Teacher’s roles in learning ecologies: looking into collaborative learning in virtual environments


  • Nuria Hernández-Sellés Universitarios La Salle
  • Mercedes González- Sanmamedy Universidad de A Coruña
  • Pablo-César Muñoz-Carril Universidad de Santiago de Compostela

Palabras clave:

Collaborative learning, learning ecologies, teacher’s role, virtual environments


Human learning simultaneously incorporates formal and informal opportunities, integrating a  variety of virtual or physical contexts which shape learning ecologies. Within the frame of this diversity of contexts and learning formats, the scienti         fic literature has inquired on the advantages of CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning),outstandingthat collaborative learning facilitates the creation of learning communities with an emphasis on the social components and on  peer to peer learning, as opposed to a more traditional approach of teacher centered learning. This study aims to review teacher’s roles in a collaborative blended learning experience. A  qualitative methodology was adopted, with the approach of a unique case. Information has been collected through observation and analysis of group forums, two interviews with students and a  focus group with three teachers.

Results reveal that collaborative learning processes in virtual environments lead teachers and  students to confront certain challenges. Specifically, there is a questioning about what and how learning should occur in the digital society leading to relevant changes in teacher’s roles. Beyond  concerns about technology, the challenge for institutions and teachers is to foster that every student, individually and as part of one or several groups, can make the most ofhis or her learning  ecology.