ERIC Number: EJ793718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Reference Count: 60
Distributed Collaboration Activities in a Blended Learning Scenario and the Effects on Learning Performance
Gerber, M.; Grund, S.; Grote, G.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v24 n3 p232-244 Jun 2008
The aim of this study was to investigate the nature of tutor and student online communication and collaboration activities in a blended learning course. The hypothesis that these activities are related to student learning performance (exam results) was tested based on the number of messages posted, as well as the nature of these messages (type of content transmitted in terms of course content-related, interpersonal and organizational activities). Descriptive results show that tutors were mainly involved in organizational tasks, whereas students communicated mostly at content-related and interpersonal levels. Student performance was not related to the quantity of tutors' activity, but to the quantity of students' activity. Closer examination of the nature of different activities showed that not only tutors' interpersonal, but also students' own content-related and interpersonal messages had an impact on students' learning performance. This study raises the possibility that the nature of messages is more important than their quantity. It calls into question former research, which has indicated the importance of the amount of activity while mostly neglecting to discriminate between the differences in nature of activities and which has based its findings almost entirely on subjective ratings for both activities and performance. Implications for evaluation of activities and design of personal support are discussed.
Descriptors: Cooperation, Course Content, Instructional Effectiveness, Hypothesis Testing, Computer Mediated Communication, Content Analysis, Student Behavior, Teacher Behavior, Outcomes of Education, Interpersonal Relationship, Evaluation Methods, College Faculty, Educational Technology, Scores
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A