Computer-Supported Collaborative Work and Learning: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Key Moderators in Experimental GSS Research

Computer-Supported Collaborative Work and Learning: A Meta-Analytic Examination of Key Moderators in Experimental GSS Research

John Lim (National University of Singapore, Singapore), Yin Ping Yang (National University of Singapore, Singapore) and Yingqin Zhong (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/jwltt.2007100104
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Abstract

Evident and growing research interest has been witnessed on the relationship between the use of computerbased systems and effective communication in group-related activities such as collaborative learning and training. The various terms accorded to this research stream include virtual teams, e-collaboration, computer-supported collaborative work, distributed work, electronic meetings, etc. A notable and well-accepted aspect in the information system field is group support systems (GSS), the focus of this article. The numerous GSS studies have reported findings which may not be altogether consistent. An overall picture is much in want which attends to the synthesizing of the findings accumulated over decades. This article presents a meta-analysis study aimed at gaining a general understanding of GSS effects. We investigate six important moderators of group outcomes, namely group size, task type, anonymity, time and proximity, level of technology, and the existence of facilitation. The results point to important conclusions about the phenomenon of interest; in particular, their implications vis-à-vis computer-supported collaborative learning technologies and use are discussed and highlighted along each dimension of the studied variables.

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