The Learner Journal Collection offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of The Learner Research Network.
Based on activity theory (AT), this article focuses on a review of supportive learning environments that promote successful communication skills. We are living in a period of transformation in education, and our conception of learning outcomes must keep pace with technological advances. Today’s citizens must effectively communicate in written or oral forms. Effective communication implies other integrated abilities, including autonomy, critical thinking, interaction, and creativity. It also encompasses many of the principal competencies learners should be able to perform in any field. The findings of this revision suggest implementing four key twenty-first-century skills so that the higher-education learner is able to successfully work both independently and collaboratively—and this too requires adequate skills in social networking and communication.
The connection among human tasks, communication, and learning has significant implications for communicative learning approaches that combine collaboration with digital tools. Activity Theory (AT) defines an activity as a structure in which the subject interacts with an object in order to achieve an outcome. Technologies have transformed social interactions, mental functions, and learning. Effective communication implies other integrated abilities, including autonomy, critical thinking, interaction, and creativity.
The authors of this study point out that communication is multidimensional and complex. They highlight that communicative twenty-first century skills operate within both synchronous and asynchronous environments, through social media, and in formal and informal contexts. They conclude that twenty-first century communicative skills facilitate the development of competencies that are shaped in ubiquitous personal learning environments (UPLE) that change depending on the learner, the time, and the place (Koh et al. 2015; Sharples, Taylor, and Vavoula 2010). The findings of this study suggest implementing four key twenty-first-century skills so that the higher-education learner is able to successfully work both independently and collaboratively.
— Soraya García-Sánchez and Nicholas C. Burbules
Cloonan, Anne, Kirsten Hutchison, and Louise Paatsch, The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp.13–28
Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp.1–12
Patrick Mafora, The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp.97–108
Bernard Ouma Mikume and Samuel Ouma Oyoo, The International Journal of Learning, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp.337–354
Vicki Adele Pascoe and Kylie Radel, The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp.301–310