Holliman, Richard and Scanlon, Eileen
Investigating co-operation and collaboration in near synchronous computer mediated conferences.
Computers and Education, 46(3) pp. 322–335.
The development and use of computer mediated communications as a tool for teaching and learning has grown considerably in recent years. It has been developed to extend the conventional face-to-face tutorial environment and for distance-learning purposes, actively engaging students in productive learning situations. Here we document the findings of an analysis of near synchronous conferencing where postgraduate distance learners worked in small groups to produce a report that examined media coverage of controversial science. The results suggest that students actively engaged in both cooperative and collaborative learning in preparing and producing these reports, and that tutor interventions were an important factor in influencing peer interaction. Furthermore, we have found evidence of cooperation between learners who passively participate in vicarious learning. We consider the implications of these findings with respect to current definitions of cooperation and collaboration.
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