Communication is not collaboration: observations from a case study in collaborative learning

Jowers, Iestyn; Gaved, Mark; Elliott-Cirigottis, Gary; Dallison, Delphine; Rochead, Alan and Craig, Mark (2016). Communication is not collaboration: observations from a case study in collaborative learning. In: Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference (Lloyd, Peter and Bohemia, Erik eds.), Brighton, UK, pp. 609–624.

URL: http://www.drs2016.org/487/

Abstract

This paper presents a case study that focusses on developing communication and collaboration skills of undergraduate design students studying at a distance, and vocational learners based in a community maker-space. Participants were drawn from these formal and informal educational settings and engaged in a project framed in the context of distributed manufacturing, with designers working at a distance from the makers, whilst communicating using asynchronous online tools. Early analysis of the collected data has identified a diversity of working practice across the participants, and highlighted a disjunction between communication and collaboration. Encouraging learners to communicate is not the same as encouraging collaboration. Instead effective collaboration depends on sharing expertise through dialogue.

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