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By Gayle Morris; Gloria Latham

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The first time you write something with three exclamation marks, you’ll know why. ” [substitute your assertion] The core of the MOO database is sprinkled with the gentle humour and friendliness of the original programmers, and of those who have followed in their code-prints. Pavel Curtis, the person most often attributed with the development of MOOs, saw himself as a ‘simple country hacker’ who had developed a ‘nice place’ called LambdaMOO, which attracted all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons: some for the programming, some for the novelty and some just because it was a good place to be.

This presented quite a challenge, especially to a group of students and faculty interested in the study and practice of collaborative learning. However, and in keeping with what seems typical of most collaborative learning situations, after wrestling with this challenge for most of the term we began to learn collaboratively and to create something new for ourselves. In short, for most of the online experience, we were doing T-I and T-II; it was only in the later stages of working online that we were able to see ourselves being engaged in a T-III experience.

We were all thrust into a situation of making sense of selected ideas offered up by experts in social constructionism and by other participants who were experts in SOLTAR E-Learning 3rd pages 34 18/11/05 2:24 PM Page 34 E-LEARNING IN THE UNIVERSITY their own lives. We found ourselves sorting out the meaning of this concept and that, the meaning that others attached to the concepts, and the meaning of their meaning. While we were learning a great deal in this experience, what we were making meaning of was primarily someone else’s rich ideas (the group of visitors, mainly, but also many of our own and ideas drawn from other sources of literature), especially early on in the experience.

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