Evaluating the Learning Effectiveness of Collaborative Problem Solving in Computer-Mediated Settings

Evaluating the Learning Effectiveness of Collaborative Problem Solving in Computer-Mediated Settings

Ourania Petropoulou (University of Piraeus, Greece), Georgia Lazakidou (University of Piraeus, Greece), Symeon Retalis (University of Piraeus, Greece) and Charalambos Vrasidas (CARDET, Cyprus)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-976-2.ch011

Abstract

here is a growing need for systematic evaluations of computer-supported collaborative learning environments. The present chapter focuses on the evaluation of the learning effectiveness of the interactions that take place in computer-supported problem solving environments. This chapter emphasizes the need for supporting evaluators of such environments with holistic evaluation conceptual frameworks and tools that can facilitate the analysis of data gathered during the evaluation process. We discuss in detail such a holistic framework which has been tested through a primary education case-study.
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Exploitation And Theoretical Issues Of Problem Solving Learning Communities

Collaborative problem solving has been variably exploited in schools from the first grades and in all disciplines. A great number of projects have been funded in order to explore collaborative problem solving as it is considered as a special style of teaching and learning (Johnston et al., 2000). The first and most cited project is the Jasper Project: an anchored instruction of mathematical problem solving that was developed by the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (CTGV, 1997). According to this project solvers explore and model a problem space involving mathematical problems for extended periods of time and from a diversity of perspectives; the problem spaces offer opportunities for cooperative learning and discussion in small groups, as well as for individual and whole-class problem solving. Another well-known project that was developed by the University of Pittsburgh (1998) is the Belvedere approach (http://hci.ece.upatras.gr/synergo/synergo.php) to represent flowcharts for collaborative exploitation and building of algorithms. These are some of the examples of exploiting collaborative problem solving into school settings for educational purposes.

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