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Social Collaborative Learning Environments: A Means to Reconceptualise Leadership Education for Tomorrow’s Leaders and Universities?

The Disruptive Power of Online Education

ISBN: 978-1-78754-326-3, eISBN: 978-1-78754-325-6

Publication date: 22 November 2018


During the past decade, fast-paced changes created a new environment organisations need to adapt to in an agile way. To support their transformation, organisations are rethinking their approach to learning. They are moving away from traditional instructor-centred, standardised classroom-based learning settings. Instead, learning needs to be tailored to the individuals’ needs, available anywhere at any time and needs to enable learners to build their network. The development of digital tools, specifically network technology and social collaboration platforms, has enabled these new learning concepts.

The use of these new learning concepts in organisations also has implications for higher education. The present case study, therefore, investigates how universities can best prepare future employees and leaders for these new working environments, both on a content level and a methodological level. It also investigates if these new learning concepts can support universities in dealing with a changing environment.

The investigated case is a traditional face-to-face leadership lecture for a heterogeneous group of students. It was reconceptualised as a personalised and social collaborative learning setting, delivered through a social collaboration platform as the primary learning environment. Initial evaluation results indicate positive motivational effects, experience sharing and changes in perception of the student − lecturer relationship. The findings also supported previous challenges of computer-supported collaborative learning settings, such as the perception of a higher cognitive load. The implications of these results for the future teaching and business models of higher education are discussed. In addition, the potential of these computer-supported social collaborative learning settings is outlined.



Schmitz, A.P. and Foelsing, J. (2018), "Social Collaborative Learning Environments: A Means to Reconceptualise Leadership Education for Tomorrow’s Leaders and Universities?", Altmann, A., Ebersberger, B., Mössenlechner, C. and Wieser, D. (Ed.) The Disruptive Power of Online Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 99-123.



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