Metacognition and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

Winne, P.H., Hadwin, A.F., & Perry, N.E. (2013). Metacognition and Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning.  In Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (Ed.). The international handbook of collaborative learning. (pp. 462-479). New York: Routledge

“Research on metacognition evolved from seminal papers by Hart and Flavell (Schwarts & Percect, 2010; Winne & Nesbit, 2010).  Hart (1965, 1967) investigated whether people could judge accurately what they know.  He asked people questions about common knowledge.  If they could not recall the answer, he asked them to estimate the likelihood they would recognize the answer among options in a multiple-choice question.  In general, people were quite good at these tasks.  Flavell (1971, 1979) urged investigations into what people perceived about (a) their memories and (b) operations they used to remember.  He further theorized that people could inspect features of their knowledge, tasks they undertook, and methods for working on tasks.” (p. 462)

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Collaborative Knowledge Building

Chan, C.K. (2013). Collaborative Knowledge Building.  In Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (Ed.). The international handbook of collaborative learning. (pp. 233-249). New York: Routledge

“Helping students to engage in collaborative inquiry and work creatively with ideas is now a major educational goal.  Despite widespread interest in inquiry learning and computer-supported learning, most schools continue to focus on surface forms of constructivist learning, with students busily engaged in gathering information from the Web and completing tasks (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003); for example, inquiry learning is often limited to predetermined goals, sequences of activities, and fixed standards that focus on skills rather than creating knowledge, which is the goal of real scientific inquire (Chinn & Malhotra, 2002). Sustained and emergent inquire that aims at knowledge creation ,much values in scientific and innovative communities, poses major challenges for theories and designs for collaborative learning” (p. 437).

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Collaborative Knowledge Building.

Chan, C.K. (2013). Collaborative Knowledge Building.  In Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (Ed.). The international handbook of collaborative learning. (pp. 233-249). New York: Routledge

“Helping students to engage in collaborative inquiry and work creatively with ideas is now a major educational goal.  Despite widespread interest in inquiry learning and computer-supported learning, most schools continue to focus on surface forms of constructivist learning, with students busily engaged in gathering information from the Web and completing tasks (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 2003); for example, inquiry learning is often limited to predetermined goals, sequences of activities, and fixed standards that focus on skills rather than creating knowledge, which is the goal of real scientific inquire (Chinn & Malhotra, 2002). Sustained and emergent inquire that aims at knowledge creation ,much values in scientific and innovative communities, poses major challenges for theories and designs for collaborative learning” (p. 437).

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Group Work Can Be Gratifying: Understanding & Overcoming Resistance to Cooperative Learning

Shimazoe, J & Aldrich, H. (2010) Group Work Can Be Gratifying: Understanding & Overcoming Resistance to Cooperative Learning.  College Teaching, 58, pp. 52-57.

“Despite decades of successful implementation at the K-12 level, cooperative learning (CL) has been slow to catch on at the college level.  Resistance by instructors and students alike has slowed its diffusion.  Some resistance stems from poor experiences with CL, but potential adopters often fail to realize that effective CL rests on a set of principles that are not intuitively obvious.  Drawing on research on group process and CL we discuss what instructors need to do to implement CL successfully. We focus on a three-stage model of group formation and development, the components of successful group processes, how these components respond to typical students’ complaints, instructor’s roles in group operations and processes, and how these roles can best be carried out.  Keywords: group work, cooperative learning group formation, student teams.”  (p. 52).

Snapshot
This was a short but exceptional article.  Perhaps I think it’s exceptional because it says mostly what I am also trying to say AND it provided five articles to locate that will also likely be important in the literature review.

