Special Issue "Collaborative Learning with Technology—Frontiers and Evidence"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gilly Salmon

Management School, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK
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Guest Editor
Dr. Christine Armatas

Associate Director of Educational Development, Educational Development Centre of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
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Guest Editor
Dr. Kevin Chan

Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue, “Collaborative Learning with Technology—Frontiers and Evidence”, addresses the surge for developments and research related to using technology towards collaborative learning. In an ever-changing world where skills go obsolete in months rather than years, working collaboratively has become a core skill to survive and flourish in the 21st century. There is probably no better way to promote skills in collaboration by learning collaboratively. 

With the rise of social constructivism and blended learning in the education sector, we welcome for inclusion in this Special Issue articles that: (1) provide an empirical evidence on strategies and interventions that facilitate collaborative learning with technology for narrowing the literature gaps; (2) present studies (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed) that demonstrate how effective blend of collaborative learning and technology could enhance learning experience, student-cantered learning, and learning outcomes, and (3) describe frontiers and practices in the realm of implementing or promoting collaborative learning with technology.

Prof. Dr. Gilly Salmon
Dr. Christine Armatas
Dr. Kevin Chan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • e-learning
  • collaborative learning
  • blended learning
  • learning science

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Efficient Use of Clickers: A Mixed-Method Inquiry with University Teachers
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010031
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
With the advancement of information technology and policies encouraging interactivities in teaching and learning, the use of students’ response system (SRS), commonly known as clickers, has experienced substantial growth in recent years. The reported effectiveness of SRS has varied. Based on the framework
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With the advancement of information technology and policies encouraging interactivities in teaching and learning, the use of students’ response system (SRS), commonly known as clickers, has experienced substantial growth in recent years. The reported effectiveness of SRS has varied. Based on the framework of technological-pedagogical-content knowledge (TPACK), the current study attempted to explore the disparity in efficiency of adopting SRS. A concurrent mixed method design was adopted to delineate factors conducive to efficient adoption of SRS through closed-ended survey responses and qualitative data. Participants were purposefully sampled from diverse academic disciplines and backgrounds. Seventeen teachers from various disciplines (i.e., tourism management, business, health sciences, applied sciences, engineering, and social sciences) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University formed a teacher focus group for the current study. In the facilitated focus group, issues relating to efficient use of clickers, participants explored questions on teachers’ knowledge on various technologies, knowledge relating to their subject matters, methods and processes of teaching, as well as how to integrate all knowledge into their teaching. The TPACK model was adopted to guide the discussions. Emergent themes from the discussions were extracted using NVivo 10 for Windows, and were categorized according to the framework of TPACK. The survey, implemented on an online survey platform, solicited participants on teachers’ knowledge and technology acceptance. The close-ended survey comprised 30 items based on the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework and 20 items based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). Participating teachers concurred with the suggestion that use of clickers is instrumental in engaging students in learning and assessing formative students’ progress. Converging with the survey results, several major themes contributing to the successful implementation of clickers, namely technology, technological-pedagogical, technological-content, technological-pedagogical-content knowledge, were identified from the teacher focus groups. The most and second most frequently cited themes were technological-pedagogical-content Knowledge and the technological knowledge respectively. Findings from the current study triangulated with previous findings on TPACK and use of clickers, particularly, the influence of technological-pedagogical-content Knowledge and technological knowledge on successful integration of innovations in class. Furthermore, the current study highlighted the impact of technological-pedagogical and technological-content knowledge for further research to unfold technology adoption with these featured TPACK configurations, as well as rendering support to frontline academics related to integration of technology and pedagogy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Learning with Technology—Frontiers and Evidence)
Open AccessArticle Socially Challenged Collaborative Learning of Secondary School Students in Singapore
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010024
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Using a grounded theory research design, this paper examined the collaborative learning experiences of secondary school students in Singapore. The core phenomenon that emerged was the need for social interactions in collaborative learning, both in classroom and online settings. Educators often take for
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Using a grounded theory research design, this paper examined the collaborative learning experiences of secondary school students in Singapore. The core phenomenon that emerged was the need for social interactions in collaborative learning, both in classroom and online settings. Educators often take for granted that effective collaborative learning will occur naturally once students are assigned to work in groups. In examining students’ dissatisfaction when working in groups, this study highlighted the importance of surfacing these hidden assumptions for careful scrutiny. The key factors identified were centered on the need to address social challenges within collaborative learning. These included a pragmatic, results-oriented approach with limited interpersonal engagement used by students that can compromise collaborative learning outcomes. Having a deeper understanding of the challenges that resulted from limited social interactions provides educators with insights when designing classroom and online learning activities. This paper contributes to the understanding of groups’ active learning to inform pedagogical practices for educators engaged in designing better collaborative learning experiences. Educators and curriculum designers need to be aware of the social drawbacks in collaborative learning in order to design a more socially engaging learning environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Learning with Technology—Frontiers and Evidence)
