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Effects of peer-controlled or externally structured and moderated online collaboration on group problem solving processes and related individual attitudes in well-structured and ill-structured small group problem solving in a hybrid course
DISSERTATION

, The Pennsylvania State University, United States

The Pennsylvania State University . Awarded

Abstract

The primary purpose of the study is to investigate the relative effects of two approaches to peer online collaboration (peer-controlled and externally structured and moderated) on the group problem solving processes during well-structured and ill-structured problem solving tasks. The secondary purpose is to examine the effects of the two approaches on individual learners' related attitudes.

Currently two approaches are dominant in the practice of peer online collaborative learning: peer controlled and externally moderated. In a peer controlled online collaboration the instructor does not play an active role in the collaboration process, providing little or no structuring or moderating efforts. In externally moderated and structured peer collaboration processes the instructor, or another qualified person from outside of the group, provides structuring and moderating efforts as needed.

A previous study (Zhang & Peck, 2003) found that externally structured and moderated online collaborative groups achieved significantly higher scores in reasoning during problem solving tasks when compared to the peer-controlled collaborative groups. The study (Zhang & Peck) also showed that the two different approaches to collaboration led to differences in related individual attitudes. This study intends to re-examine the relative effects of the two approaches and also to investigate the possible effects on individual learners' related attitudes.

Thus this study investigates the following major research questions: (1) Which approach to peer online collaboration is more effective, peer-controlled or externally moderated, in promoting college students' group problem solving process during well-structured problem solving? (2) Which approach to peer online collaboration is more effective, peer-controlled or externally moderated, in promoting college students' group problem solving process during ill-structured problem solving? (3) Do the two approaches lead to differences in individual students' attitudes related to online collaboration? (a) Does the approach to collaboration lead to differences in students' perception of the difficulty of online collaboration? (b) Does the approach to collaboration lead to differences in students' perception of the value of online collaboration? (c) Does the approach to collaboration lead to differences in students' willingness to use a similar tool in the future? (d) Do the two approaches to collaboration lead to different amounts of time spent in collaboration or the use of different media for collaboration (e.g. email, telephone, face-to-face, etc.)? (4) Do students' prior experiences (i.e., statistics background, teamwork experiences, and online learning experiences) lead to differences in the problem solving processes? (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Citation

Zhang, K. Effects of peer-controlled or externally structured and moderated online collaboration on group problem solving processes and related individual attitudes in well-structured and ill-structured small group problem solving in a hybrid course. Ph.D. thesis, The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved November 19, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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