The purpose of this annotated bibliography on cooperative freedom is to gather information about this online educational theory, in an attempt to set up a definition and clarify its application to online education. This is a work in progress.
Paulsen, Morten. “Cooperative Freedom: An Online Education Theory.” Online Education and Learning Management Systems: NKI Forlaget, 2003. 39-50.
Annotation - In this article Professor Morten Paulsen presents his theory on cooperative freedom based on some existing theoretical perspectives and discusses how it applies to online education. He mentions the basic elements that define a distance education program and the implications of computer mediated communication (CMC) for distance education. The theory of cooperative freedom is defined as a theory of autonomy and independence which assumes that independently of motivational orientation, distance students need cooperation as well as individual freedom. This idea is represented as a hexagon and its facets are perceived as a continuum from individual freedom to dependence on others. Finally, the article discusses the difficult issue of combining individual flexibility and freedom with group collaboration and social unity within distance education.
Relevance - This article is the genesis of the theory of cooperative freedom as it is presented and explained by its creator – Professor Morten Paulsen.
Paulsen, Morten. “Cooperative Theory as a Guiding Star for Online Education.” Presentation at Universitat Hildesheim, Germany, 8 Nov 2007.
Annotation - In this presentation, Professor Morten Paulsen shows how his theory of cooperative freedom, which claims that adult students seek individual flexibility and freedom, but at the same time need or prefer group collaboration and social unity, can be applied to cooperative learning. This type of learning seeks to develop virtual learning environments that allow students to have optimal individual freedom within online learning communities, and it is already being implemented in Norwegian Knowledge Institute (NKI). NKI’s philosophy on online learning is achieved through voluntary services: a planning system which facilitates students’ progression, and a learning partner system that uses personal presentations for finding and connecting students who want learning partners. The results provided by NKI’s quality control and evaluation system, are encouraging.
Relevance - This presentation is important as it illustrates an educational theory put into action.
Paulsen, Morten. “Q & A with Ed Tech Leaders.” Educational Technology. (2007).
Annotation - Within this interview it is important to point out the idea that new technology and adaptation to individual types of learning (individual, collaborative and cooperative) are major challenges for many teachers and institutions. To the question of how students compete in a global environment which increasingly requires the ability to work with good communication skills and cooperative groups if they complete their degree online through an individual plan, Professor Paulsen replied that a possible solution would be to use educational social software. He gave the example of Wikipedia, MySpace, and Flickr as cooperative applications, adding that the crucial success factor of cooperative educational networks was that the users can both produce and refine the content.
Relevance - Along some of his answers Professor Morten Paulsen talks about NKI (www.nki.no), Scandinavia’s largest provider of distance education, and extends/ clarifies some aspects of his work concerning the theory of cooperative freedom.