You are here:

Using online collaboration applications for group assignments: The interplay between design and human characteristics


Computers & Education Volume 59, Number 2, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


In recent years, educators and students are increasingly employing online collaboration applications such as Google Docs™ and PBWorks™ for group projects and assignments. Yet, the effectiveness of these emerging technologies has not been rigorously examined. Anchoring upon and informed by the existing literature, two design characteristics – sociability and visibility, and two human characteristics – gender and age, are focused on, which are salient in online collaboration applications. A field experiment was conducted to examine the direct and moderating effects of design and human characteristics on learning outcomes. The research found that sociability improved process satisfaction and positive social environment while visibility enhanced academic performance and solution satisfaction of learners. Males had higher solution satisfaction while older learners had higher academic performance. Moderating effects were also found. Both theoretical and practical implications are drawn. In particular, a rubric for online collaboration application selection for academic performance is conceived. This study provides empirical support for online collaboration application effectiveness in education which will augur well for future adoption, use and evolution.


Koh, E. & Lim, J. (2012). Using online collaboration applications for group assignments: The interplay between design and human characteristics. Computers & Education, 59(2), 481-496. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 29, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct:


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