Collaborative processes in virtual learning spaces - Does structuring make a difference?

Essi Vuopala, Pirkko Hyvönen, Sarah Eagle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Abstract

This study explores features of successful collaborative learning among university students in a virtual course. The aim was to study what kinds of interactional processes occurred when students collaborated while working in international teams and how pedagogical structuring affected the collaborative processes. The data was collected from the Technology-Enhanced Learning course, in which students (N=49) worked together for three months. In this article, two research questions are explored: 1) How did collaborative scripts affect groups' activity, participation, and course grades? 2) What kind of interactional processes occurred in group discussions in the virtual spaces? Results indicate that collaborative scripts enhanced students' activity and participation. Interactional processes in collaborative situations were more often related to off-task than on-task topics. Off-task discussions mostly concentrated on metacognitive issues, such as planning group work. Most on-task discussions were comments or answers to previous messages. This study provides teachers, educators, and educational coordinators guidelines for organizing and enhancing successful collaborative learning in virtual learning spaces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Horizons in Web Based Learning - ICWL 2011 International Workshops KMEL, ELSM, and SPeL and ICWL 2012 International Workshops KMEL, SciLearn, and CCSTED, Revised Selected Papers
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages271-278
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783662434536
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event2012 International Workshops on Web-Based Learning, ICWL 2012 - KMEL, SciLearn, and CCSTED - Sinaia, Romania
Duration: 2 Sep 20124 Sep 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7697 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference2012 International Workshops on Web-Based Learning, ICWL 2012 - KMEL, SciLearn, and CCSTED
CountryRomania
CitySinaia
Period2/09/124/09/12

Keywords

  • Collaborative learning
  • CSCL
  • university students

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