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Publication - Dr Sarah Eagle

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

    Citation

    Vuopala, E, Hyvönen, P & Eagle, S, 2014, ‘Collaborative processes in virtual learning spaces - Does structuring make a difference?’. in: New 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. Springer Verlag, pp. 271-278

    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.

    Full details in the University publications repository