Quotes

  • Cooperative learning (CL) aspires to shift the focus of teaching from lecturing to groups of mostly passive students to instruction through orchestrating students’ interactions with each other” (p. 52).
  • “The life cycle of groups comprises three stages: a design and development stage, an operations stage, and an output and disbanding stage (Oakley et al. 2004; Rousseau, Aube & Savoie 2006)” (p. 53).
  • Table 3: Keys to Successful Group Process in CL – top right on page 53
  • “Students need to understand why they have to work in groups, rather than just being ordered to do so” (p. 53).
  • “At the design and development stage, instructors should take responsibility for group formation rather than leaving it to chance, especially for member selection, group composition, and group size.  Concerning member selection, CL proponents suggest it is better that instructors assign students to groups (Felder 1995; Lighfner, Bober & Willi 2007), because random grouping or self-selection by students is likely to exclude or negatively affect minority students (Rosser 1998; Hinds et al. 2000).  To aid in assigning students to groups, instructors should collect data about students on the first day of class, using a standard format (Oakley et al. 2004)” (p. 54).
  • On page 54 there is an entire section that I will likely want to refer back to if I should need to further bolster the homogeneous vs heterogeneous grouping argument.  There is lots of research in that paragraph also about the benefits of high vs low ability students and the benefits to each.
  • “In our experience, students are aware when instructors are using CL simply to fill up class time, and they respond in kind with desultory cooperation and even shirking” (p. 57).

To Look Up

  • Felder, R.M. 1995.  Cooperative learning in the sequence of engineering courses: A success story. Cooperative Learning and College Teaching Newsletter 5(2): 10-13.
  • Hinds, P.J., K.M. Carley, D. Krackhardt, & D.R. Wholey. 2000.  Choosing work group members: Balancing similarity, competence, and familiarity. Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes 81(2): 226-251.
  • Lighfner, S., M.J. Bober, & C. Willi. 2007. Team-based activities to promote engaged learning.  College Teaching 55(1): 5-18.
  • Oakley, B., R. M. Felder, R. Brent, & I. Elhajj. 2004.  Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of Student Centered Learning 2(1): 9-34.
  • Rosser, S. V. 1998 Group work in science, engineering, and mathematics: Consequence of ignoring gender and race. College Teaching 46(3): 82-88.
  • Rousseau, V., C. Aube, & A. Savoie. 2006. Teamwork behaviors: A review and integration of frameworks. Small Group Research 37(5): 540-570.  Review this specific journal further.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Toward a social pedagogy of classroom group work

Blatchford, P., Kutnick, P., Baines, E. & Galton, M. (2003) Toward a social pedagogy of classroom group work.  International Journal of Educational Research 39 pp. 153-172.

“In any classroom, pupils will be drawn together for many purposes and we can refer to such within classroom contexts as ‘groupings’.  The teacher often creates these, and the way that they are set up, and how they are used for particular learning purposes. If the relationship between grouping size, interaction types and learning tasks in groups are planned strategically then learning experiences will be more effective.  However, research suggests that the relationships between these elements are often unplanned and the ‘social pedagogic’ potential of classroom learning is therefore unrealized.  In this paper we explore the notion of social pedagogy in relationship to group work.  It is argued that research and theory relevant to group work in classrooms in limited, and that a new approach, sensitive to group work under everyday classroom conditions is required.  This paper identifies key features of a social pedagogy of classroom group work, which can inform effective group work in classrooms.  It also describes the background to a current large scale UK project which has been set up to design with teachers a programme of high quality group work in classrooms at both primary and secondary phases.  Keywords: Social Pedagogy, Group Work; Collaborations; Authentic classrooms. (p. 153)

Snapshot.
An excellent article.  This focuses mostly on primary education in the UK, but the authors clearly have their finger on the pulse of not just research in the field at the point of the article being written, but praxis as well.   This is definitely an article I’ll refer back to as I’m putting together the full dissertation.

