Learning communities and on-line technologies: the classroom@sea experience
AbstractThesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 2000
Classroom Sea was a project of opportunity. It was an opportunity for me to blend my experiences in instructional design, and my new-found understanding of sociocultural learning perspectives into a meaningful project. It was an opportunity that arose out of the new satellite technologies placed on board several National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) research ships that were dedicated to improve communication and the transfer of scientific data. Classroom Sea became an attempt to use these new technologies to connect students and teachers with real life science and scientists.Classroom Sea was an opportunity to demonstrate how the practice of instructional design could be blended together with perspectives of sociocultural learning to create a web-based community composed of two very different and distant groups of people. The dynamic nature of using satellite technologies to connect the people living and working aboard NOAA's ships with students in a classroom proved to be an interesting venture for three particular reasons. First, the institutions proved to have challenges and opportunities that significantly impacted participants' involvement in the learning community. Second, participants own perspectives of teaching and learning influenced how they communicated and engaged in activities. Third, the affordances and constraints of the technologies contributed to and impeded participants' involvement in the learning community.The tasks of supporting, observing and documenting the experiences of such dynamic institutions, participants, and technologies has resulted in an ethnography that can contribute to what is known about on-line learning communities. The purpose of this document is to share what was learned about the institutions, participants and technologies that were part of Classroom Sea.