Differences and Similarities in Approach Between Classroom and Distance Learning

  • Ingrid Helleve
  • Published 2012


This chapter will focus on differences and similarities between classroom and distance learning. What should count as learning and knowledge when information is available for everybody all the time? What are the consequences of these questions for teachers? These are questions that will be dealt with throughout the chapter. The aim of this Norwegian study is to single out what characterises productive interactions in ICT(Information and communication technology) supported communities of learners, based on research from three different case studies. The study is based on the assumption that when teachers are designing and guiding learning communities there are some common features across agegroups and learning environments. Common for the three communities is that educational technology is supposed to serve as a space for collaborative writing activities. Across classrooms and distance learning there are some basic differences and similarities that will be discussed and illustrated through three different studies carried out between pupils in a classroom, on-campus students and distance learning students. The first study is carried out in 2nd grade in primary school where the students were supposed to write common texts by means of stand-alone-computers in the class-room. The next study deals with the experiences of 10 campus students in a blended environment. The students met every day, but were also supposed to collaborate online. The third study deals with distance learning. A group of five students called themselves the “magic group.” They were student teachers who were supposed to publish portfolios and give feedback to each other. The research methods that are used are observations of the activities in the classroom, interviews and analysis of written texts. The conversation taking place when the pupils were writing common texts by means of the computers were recorded and analysed. The written online material is based on portfolios, feedback processes and online discussions. Further pupils, students and teachers in all three studies are interviewed. The aim of this chapter is to look across the borders of distanceand classroom learning in search of differences and similarities.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Helleve2012DifferencesAS, title={Differences and Similarities in Approach Between Classroom and Distance Learning}, author={Ingrid Helleve}, year={2012} }