I came across this article today and it seems to be a nice blend of the two topics I'm currently interested in, online collaboration and the educational potential of video games.
The more I ponder this topic, more I think an interesting research question is "To what extent does self-interest play in an online learning community?" It seems that learning that takes place in schools is very isolated. I do my work, the instructor grades my papers, and I receive an individual grade at the end of the term. If I happen to be concerned about what my grade I receive, or am interested in the topic at hand, then I'm probably more likely to listen in class and do the work. But if I'm working with a group of people, then there are more reasons to become involved. Now I have peer pressure. Vanity comes into play. Reciprocation is possible. Suddenly there are more reasons to pay attention and do the work.
And doesn’t the group work closer represent what our jobs our like? Who works in a vacuum? I haven’t been given a ‘test’ in my entire career, but I’ve sure worked on a lot of team projects.