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ERIC Number: EJ892386
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0830-0445
Collaborative Learning in an Online Course: A Comparison of Communication Patterns in Small and Whole Group Activities
Jahng, Namsook; Nielsen, Wendy S.; Chan, Eric K. H.
Journal of Distance Education, v24 n2 p39-58 2010
This article reports on the investigation of collaborative learning processes in an online course that examined students' communication during whole-group discussions and small-group activities. Content analysis and social network analysis methods were employed to code and categorize text messages to uncover students' communication behaviour. The results show that individuals' participation patterns were similar during the two different settings, but some inactive students during whole-group discussions were more active in small-groups. The social-out (sent-out messages) during whole-group discussions was a significant variable associated with cognitive contributions in whole-group as well as social and managerial contributions in small-group activities. This article also identified three indices, i.e., quantity, equality, shareness, that can be used as quantitative measures for evaluating small group collaboration. (Contains 4 figures and 6 tables.)
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada