Group Modeling in Social Learning Environments

Group Modeling in Social Learning Environments

Slavomir Stankov (University of Split, Croatia), Vlado Glavinic (University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Divna Krpan (University of Split, Croatia)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/jdet.2012040103
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Abstract

Students’ collaboration while learning could provide better learning environments. Collaboration assumes social interactions which occur in student groups. Social theories emphasize positive influence of such interactions on learning. In order to create an appropriate learning environment that enables social interactions, it is important to carefully choose group members. In this paper, a group modeling process designed both to help students learn better and to face problems in introductory programming courses together is described. The group model is supported by graph theory and used in a popular social network environment. The authors conducted action research, analyzed students’ activities and the social environment, all of which provided us with helpful experiences for further research.
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Theoretical Background

In this section, we describe social learning theories to determine the importance of students' interaction while learning, with a brief overview of Web 2.0 tools as the online environment for socializing. Such interactions are not recognized in individual learning domain, while group learning and problem solving exists in traditional learning and teaching (Bersin, 2004). Students, however, gain different experiences and accomplish social interactions through group work and collaboration. As group members share skills and knowledge, so the whole group as one entity has more skills and knowledge than each individual, showing synergy effects. We also present subset of definitions selected from general graph theory which were used in this research.

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