Combining collaboration spaces: identifying patterns of tool use for decision-making in a networked learning environment

Paper


Thompson, Kate and Kelly, Nick. 2012. "Combining collaboration spaces: identifying patterns of tool use for decision-making in a networked learning environment." Hodgson, V., Jones, C., De Laat, M., McConnell, D., Ryberg, T. and Sloep, P. (ed.) 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (NLC 2012). Maastricht, Netherlands 02 - 04 Apr 2012 Lancaster, United Kingdom.
Paper/Presentation Title

Combining collaboration spaces: identifying patterns of tool use for decision-making in a networked learning environment

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsThompson, Kate (Author) and Kelly, Nick (Author)
EditorsHodgson, V., Jones, C., De Laat, M., McConnell, D., Ryberg, T. and Sloep, P.
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (NLC 2012)
Number of Pages8
Year2012
Place of PublicationLancaster, United Kingdom
ISBN9781862202832
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fss/organisations/netlc/past/nlc2012/abstracts/pdf/thompson.pdf
Conference/Event8th International Conference on Networked Learning (NLC 2012)
Event Details
8th International Conference on Networked Learning (NLC 2012)
Parent
International Conference on Networked Learning
Event Date
02 to end of 04 Apr 2012
Event Location
Maastricht, Netherlands
Abstract

This paper describes a study that examines the process of two groups using a combined collaboration space (a synchronous chat and an asynchronous wiki). We examine the tasks and topics about which students made decisions during a month-long collaborative learning project, undertaken as part of a larger course. In order to examine the processes of collaboration, particularly in relation to the tools used and the decisions made, we coded both the chat and wiki data according to the task and decision topic the learners discussed. Findings that focused on the chat data only had already been reported, and the decision-making process for both groups had been described. The data were rendered as visual forms from which Alexandrian patterns in the group collaboration could be extracted; namely alternating repetition, local symmetries, and deep interlock and ambiguity.
Patterns were found to repeat in the ways that the two groups interacted with each other (in terms of the complexity of the distribution of utterances about subtasks and tasks) as well as with the tool (in terms of the complexity of the distribution of tool use throughout the collaboration). Local symmetries were observed, and a greater number associated with Group A, who had greater complexity in their collaboration. In addition, deep interlock and ambiguity was determined to be of interest particularly in the case of Group A, in describing the way in which they incorporated the wiki into their collaboration. Group B had a more linear approach to their discussion (tasks and subtasks were rarely re-visited after other decisions were made), and their tool use. We were able to conclude that the flexibility that the two groups exhibited meant that they could determine the pattern of tool use and collaboration that best supported their collaboration. We found the visualisations to be extremely useful in identifying and extracting Alexandrian patterns, in representing the collaboration of a group over time, and in visualising the multiple streams of data that were analysed. The identification of these patterns of learning and collaboration would support the patterns approach to educational design. We propose that this initial study be expanded to include other measures of process.

Keywordsprocesses of learning; patterns; synchronous collaboration; asynchronous collaboration; online chat; wiki; decision-making
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520203. Cognitive neuroscience
461002. Human information behaviour
390409. Learning sciences
Public Notes

Copyright 2012 Lancaster University. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Sydney
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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