Quotes

  • “It should be clear that there is more to group work than sitting students in groups and asking them to work together” (p. 155).
  • “By group work we mean pupils working together as a group or team.  The teacher may be involved at various stages but the particular feature of group work – perhaps its defining characteristic – is that the balance of ownership and control of the work shifts toward the pupils themselves” (p. 155).
  • “There is not space here to review fully theoretical perspectives relevant to group work (see reviews in Webb & Palincsar, 1996; O’Donnell & King, 1999).  The two main theoretical positions used in relation to group work have their origin in the writings of Piaget and Vygotsky (see chapters in O’Donnell & King, 1999).  In this paper we wish to emphasise that existing theory does not do justice to the huge potential for group work.  As we have identified, research in support of group work has tended to be experimental and sometimes assumes the benefits of competition between groups (which we are cautious about), and theory has tended to concentrate on cognitive development” (p. 159).
  • “The main conclusion to be drawn from this selective analysis of Vygotskian concepts is that they are limited when it comes to learning situations in school classrooms involving co-learners” (p. 161).
  • Check out SPRinG, the Social Pedagogic Research into Grouping (p. 162)
  • “Some strategies recommend same ability groups but this can be for classroom management rather than for learning purposes.  Group work necessarily involves a certain amount of ability mixing, though again this will be affected by the ability mix of the whole class.  The issue of pupil choice over the composition of groups is also problematic.  Allowing children to select whom they work with can reinforce social divisions (e.g., on the basis of gender, ability) and isolate children who are not chosen” (p. 166).
  • “we cannot just put children into groups and expect them to work well together” (p. 166).
  • “There is value in integrating group work into all curriculum areas.  It needs to be part of the fabric of classroom like, not extra to it” (p. 169).

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Effective Group Dynamics in E-Learning: Case Study

Fisher, M., Thompson, G.S., & Silverberg, D.A. (2004-5) Effective Group Dynamics in E-Learning: Case Study. Journal of Educational Technology Systems 33 (3) pp. 205-22

“Investigating the participant structure that works in online courses helps us design for, and facilitate, collaboration.  Learning communities and group work influence collaboration in online courses. We present an exploratory study of computer-mediated groups that used this model to participate in an online MA program in Educational Technology.  These participants were organized into groups and collaboratively built knowledge through synchronous and asynchronous online dialogue while leveraging technology as a tool for individual and collaborative learning. We present a detailed case study collected over a two-year span to identify design ideas structures, and perceptions of effective collaboration and performance.  Group formation, support, and sustainability are also explored.  Examples are included that not only describe what participants saw as enabling aspects of the structure but also ways in which novice instructors can enhance curriculum development around readings and online discussion.  These finding indicate a high index of collaboration and completion compare to homogenous classes where students work on their own” (p. 205).

Snapshot:  Whereas there are one or two things I got from this article, there are also several that fly in the face of conventional research on this subject.  In fact, two of the issues the authors state as fact are diametrically opposed to what most research shows.  The N is only 51 on this, which seems small to me to make some of the generalizations the authors make and there is no literature review or even significant literature support for many of their statements.  For instance, on page 210 they note that small groups foster playful interaction. Playful interaction? They don’t even detail what that might mean, let alone if anyone else, ever, found the same thing.  On page 212, the authors claim that random selection is best for forming students.

Quotes

  • “Socrates noted that a teacher is only a midwife to students, who must carry out the labor of learning themselves” (p. 205).
  • “The private sector and various other areas are increasingly making decisions in groups.  This approach is becoming more than a trend, it’s becoming a necessity.  Group learning introduces students to the type of experiences they are likely to encounter in the world of work” (p. 211).
  • “The community interaction builds not only a sense of collegiality, but also encourages a high level of professionalism.  This professionalism is then translated from the learning environment to the workplace” (p. 211).

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Why some groups fail: A survey of students’ experiences with learning groups

Feichtner, S. B., & Davis, E. A. (1984). Why some groups fail: A survey of students’ experiences with learning groups. Journal of Management Education,9(4), 58-73.

“From the (often blind) viewpoint of instructors, we had always viewed group work as an added advantage for the students – an opportunity to receive additional support while working closely with their peers.  We had never really considered what a disastrous experience some frustrates students must endure, or why some students reported only positive experience from classes utilizing group learning techniques.

       The issue of group learning has become an even greater concern in recent years as more college and university professors have begun to incorporate specific group assignments (i.e., assignment which require that students meet as a group and equally contribute to….”

