Collaborative Knowledge Construction in Online Learning Environment: Why to Promote and How to Investigate

Collaborative Knowledge Construction in Online Learning Environment: Why to Promote and How to Investigate

Rikki Rimor (Open University of Israel, Israel) and Yigal Rosen (Open University of Israel, Israel)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-749-7.ch010
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Abstract

The current study is based on academic on-line course and examines the effectiveness of collaborative learning vs. individual learning. Fifty eight graduate students in the Open University participated in course entitled “From information to knowledge” collaborating in a Google Docs environment as their final task of the course. The purpose of the study was to examine whether students with a collaborative learning orientation differ from students with an individual learning orientation, as was measured through their contribution to the process of knowledge construction in a collaborative online database environment. The students’ contribution to the database was analyzed through personal and collective criteria of knowledge construction. The results showed differential achievements among learners with different learning orientations. While the ‘collaborative learners’ contributed more collective knowledge, the ‘individual learners’ focused on constructing their own personal knowledge. These findings have important implications on planning, coordinating and evaluating collaborative learning environments.

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