You are here:

A Case Study of Online Collaborative Learning


Quarterly Review of Distance Education Volume 7, Number 4, ISSN 1528-3518


This case study investigated 12 graduate students' online collaborative experiences and attitudes in an instructional design course. The instructor divided students into 4 groups based on their academic backgrounds. Content analysis of asynchronous group discussion board messages was used to measure degrees of collaboration of each group in terms of participation, interdependence, synthesis, and independence. In addition to the group discussion board messages, 3 other data sources--group projects, student attitude survey, and student reflections--were analyzed. Results showed that ineffective communication, conflict among group members, and negative attitude toward group work posed major challenges to online collaboration. The results also showed that the more collaborative groups produced better quality projects and had more positive attitudes toward online collaborative learning. However, the social loafing phenomenon was present in each group. Recommendations on how to successfully implement group collaboration in online courses are provided. (Contains 3 tables.)


Thompson, L. & Ku, H.Y. (2006). A Case Study of Online Collaborative Learning. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 7(4), 361-375. Retrieved February 23, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on April 19, 2013. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact