Study Circles in Online Learning Environment in the Spirit of Learning-Centered Approach

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Abstract

Introduction: In the era of information society and knowledge economy, learning in non-formal environments gets a highlighted role: it can supplement, replace or raise the knowledge and skills gained in the school system to a higher level (Forray & Juhász, 2008), as the so-called “valid” knowledge significantly changes due to the acceleration of development. With the appearance of information technology means and their booming development, the possibilities of gaining information have widened and, according to the forecasts, the role of learning communities will grow. Purpose: Our starting point is that today, with the involvement of community sites (e.g. Google+, Facebook etc.) there is a new possibility for inspiring learning communities: by utilizing the power of community and the possibilities of network-based learning (Ollé & Lévai, 2013). Methods: We intend to make a synthesis based on former research and literature focusing on the learning-centered approach, online learning environment, learning communities and study circles (Noesgaard & Ørngreen, 2015; Biggs & Tang, 2007; Kindström, 2010) Conclusions: The online learning environment can be well utilized for community learning. In the online learning environment, the process of learning is built on activity-oriented work for which active participation, and an intensive, initiative communication are necessary and cooperative and collaborative learning get an important role.

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