Learning with strangers the value of sets in online learning

Jon Dron, Terry Anderson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Most research and practice relating to online and distance learning to date has focused on the social form of the intentional group, a named collection of people, typically hierarchically organized, with norms and/or explicit rules of conduct as well as inclusion or exclusion, membership, pacing and shared goals. The group provides a backdrop and infrastructure support for formal or informal learning activities. Since the last decade of the 20th century a different social form, the network, has been the subject of much research in informal and non-formal learning. Increasingly, however, we teach and we learn with and from countless anonymous others that are not formed into either identifiable networks or groups. We describe a collection of people who share little apart from interests or attributes but that none-the-less affect one another's learning as the Set. Under the right conditions, collective intelligence (or collectives) can emerge from such sets that can actively guide learning. In this paper we explore the nature of set-based learning and the role that collectives can play in helping or hindering learning.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, CSEDU 2014 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 1 Apr. 20143 Apr. 2014


Conference6th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, CSEDU 2014


  • Collective
  • E-learning
  • Education
  • Group
  • Learning technology
  • Lifelong learning
  • Network
  • Set
  • Social media


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