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By Dr. Harry Tennant

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Do students need to learn about collaborative work?

Wikipedia does not identify team members, assign responsibilities and so on. Instead, goals or needs are identified by whoever happens to identify them. Individuals who can satisfy the needs do so. Individuals assign their own responsibilities, determine what’s missing and decide what needs to be improved.

The same sort of networked, non-hierarchical organization is often used in software development. Called “open-source software development,” this type of software development is done by volunteers, needs are identified by those who notice them and solutions are constructed by volunteers who decide to take on the tasks. Some of the most widely used software in the world was developed and is maintained through the open-source model. The open-source model is also being applied in other domains such as biotechnology, security, political campaigns, website directory making and textbook writing. In other words, non-hierarchical voluntary collaborative organization is becoming commonplace now that it is possible through collaborative online technologies. Today’s students will increasingly find themselves working on collaborative projects in the future, so they are well served to develop the skills.

Posted at 12:00 AM Keywords: wikis , collaborative learning 7 Comments

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