Facilitating collaborative online learning: experiences from a Scottish-Finnish project for vocational educators

Sarah Catharine Cornelius, Blair Stevenson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


This paper outlines work in progress to support an international project, titled Collaborative Online Learning in Global Education (COLIGE), which aims to engage vocational educators in collaboration with international peers to enhance
their understanding of the nature of learners in different contexts and expand opportunities for developing global education competences. A case study of a collaboration process co‐designed for participants of a Vocational Teacher Education Programme in Finland and the Teaching Qualification for Further Education in Scotland is outlined and facilitators’ reflections on designing and supporting online collaboration for a multi‐national group are detailed. The paper draws on the concepts of task ownership, character and control (Kirschner et al. 2004) to explore facilitators’ experiences. Findings suggest that facilitators play multiple roles, which include designing activities within programme constraints and resources; allowing appropriate learner control and authentic engagement with meaningful tasks; encouraging task
ownership; and engaging in live online facilitation with sensitivity to learner needs and co‐facilitator approaches. Successful design of international online collaboration also requires articulation of assumptions about approaches to teaching and learning, and opportunities for meaningful socialisation and development of shared cultural understandings. The findings have implications for vocational educators planning or developing international online collaboration and inform effective methods for the development of intercultural activities for vocational educators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 13th European Conference on e-Learning
EditorsRikke Orngreen, Karin Tweddell Levinsen
Place of PublicationReading
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978‐1‐910309‐69‐8
ISBN (Print)978‐1‐910309‐67‐4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2014
Event13th European Conference on E-Learning - Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 30 Oct 201431 Oct 2014


Conference13th European Conference on E-Learning


  • online collaboration
  • vocational education
  • intercultural competencies
  • online teaching


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