Has Research on Collaborative Learning Technologies Addressed Massiveness? A Literature Review
Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 18, Number 4 ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647
There is a growing interest in understanding to what extent innovative educational technologies can be used to support massive courses. Collaboration is one of the main desired elements in massive learning actions involving large communities of participants. Accumulated research in collaborative learning technologies has proposed and evaluated multiple models and implementation tools that engage learners in knowledge-intensive social interactions fostering fruitful learning. However, it is unclear to what extent these technologies have been designed to support large-scale learning scenarios involving arguably massive participation. This paper contributes with a literature review that aims at providing an answer to this question as well as offering insights about the context of use, characteristics of the technologies, and the types of activities and collaboration mechanisms supported. The main results point out that till 2013 the level of massiveness considered in top scientific journal papers on collaborative learning technologies was low, the scenarios studied were predominantly contextualized in co-located higher education settings using Learning Management Systems, the most common activities considered were open and structured discussion, followed by peer assessment and collaborative writing, and the most broadly used mechanism to foster fruitful collaboration was group formation following diverse policies.
Manathunga, K. & Hernández-Leo, D. Has Research on Collaborative Learning Technologies Addressed Massiveness? A Literature Review. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 18(4), 357-370.