Developing collaborative learning practices in an online language course

Chang, Heejin and Windeatt, Scott (2016) Developing collaborative learning practices in an online language course. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29 (8). pp. 1271-1286. ISSN 0958-8221


There is much evidence to support the occurrence of learning in connection with collaboration, both in face-to-face and online teaching situations. There is much less research, however, on how such collaboration develops over the duration of a course. Using Dillenbourg’s concepts of situation, interactions, mechanisms and effects as a framework, the current study aims to fill that gap by following a group of 47 university students participating in a 15-week online English course for low- to mid-intermediate learners. Data gathered included participants’ reflective journals, questionnaires, written assignments, e-mails, web-board messages, and comments. These were analysed using open, axial, and selective coding. Three different forms of collaboration were identified - reading each other’s work, providing feedback, and working in groups. The main points to emerge from the study were the importance of the social aspect of collaboration, of allowing time for collaboration to develop, and effect of the gradual development of confidence among the participants. Patterns of collaboration which were evident at the start of the course changed as the group developed a sense of community and mutual trust, with students who initially held back from offering their work for comment gradually posting their work early to encourage feedback from others.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Second place winner for the USQ School-Specific 2016 Publication Excellence Awards for Journal Articles - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education. Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Open Access College
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2017 01:39
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2017 02:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: collaborative learning, e-learning, social interaction, reading collaboration
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130207 LOTE, ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Maori)
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2004 Linguistics > 200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2016.1274331

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