Students' Attitudes toward Process and Product Oriented Online Collaborative Learning

Students' Attitudes toward Process and Product Oriented Online Collaborative Learning

Xinchun Wang (California State University, Fresno, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-238-1.ch002
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Although the pedagogical advantages of online interactive learning are well known, much needs to be done in instructional design of applicable collaborative learning tasks that motivate sustained student participation and interaction. In a previous study based on a Web-based course offered in 2004, Wang (2007) investigated the factors that promote sustained online collaboration for knowledge building. By providing new data from the same Web-based course offered in 2006 and 2007, this study investigates students’ attitudes toward process- and product-oriented online collaborative learning. The analysis of 93 post course survey questionnaire data show that the overwhelming majority of students have positive experience with online collaborative learning. Data also suggest that students are more enthusiastic about process-oriented tasks and their attitudes toward product-oriented collaborative learning tasks are mixed.
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The pedagogical advantages of student interaction in collaborative construction of knowledge are grounded in the social constructivist perspective of learning. From the social constructivist perspective, all learning is inherently social in nature. Knowledge is discovered and constructed through negotiation, or collective sense making (Duin & Hansen, 1994; Kern, 1995; Wang & Teles, 1998; Wu, 2003). Pedagogically sound tasks in an online learning environment should, therefore, reflect social learning and facilitate interactive learning and collaborative construction of knowledge.

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