P. (2007). Lessons from an International e-Learning Project. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 8(3), 1-10.

“Taylor argues that the great age-old African tradition of cooperative learning (which is now ironically fashionable in western pedagogy) was almost irreparably destroyed by the influence of missionary and colonial education.” (p 2)

[Likely at Kibungo University of Agriculture, Technology, and Education, Kibungo, Rwanda.]

“Moore (2002) might argue that this position is flawed from the outset, however. This is because of his assertion that constructivism is largely a philosophical position rather than an empirically supported approach, and less developed than the theories of Mezirow (1991) who coined a ‘transformation’ theory of five interacting contexts which suggests that people actually learn through a combination of learning styles, from behaviorist right through to constructive, rather than in any one absolutist manner.” (p 2)

“… a combination of face-to-face teaching with online distance education delivered through the medium of a Virtual Learning Environment.” (p 3)

[Listing of NGOs]

“… Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO), The British Council, and UNESCO …” (p 3)

“… avoiding the traditional tendency of western agencies to manage rather than to share.” (p 4)

[Used Moodle.] (p 4)

“This tactic of encouraging the students to work together and consider the needs of their peers created a constructivist sense of teamwork from the outset in the hope that it would make cooperation ‘a core element of learning’ as espoused by Taylor (1995,. p. 252).” (p 5)

[Listing of some problems …]

“… no confidence with technologies and the Internet connection is not available every day …” (p 5)

[Student reluctance …]

“… bashful about sharing their ideas in such a public space …” (p 5)

[Perception of a “public” space, or is this a cultural reaction? What elements of safety/trust might be missing?]

[Relying on students’ …] “… self management …” (p 6)

Selected references

  • Davis, A. ( 2004). Developing an infrastructure for online learning. T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (Eds.), Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Athabasca, AB: AUPress. Retrieved April 7, 2007 from:
  • Gonzalez, C. (2004). The role of blended learning in the world of technology. Benchmarks online website. Retrieved November 7, 2007 from:
  • Harasim, L., Hiltz, S. R., Teles, L., & Turoff, M. (1995). Learning Networks: A field guide to teaching and learning online. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press.
  • Moore, G. M. (1995). Editorial: The 1995 Distance Education Research Symposium: A Research Agenda. The American Journal of Distance Education, 9(2). 1- 6.
  • Taylor, C. (1995). Cooperative learning in an African context. International Journal of Educational Research, 23(3), 239-252.
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