Snapshot: A excellent review of issues that contribute to group failure, which means it also acts as a roadmap for how to work to make sure group work does not fail.  The researchers focused on group experience from the students perspectives and translate that into concrete suggestions for what instructors can/should do in order to be sure that a) group work is the best pedagogical options, but also b) that once the decision is made to use groups, they are more likely to be successful.

Quotes

  • I’m not sure the research bears out that teachers like group work and think its good for students or that they had no idea students were frustrated.  Both research and my own anecdotal evidence shows that faculty are keenly aware of how frustrating group work can be for both themselves and their student.
  • “In recent years there has been a marked trend for business decisions to be made within groups rather than by individuals acting solely on their own.  One possible reason for this is the growth of professional management teams, together with the general movement within the business world towards more participative management styles” (p. 58).
  • “Their responses indicated that students are more likely to have positive experiences in classes where groups are either formed by the instructor of by a combination of methods (e.g., one instructor collected data on students’ research interests and then grouped those with similar preferences)” (p. 60).
  • “we strongly advocate the use of permanent, heterogeneous groups formed by the instructor.  Although some students may prefer the freedom of making this choice, it often prevents close friends (sorority and fraternity members, foreign students, etc.) from forming subgroups from the start.  Learning to work with a new set of peers and forming interpersonal relationships is an added advantage of group work” (p. 61).
  • “The results also indicated that it is important to utilize peer evaluations as a part of the course grade (see Appendix A, question 1). When no peer evaluations were used, only one student in three reported a best group experience (see figured 6).  By contrast, three students out of five reported a best group experience when instructors employed a grading system in which peer evaluation counted for between 21 percent and 40 percent of the course grade” (p. 65).
  • “Our results indicated that if student influence on the grade is too great (over 61% – see figure 6) the impact of peer evaluation will probably be negative” (p. 67).
  • “One of the most crucial reasons is that, overall, they are very like to blame the group’s problems on the attitude or lack of competence of the instructor” (p. 68).
  • “Thus, at our universities instructors who use groups are liable for much of the blame when problems occur but are not likely to receive credit when the groups are effective” (p. 68).
  • “One technique is to carefully think through why we want to use groups and to communicate this rational to our students through the ways we structure their group experiences” (p. 68-9).
  • “’Exercise Brazil’ (Huse and Bowditch, 1977) which is a simulation where the correct answer is impossible to obtain unless all group members contribute” (p. 70).
  • “What Not To Do     Forming Groups     * Allow students to form their own groups or deliberately create homogeneous groups. * Establish groups that are either too small (3 or fewer members) or too large (8 or more members). * Dissolve and re-form the groups on a frequent basis such as after each activity or simulation” (p. 70).
  • “The teaching methods and skills involved in group learning classes differ significantly from those utilized in the traditional classroom, for both the role of the student and the teacher changes in the radical way [sic]” (p. 71).

To Look Up

Huse, Edgar F. and Bowditch, James L. Behavior in Organizations A Systems Approach to Managing. Second ed. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1977.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Mobile Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

Looi, C., Wong, L., & Song, Y. (2013). Mobile Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning.  In Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (Ed.). The international handbook of collaborative learning. (pp. 233-249). New York: Routledge

“Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) researchers have explored the types of interaction that are necessary in a collaborative team in order to produce positive learning outcomes.  These include such interactions as data and idea exchanges, explanations, argumentation, conflict resolution, knowledge construction, and artifact coconstruction. The researchers have also designed learning environments and scripts which scaffold these interactions; Collaborative activities are now integrated into curricular activity systems, learning activity workflows, or pedagogical scenarios that includes individual, small-group, and class-wide activities occurring in a variety of settings (e.g., classroom, home, workplace, field trips, off-campus community) and modes (e.g., face-to-face or remote; synchronous or asynchronous).