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Open AccessArticle Machine Learning-Based App for Self-Evaluation of Teacher-Specific Instructional Style and Tools
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010007
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 31 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract
Course instructors need to assess the efficacy of their teaching methods, but experiments in education are seldom politically, administratively, or ethically feasible. Quasi-experimental tools, on the other hand, are often problematic, as they are typically too complicated to be of widespread use to
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Course instructors need to assess the efficacy of their teaching methods, but experiments in education are seldom politically, administratively, or ethically feasible. Quasi-experimental tools, on the other hand, are often problematic, as they are typically too complicated to be of widespread use to educators and may suffer from selection bias occurring due to confounding variables such as students’ prior knowledge. We developed a machine learning algorithm that accounts for students’ prior knowledge. Our algorithm is based on symbolic regression that uses non-experimental data on previous scores collected by the university as input. It can predict 60–70 percent of variation in students’ exam scores. Applying our algorithm to evaluate the impact of teaching methods in an ordinary differential equations class, we found that clickers were a more effective teaching strategy as compared to traditional handwritten homework; however, online homework with immediate feedback was found to be even more effective than clickers. The novelty of our findings is in the method (machine learning-based analysis of non-experimental data) and in the fact that we compare the effectiveness of clickers and handwritten homework in teaching undergraduate mathematics. Evaluating the methods used in a calculus class, we found that active team work seemed to be more beneficial for students than individual work. Our algorithm has been integrated into an app that we are sharing with the educational community, so it can be used by practitioners without advanced methodological training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Learning with Technology—Frontiers and Evidence)
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Open AccessArticle Prediction of Students’ Use and Acceptance of Clickers by Learning Approaches: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study
Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci7040091
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
The student response system (a.k.a clickers) had been widely used in classrooms for various pedagogical purposes these years. However, few of the studies examine students learning approaches toward both technology and engagement. The present study adopted a cross-sectional study method to investigate the
[...] Read more.
The student response system (a.k.a clickers) had been widely used in classrooms for various pedagogical purposes these years. However, few of the studies examine students learning approaches toward both technology and engagement. The present study adopted a cross-sectional study method to investigate the relationship between students’ user acceptance of clickers, learning approaches, and general engagement in the clicker classes. A group of 3371 university students were investigated by an online questionnaire that contained with Unified Theory of Use and Acceptance of Technology, Study Process Questionnaire, and National Survey of Student Engagement across a two-semester span in 2015 and 2016. A regression analysis had been adopted to examine the relationship between those variables. Results indicated that a deep learning approach significantly predicted all user acceptance domains towards using clickers and significantly predicted several engagement domains such as collaborative learning and reflective and integrative learning. We concluded that deep learners tend to share a constructive attitude toward using clickers, especially when their peers are also using the clickers. While deep learners prefer integration of knowledge and skills from various sources and experiences, we hypothesize that their willingness to integrate clicker activities in their learning process stems from seeing clickers as a medium for consolidation in the learning process. Future research is, therefore, necessary to provide more detailed evidence of the characteristic of deep learners on the qualitative arm or in a way of mixed research method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Learning with Technology—Frontiers and Evidence)
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Open AccessConference Report Improving Communicative Competence through Synchronous Communication in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments: A Systematic Review
Educ. Sci. 2018, 8(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci8010015
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
Computer-supported collaborative learning facilitates the extension of second language acquisition into social practice. Studies on its achievement effects speak directly to the pedagogical notion of treating communicative practice in synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC): real-time communication that takes place between human beings via the
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Computer-supported collaborative learning facilitates the extension of second language acquisition into social practice. Studies on its achievement effects speak directly to the pedagogical notion of treating communicative practice in synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC): real-time communication that takes place between human beings via the instrumentality of computers in forms of text, audio and video communication, such as live chat and chatrooms as socially-oriented meaning construction. This review begins by considering the adoption of social interactionist views to identify key paradigms and supportive principles of computer-supported collaborative learning. A special focus on two components of communicative competence is then presented to explore interactional variables in synchronous computer-mediated communication along with a review of research. There follows a discussion on a synthesis of interactional variables in negotiated interaction and co-construction of knowledge from psycholinguistic and social cohesion perspectives. This review reveals both possibilities and disparities of language socialization in promoting intersubjective learning and diversifying the salient use of interactively creative language in computer-supported collaborative learning environments in service of communicative competence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Learning with Technology—Frontiers and Evidence)
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