Collaborative learning environments sourcebook

"The primary architects of knowledge and learning are the knowers and learners themselves." (Stephen Downes and others, 2003, Designing Learning Objects, 2003)

"An effective learning environment also creates knowledge." George Siemens 2003, What is a good learning culture?)

This is a sourcebook for academics and students who want to develop collaborative learning environments (or communities of practice) in which lecturers, students and others can work together to create new knowledge while learning new skills. Click on the links on the right to browse through the book. The book is currently in the process of being (collaboratively) developed, but already contains much useful material. Below are details of the larger project that the book is a part of.

Project outline

The collaborative learning environments project was started in late 2002 by lecturers in the psychology department at the University of South Africa. Project participants include Martin Terre Blanche (previously here), Vasi van Deventer, Patricia Oosthuizen, Chris Janeke, Johan Kruger, Piet Kruger, Lazarus Matlakala, Cas Coetzee, Matshepo Nefale and Louise Henderson. Sub-projects include: 

Principles & practices
(keeping current on the literature and gaining practical experience)

Collaborative publication systems
(creating collaborative publication opportunities for staff and students)

  • Institutional repository
  • Overlay journal

Networking systems
(setting up and participating in collaborative networks beyond Unisa)

  • Young researchers online
  • Critical methods conference
  • Knowledge broker survey
  • Inter-university research students' conference

Technical skills building
(programming and related skills for designing and creating collaboration spaces)

  • Java skills
  • Co-production patterns
  • XML Binding


Collaborative learning environments sourcebook

Links and portals
    Classic texts
    Journals and magazines