Pedagogical and Technological Considerations Designing Collaborative Learning Using Educational Technologies

Pedagogical and Technological Considerations Designing Collaborative Learning Using Educational Technologies

Karen Skibba (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA), Danyelle Moore (Niagara University, USA) and Jennifer H. Herman (Niagara University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2988-2.ch001


Digital educational technologies can be used by instructors to help students create collaborative knowledge in the higher education classroom. This chapter describes six case studies, based on a mixed-methods research approach, that demonstrate the use of a specific digital educational technology. These technologies, which include social media, collaboratively written online documents, webinars, clickers, simulation games, and Web technologies, have been integrated into a course for the purpose of enhancing both learning and collaboration among students. The instructors explained how these technologies improved student learning and fostered collaboration. Each case study provides technical, epistemological, cognitive, and social design features and suggestions for other instructors who are considering applying these technologies to their own courses.
Chapter Preview


Collaborative Learning

When groups experience cohesion and become a learning community, the quality of collaboration increases and the productivity of the group are positively affected (Viilo, Seitamaa-Hakkarainen & Hakkarainen, 2011). Collaboration can be enhanced in virtual learning environments when flexibility of time and opportunity for synchronous as well as asynchronous collaborative efforts can be executed (Ibanez, et al., 2011; Vesisenaho, et al., 2010). The learning curve for use of a new technology is important to take into consideration because initial collaborative efforts may result in technical difficulties that demand troubleshooting and take time. The learning curve is more evident when using more complex technology.

The intentional creation of learning groups to complete problem-based learning exercises was found to result in significantly higher levels of course satisfaction when clear goals were set, best practices of teaching were employed, and appropriate workloads and assessments were assigned (Downing, Ning & Shin, 2011). The implications of using technology for collaboration promotes authentic knowledge creation and systematic learning with support and content facilitation provided by the instructor (Songhao, Saito, Maeda, & Kubo, 2011). Collaborative learning opportunities explicitly incorporated into course design promoting the use of technology can be very useful in the enhancement of the course material and the engagement of students.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: