Before beginning the work in our PBL group, we saw two YouTube-videos by Kay Oddone, explaining PLN (Personal Learning Networks). This really gave us a good foundation to reflect more upon the meaning of networks and communities.

Interested in learning more? Here is the definition used and a link for Kay Oddones video:

 PLNs Theory and Practice part 2 – YouTube

During topic three, it was my time to be the moderator and our PBL group focused on fruitful collaborative learning.

The discussions took off from Brindley et al (2009) article, that investigates the possibility of creating effective collaborative learning groups. The authors focus on improving the quality of group collaboration and increasing student participation, by incorporating instructional strategies. For example, they use Curtis & Lawsons (2001) article, stating that students need special skills to help them succeed in a collaborative environment and by that building confidence for future group work. These skills could be both structural and social, like the ability to plan and negotiate.

Some questions that came up during this topic were:

How can we foster collaborative learning and how does this change the way we learn?

How can networking, in this age of social media, be used for learning and how can we build Personal Learning Networks (PLN) to support this?

Is there a recipe for making collaborative work a fruitful experience?

This resulted in a creative idea of a “recipe book” where we added our own recipes for collaborative learning, using cooking-metaphors from our different cultural backgrounds. The book was made in Bookcreator – a new tool for me and something I will use in my teaching to boost creativity in some assignments that can be illustrated in this form. Here are my pages in the book, where I discuss the “Carousel Brainstorm” as a possible tool for boosting innovation. And yes, it is me, holding my fathers hand at a fair in Sweden.

To read the whole book, you can follow the link beneath: https://read.bookcreator.com/DNcVmPTwnaffu8y75Yr3hmPi05w1/tt3SVgChSWWLxTRyQyJAKQ

I see my role as a teacher as crucial when it comes to encouraging students learning in communities and to fostering collaborative learning among them. This topic has made me realize that I need to restructure learning objectives for my classes, so that common goals within groups can take more space. I also realized that I need to take time in building a safe environment for my students, so they can feel confident in this way of participation and problem solving. My fear is that our way of teaching has formed a culture of individualism, that is hard to change – but I have hope that teachers around the world are taking these steps and through that little by little building a new collaborative culture regarding teaching and learning.


Brindley, J., Blaschke, L. M. & Walti, C. (2009). Creating effective collaborative learning groups in an online environment. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3).

Curtis, D. D., & Lawson, M. J. (2001). Exploring collaborative online learning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(1), 21-34.

Topic 3: Learning in communities – networked collaborative learning