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Collaboration Scripts in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

Fischer, F., Kollar, I., Stegmann, K., Wecker, C., Zottmann, J., & Weinberger, A. (2013). Collaboration Scripts in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning.  In Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (Ed.). The international handbook of collaborative learning. (pp. 233-249). New York: Routledge

“Information and communication technologies are being used increasingly to support collaboration in formal and informal educational settings.  Research on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL; Stahl, Koschmann, & Suthers, 2006) has investigated methods of employing computer technologies to facilitate collaborative processes in groups of learners, and are typical for the realization of advanced instructional approaches such as inquiry learning (Linn, Lee, Tinker, Husic, & Chiu, 2006) or knowledge building (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1996, Stahl, 2002; Strijbos, Kirschner, & Martens, 2004), many learners have difficulty exploiting these opportunities when simply assigned to groups and left to their own devices (e.g., Barron, 2003).  This especially applies when learners have little….

 

Snapshot
Looks at scripted roles in groups and how they can be used effectively to help and guide students. Scripts provide interaction rather than content related support.   Chapter gives “an overview of general research on the effectiveness of the collaboration script approach to facilitate CSCL” (p. 414).

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work

Designing Collaborative Learning Through Computer Support

Dennen, V.P. & Haodley, C. (2013). Designing Collaborative Learning Through Computer Support.  In Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (Ed.). The international handbook of collaborative learning. (pp. 233-249). New York: Routledge

“Collaborative learning with technology is more than the use of some tool; rather, it requires careful design of not only tools, but also the learning activities and settings in which those tools take place.  Computer-supported collaborative learning is distinguished by the use of technology to support collaborative learning, as well as by a history of examining not only the design of technology tools but also the design of learning environments, including such aspects as curriculum or even more emergent aspects such as facilitated student-driven inquiry.  In this chapter, we discuss theories, principles, and techniques for designing computer-supported…

 

Snapshot

Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) focuses not just on the design of learning tools but also the learning environment. Use methods in CL section as examples of different methods addressed at the learning aspect of group work.  Learning has been looked at, and continues to be looked at, in reasonable depth.  My work looks very specifically at the process the instructor uses to put students into groups, with the goal of improving the overall process, allowing the benefits of the methods listed to be more fully realized.  Discussion on designing CSCL in different environments.

 

Quotes

  • “Collaborative learning design strategies are not contingent upon one specific learning theory” (p. 390).
  • “It is unlikely that any one learning theory is the best way to explain every aspect of a learning situation” (p. 390).
  • Methods: (p. 390-2)
    • jigsaw (Aronson & Yates, 1983) – one student from each group is assigned to learn something, then put into a different group of all those from the other groups assigned to learn the same things.  The students all then reconvene in their original groups, bringing their knowledge back to the group in order to assemble all the parts needed to address the issue.
    • reciprocal teaching (Palincsar & Brown, 1984) – students use summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and prediction , with both teacher and each student in the group taking a turn as leader.
    • problem-based learning (Barrows & Tamblyn, 1980) – learning to solve real-life problems with the help of a facilitator. Students identify gaps then solve them, forcing internalization of the learning.
    • communities of practices (Lave & Wenger, 1991) – share a set of core practices, learners move from peripheral to central participation as they learn more.
    • knowledge-building community (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1994) – emphasize collective cognitive responsibility, collective cognitive responsibility, collectively pursue knowledge, driven by the problems generated by the group.
  • “Learning goals set the stage for the rest of the learning experience.  Without clear learning goals, the rest of the learning experience is difficult to design.  Ideally, learning goals are stated in terms of learner outcomes, not activities” (p. 393).
  • “The collaborative premise is the very reason for engaging learners in a collaborative process and should be made clear to the learners, who need to know why the are supposed to collaborate.  The premise should express clearly what value might emerge from their collaborative work, why their interdependence will be an important part of the learning process or their personal inventive structures, in what ways they will be interdependent, and how the very act of collaboration relates to the learning goals.  If these things cannot be articulated to the learners, then the collaborative premise is likely to be weak” (p. 393).
  • “A group assignment should be a deliberate decision typically specifying both the size and composition of collaborative groups” (p. 393).
  •  “Teachers play an important role in the collaborative process, facilitating learners by monitoring their progress and providing support, guidance, and feedback as needed” (p. 395).

Leave a Comment

Filed under Dissertation Work