Evidence-based practices in elearning. Collaborative learning in higher education: empirical evidence. Prof. dr. Martin Valcke http://allserv.ugent.be/~mvalcke/CV/CVMVA.htm Hamburg February 4, 2007
Structure • Collaborative learning without ICT • Setting the scene • But does it lead to learning? • Group characteristics • Task characteristics • Scripting • Roles • Tagging • Student characteristics & support: peer tutoring • Conclusions
Conclusions • Collaborative learning: don’t forget « lessons learned » • Collaborative learning is part of larger learning environment • Adding structure is the key: roles, scripting, tagging • Coaching, tutoring, … has an impact • Management issues
« Collaborative learning is in the air » « Everyone wants it. It is the instructional strategy, perhaps the strategy of the decade »
What do we know about collaborative learning without ICT?What does the research say?
Collaborative learning without ICT? • Meta-analysis collaborative learning research • Slavin (1996) • Johnson & Johnson (1989) • “The research has an external validity and a generalizability rarely found in the social sciences.”
Collaborative learning without ICT? • Consistent and overwhelming positive impact on performance, motivation, social skills, development of metacognition, etc. • But, why has it not been implemented to a larger extent?
Design guidelines • Garantee that there are shared learning objectives in a team • Build on team responsibility to reach the goals. • Build individual responsibility to reach goals. • Guarantee equal opportunities in the team activities. • Embed a level of competition and/or comparision.
Design guidelines • Break down larger tasks into subtasks. • Take into account individual differences (level, interest, intentions, ...). • Blend group activities with face-to-face activities. • Develop communication skills. • Monitor communication processes.
Setting the scene • University • Large groups of 1st year students (N=286) • Online learning environment • Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL): part of this environment • Course ‘Instructional Sciences’ • 35 groups of 8 students working in online groups
But does this invoke relevant learning? • Collaboration does not lead automatically to high quality learning. • There is a need guidance and online support in CSCL settings that is comparable to the need of classroom support in face-to-face settings (Lazonder, Wilhelm, & Ootes, 2003).
But does this invoke relevant learning? • First generation CSCL-research: • Naive use of cooperative learning • Medium orientation • Neglection of context / individual / objectives • Over-estimation of potential technology
Does it invoke relevant learning? • First generation: • Management problems • No insight into structure of dicsussion • Low task focus (Henri, 1982) • Low levels of cognitive processing: new facts, concepts; hardly theory construction, application, evaluation • Time on task problem • What with students who are not active? • …
But does this invoke relevant learning? • Second generation CSCL-research: • Focus on “affordances” • Attention paid to “design guidelines”
Applying design guidelines • Shared learning objectives • Team responsibility • Individual responsibility • Equal opportunities • Level of competition or comparision.
Applying design guidelines • Subtasks. • Individual differences • Blend group and face-to-face activities • Develop communication skills. • Monitor communication processes
Design guidelines ~ 3 sets of variables Learner characteristics & support Task characteristics Group Characteristics
Design guidelines ~ 3 sets of variables • Group: • Size • level of interaction • Task characteristics: • Nature of task (open, theme) • Roles (content) • Roles (communication) • Tagging • Timing of role assignment • Learner: characteristics and support
Learning:Nature of dependendent variables • Level of interaction • Level of knowledge construction • Learning performance (test scores) • Level of critical thinking • Self & group efficacy
Differential impact Group size small (8-10), average (11-13 , large (15-18)
Roles • Pharmacy education • 5th year students • 5 months internship • Lack of integrated pharmaceutical knowledge
Roles • Content roles: • Pharmacyst • Pharmacyst assistant • Theorist • Researcher • Intern • Communication roles: • Moderator • Question-asker • Summarizer • Source researcher
ICS Integrated Curriculum Score S. TIMMERS, M. VALCKE*, K. DE MIL & W.R.G. BAEYENS (in press). The Impact of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning on Internship Outcomes of Pharmacy Students. Interactive Learning Environments
LKC Level knowledge Construction S. TIMMERS, M. VALCKE*, K. DE MIL & W.R.G. BAEYENS (in press). The Impact of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning on Internship Outcomes of Pharmacy Students. Interactive Learning Environments
Timing roles • 1ste year course “instructional sciences” • N 250 • 20 discussion groups • Transcripts of the entire 12 week discussion period • 4 discussion themes of 3 weeks each • About 4818 messages or 60450 lines of text
Roles • Starter: start off the discussion, give new impulses every time the discussions slack off • Moderator: monitor the discussions, stimulate other students, ask critical questions, inquire for opinions • Theoretician: bring in theory, ensure all relevant theoretical concepts are used in the discusion • Sourcesearcher: seek external information on the topics, go beyond the scope of course reader • Summarizer: post interim summaries, make provisional conclusions, post final summary
Gunawardena, Lowe, & Anderson (1997) • Level 1: sharing/comparing of information • Level 2: the discovery and exploration of dissonance or inconsistency among ideas, concepts or statements • Level 3: negotiation of meaning / co-construction of knowledge • Level 4: testing and modification of proposed synthesis or co-construction • Level 5: agreement statement(s) / applications of newly constructed meaning
Timing: introduction roles • Role/No-Role condition reaches significantly higher levels of knowledge construction in two themes • Even when the role support is cut back
“There is a differential impact of the different roles” Differential impact roles Source Searcher = Theoretician + Summarizer +++ Moderator + = Starter No role + Ref.cat. No role condition