Sunday, November 27, 2005

Why Online Collaborations Fail

Hi everyone! Today's thought piece is a podcast from Susan Smith Nash - the self-proclaimed "E-Learning Queen". Susan is an administrator at Excelsior College, and very involved with the institution's online programs. She is a prolific blogger and podcaster - see her website at:

The original poscast "Why Online Collaborations Fail" was published on 3 November 2005 at:

In the shownotes, Susan wrote:

"Ask online students if there was anything they disliked in their last online course, and you're likely to get a resounding "I hated the group work!" Best practices for online courses tend to place a great deal of importance on collaborative learning, either in the form of discussion boards, or in group projects. But while discussion boards work quite well, depending on the skill of the facilitator and the nature of the questions, group projects are often such miserable failures that they taint the learner's perception of the entire course."

I had the pleasure of meeting Susan at the Sloan-C annual conference in Orlando, FL, last week, and hearing one of her conference presentations. She clearly is a leader in the e-learning field, and we're all fortunate that she is sharing her thoughts in this area through her podcasts.

As always, the orange title above has a link to the mp3 file with the podcast, and you can subscribe to the RSS feed for "Burks' Selections" using the address on the orange XML icon in the right column on the page.

Best regards,



The E-Learning Queen explores all manner of online and distributed training and education, from instructional design to the construction and implementation of entire e-learning solutions. She finds real-world e-learning issues and applications particularly intriguing; in higher education, military, K-12, and corporate and humanitarian / not-for-profit realms.


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