About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5430-5438
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

EFFECTS OF SUPPORT METHODS ON VIRTUAL COLLABORATION – A SUBJECTIVE EVALUATION

B. Kopp, H. Mandl

Ludwig-Maximilians-University (GERMANY)
This study investigates the effects of two support methods (the design of group work and providing feedback) on virtual collaboration, namely on a task- and on a social level. The main objective is how these two support methods may have an impact on virtual collaboration over a specific period of time.
The main purpose of virtual collaboration is to solve tasks together in order to receive a better solution than when solving tasks individually. In this context, the task level and the social level are of relevance. The task level includes goal orientation and task completion. While goal orientation focuses on the impact of the goal, task completion forms the main purpose of collaboration. The social level involves group cohesion and taking responsibility. Group cohesion describes the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united; taking responsibility is central for the whole collaboration to prevent dysfunctional phenomena. To support virtual collaboration, we implemented two key methods: the design of group work with assigning roles to group members and providing them with group rules, and providing learners with feedback on their performance and with worked examples.
Thus, we examined the main question to what extent do the design of group work and feedback correlate with virtual collaboration over time, respectively to what extent do the design of group work and feedback affect collaboration over time.
To gain further insights, we evaluated the seminar “Attachment Theory” at three points in time during a semester. Thirty-two participants studying pedagogy were asked to evaluate the seminar in a survey rating the relevant dimensions at three points of time. Every four weeks, participants received an online questionnaire to be filled-in within one week. This questionnaire included four dimensions for virtual collaboration using a six-point Likert scale from 1 (“not effective at all”) to 6 (“very effective”), namely goal orientation, task completion, group cohesion, and taking responsibility. To measure support methods, we asked how effective certain aspects were for group work, specifically for group design “rotating moderator” and “defining group rules”, and for providing feedback “feedback on group solutions” and “worked examples”.
Results showed that the design of the group work correlated positively and significant with all four dimensions of collaboration (goal orientation, task completion, cohesion, and taking responsibility) at the first and second points of measurement, and with group cohesion and taking responsibility at the third point of time. Providing feedback showed almost no significant correlations. Further regression analyses were almost all significant, showing strong effects especially on the social level of virtual collaboration. Overall, according to these evaluation data, group design with assigning roles and providing group rules showed a positive impact on their virtual collaboration on a social level. It seems that the assignment of roles and group rules are essential to foster the social interaction in virtual collaboration. As virtual collaboration is often more difficult because of missing non-verbal cues, such support methods seems to compensate the differences in communication and collaboration, especially in respect to foster group cohesion and taking responsibility – two essential aspects for effective collaboration which is often neglected.
@InProceedings{KOPP2012EFF,
author = {Kopp, B. and Mandl, H.},
title = {EFFECTS OF SUPPORT METHODS ON VIRTUAL COLLABORATION – A SUBJECTIVE EVALUATION},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {5430-5438}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Kopp AU - H. Mandl
TI - EFFECTS OF SUPPORT METHODS ON VIRTUAL COLLABORATION – A SUBJECTIVE EVALUATION
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 5430
EP - 5438
ER -
B. Kopp, H. Mandl (2012) EFFECTS OF SUPPORT METHODS ON VIRTUAL COLLABORATION – A SUBJECTIVE EVALUATION, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 5430-5438.
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