Skip to main content
placeholder image

Collaborative learning in an online course: A comparison of communication patterns in small and whole group activities

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • This article reports on the investigation of collaborative learning processes in an online course that examined students' communication during whole-group discussions and small-group activities. Content analysis and social network analysis methods were employed to code and categorize text messages to uncover students’ communication behaviour. The results show that individuals’ participation patterns were similar during the two different settings, but some inactive students during whole-group discussions were more active in small-groups. The social-out (sent-out messages) during whole-group discussions was a significant variable associated with cognitive contributions in whole-group as well as social and managerial contributions in small-group activities. It also identified three indexes, i.e., quantity, equality, shareness, that can be used as quantitative measures for evaluating small group collaboration.

UOW Authors


  •   Jahng, Namsook (external author)
  •   Nielsen, Wendy
  •   Chan, Eric KH. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Jahng, N., Nielsen, W. S. & Chan, E. KH. (2010). Collaborative learning in an online course: A comparison of communication patterns in small and whole group activities. The Journal of Distance Education, 24 (2), 39-58.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2319&context=edupapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/edupapers/1004

Number Of Pages


  • 19

Start Page


  • 39

End Page


  • 58

Volume


  • 24

Issue


  • 2

Abstract


  • This article reports on the investigation of collaborative learning processes in an online course that examined students' communication during whole-group discussions and small-group activities. Content analysis and social network analysis methods were employed to code and categorize text messages to uncover students’ communication behaviour. The results show that individuals’ participation patterns were similar during the two different settings, but some inactive students during whole-group discussions were more active in small-groups. The social-out (sent-out messages) during whole-group discussions was a significant variable associated with cognitive contributions in whole-group as well as social and managerial contributions in small-group activities. It also identified three indexes, i.e., quantity, equality, shareness, that can be used as quantitative measures for evaluating small group collaboration.

UOW Authors


  •   Jahng, Namsook (external author)
  •   Nielsen, Wendy
  •   Chan, Eric KH. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Jahng, N., Nielsen, W. S. & Chan, E. KH. (2010). Collaborative learning in an online course: A comparison of communication patterns in small and whole group activities. The Journal of Distance Education, 24 (2), 39-58.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2319&context=edupapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/edupapers/1004

Number Of Pages


  • 19

Start Page


  • 39

End Page


  • 58

Volume


  • 24

Issue


  • 2