Comm(on) Line

 <commonline_logo.jpg> The necessity for lifelong and life-wide learning is present in our society, not to say more than ever before, because of the constant changes in both people's private and professional lives. The exodus of baby boomers poses major problems for companies; it is this generation in particular that holds specialist positions in companies today and are also active are unable to take time off to gain further training. The search for a balance between family, work and lifelong learning is more challenging than ever. The increasing demand for blended and online learning is part of the transition to the life, learning and work of the future. Expert teachers were teachers who succeeded in creating an optimal learning climate in the classroom. Using well-known teaching methodology, they succeeded in creating a safe learning climate and in supporting and guiding their learning community in their classroom. An optimal learning climate in the classroom means that an atmosphere of trust is created. This is a climate in which it is self-evident that mistakes can be made, because making mistakes is the core of learning.

Today's challenge is to do the same in an online environment. This Comm (on) – line project aims to create, guide and support online learning communities. We will try to find out what the ideal blends in learning are: of online collaborative learning combined with collaborative learning in real life/in the classroom and of individual online learning and collaborative online learning in a group. Over the past decades, teachers have built up a great deal of expertise in creating and supporting/tutoring professional learning communities within the four walls of the classroom. The change in the adult learner's way of learning is forcing teachers to adapt their way of teaching. More and more, the adult learner wants tailor-made lifelong and life-wide (co-)learning independent of place and time. An answer to this changing need and 'new' way of learning can partly be provided by using the possibilities of the 'new' technologies. But a new form of learning also requires a new form of teaching.

One of the many challenges today is to create and support professional learning communities in a blended environment or in a complete online environment. The implementation of such a learning management system not only involves substantive challenges, but also many practical and organisational changes.

The aim of this project is to learn with and from each other how best to facilitate such transition processes, how to create, guide and support online learning communities, what the differences are between the known didactics and the e-didactics. We want to investigate the differences between the known didactics and the 'new' e-didactics, between working in real life with a professional learning community in a classroom context and working with a professional online learning community in a virtual context. We will look at how we can support and coach our employees in our own organizations to make this transition a reality and see, with our students, how they experience this.

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