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2002 Using Technology to Create and Enhance Collaborative Learning

Date: 2002
Author: James D. Dvorak, Dr. Karen Buchanan
Affiliation: Oklahoma Christian University
Keywords: University, teaching, learning, technology, collaboration


Oklahoma Christian University has implemented a ubiquitous computing program where every student and faculty member are equipped with IBM ThinkPad laptops that connected to a wireless network. The technological enhancements provided by this program helped to create an environment where collaboration between students and faculty could be increased. During the first full year of implementation, one course typically taught in a lecture-based format was re-designed to foster more collaboration and active learning. The instructor enhanced the course with collaborative technology, delivered most of the first exposure to the materials online, and created collaborative assignments to be done during the classroom time. A survey and several interviews were conducted to glean student feedback. Students found the course challenging and they rose to meet that challenge.

Key Findings:

* The students found themselves interacting with the material and with each other more in this course than in any of their other courses. Because the lectures were online and because the technology allowed them to communicate with each other so much easier, they found themselves engaged in the course material even on days the class was not meeting.

* On the survey the students were asked if they agree or disagree with the following statement: "If given the opportunity to take this class again, I would choose an Acts class with a more traditional lecture format." 54% of the students agreed or strongly agreed with this statement, 20% were neutral, and 27% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

* Every student commented that this class was very demanding, whereas lecture format classes are less demanding.

* It was discovered that students enjoyed working on assignments in teams. While technology makes it easier to collaborate, students still desire and require face-to-face time.

Source Article: http://eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/1b/17/ef.pdf