Combining collaboration spaces: identifying patterns of tool use for decision-making in a networked learning environment

Thompson, Kate and Kelly, Nick (2012) Combining collaboration spaces: identifying patterns of tool use for decision-making in a networked learning environment. In: 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (NLC 2012), 2-4 Apr 2012, Maastricht, Netherlands.

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This paper describes a study that examines the process of two groups using a combined collaboration space (a synchronous chat and an asynchronous wiki). We examine the tasks and topics about which students made decisions during a month-long collaborative learning project, undertaken as part of a larger course. In order to examine the processes of collaboration, particularly in relation to the tools used and the decisions made, we coded both the chat and wiki data according to the task and decision topic the learners discussed. Findings that focused on the chat data only had already been reported, and the decision-making process for both groups had been described. The data were rendered as visual forms from which Alexandrian patterns in the group collaboration could be extracted; namely alternating repetition, local symmetries, and deep interlock and ambiguity.
Patterns were found to repeat in the ways that the two groups interacted with each other (in terms of the complexity of the distribution of utterances about subtasks and tasks) as well as with the tool (in terms of the complexity of the distribution of tool use throughout the collaboration). Local symmetries were observed, and a greater number associated with Group A, who had greater complexity in their collaboration. In addition, deep interlock and ambiguity was determined to be of interest particularly in the case of Group A, in describing the way in which they incorporated the wiki into their collaboration. Group B had a more linear approach to their discussion (tasks and subtasks were rarely re-visited after other decisions were made), and their tool use. We were able to conclude that the flexibility that the two groups exhibited meant that they could determine the pattern of tool use and collaboration that best supported their collaboration. We found the visualisations to be extremely useful in identifying and extracting Alexandrian patterns, in representing the collaboration of a group over time, and in visualising the multiple streams of data that were analysed. The identification of these patterns of learning and collaboration would support the patterns approach to educational design. We propose that this initial study be expanded to include other measures of process.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2012 Lancaster University. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2014 23:57
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 06:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: processes of learning; patterns; synchronous collaboration; asynchronous collaboration; online chat; wiki; decision-making
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170205 Neurocognitive Patterns and Neural Networks
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080703 Human Information Behaviour
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes

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