An e-learning collaborative environment: learning within a Masters in Education programme
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This article contributes a debate of e-learning as a form of adult education. It is based on the experiences of South African students, describes and analyses group interaction in an intercontinental Masters in Adult Education Programme which uses a computer electronic platform as the primary medium for learning and teaching. The article focuses on student's subjective navigation of and e-learning platform and explores whether or not e-learning replicates what goes on in a lecture theatre, and whether or not e-learning becomes a passive development tool. This article shows that, through negotiating and mediating collaboratively, students in the Masters Programme tool overwhelming ownership of their constructed knowledge. Whilst presenting evidence that e-learning has the potential to facilitate collaborative learning, the article challenges some of the claimed advantages of e-learning. In particular, the article questions the assumption that e-learning encourages equality amongst students; it counters the claim that that e-learning provides learning opportunities that are highly flexible; and, contrary to claims that e-learning removes personal anxiety, this article shows that students do experience anxiety when making their contributions to collaborative discussions.