Today, Information Technology (IT) continues to bring tremendous changes in society. One of the challenges facing educational institutions worldwide is that the student body has dramatically changed, thus enlarging the range of individual differences in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to design an effective teaching and learning environment to accommodate individual differences in order to produce high-quality learning outcomes. The present study, undertaken in Hong Kong, analyzed student population diversity to identify its characteristics in terms of background, experiences, and subject knowledge, and designed instructional activities using IT (Blackboard) as a platform to cohere these diversities into a source of knowledge. Tow steps were taken in this study. First, specific instructional activities to guide students’ collaborative experiences were designed. Second, the Blackboard platform was employed to conduct collaborative interactions between instructor and students, and between students to accommodate diversity. A Blackboard-based course design was utilized as an example to demonstrate the executing procedures. The present study illustrates an innovative instructional structure that uses IT to establish a multiple-way communication network which transforms teacher-centered educational activities into student-centered collaborative learning activities. Through this innovative approach, students’ diverse experiences, physical and mental characteristics, attitudes, and perspectives are converted into a collaborative learning environment that transforms diversity into a positive source of knowledge. Copyright © 2008 The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research.
|Title of host publication||Developing teachers and developing schools in changing contexts|
|Editors||John Chi-kin LEE , Ling-po SHIU|
|Place of Publication||Hong Kong|
|Publisher||The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|