02 SES 11 D JS, Different International and Educational Perspectives on Student Collaboration
Symposium Joint Session NW 02 with NW 22
Collaborative learning is considered an important instructional method that can help students to gain collaborative skills (Van der Linden, Erkens, Schmidt, & Renshaw, 2000) and which facilitates deep and transformative learning (Alicántara, Hayes, & York, 2009). This generally applies to any kind of educational setting, however, it becomes of special interest in educational strands that prepare students for professional fields such as higher education and vocational education. Due to the growing European knowledge economy, working in a collaborative settings has become an important feature of the twenty first century labor market and these settings provide opportunities for continuous significant learning experiences (Binkley et al., 2012; Olssen & Peters, 2005). Hence, when students graduate and enter the labor market they need to be well equipped to collaborate with others and to learn from these situations. This symposium considers different educational settings in vocational education and higher education in which collaborative learning activities play a central role.
In line with Dillenbourg (1999, p.1) we consider collaborative learning in its broadest definition as ‘a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together’. This definition can refer to a broad variety of instructional activities, such as project-based, game-based and other interaction-based settings in which two or more students work together on a learning task. Previous research often approached collaborative learning as a black box without regarding the actual ongoing processes during collaboration (Janssen, Kirschner, Erkens, Kirschner, & Paas, 2010). Little is known about the collaborative processes that take place during collaborative learning activities, how these processes affect students’ learning outcomes and what factors lead to successful collaboration. Hence, the goal of this joined symposium of the networks VETNET and Research in Higher Education is to gain a deeper understanding of students’ actual behavior and the ongoing processes of learning during collaborative activities.
The three studies in this symposium use video tools as a main research method in order to observe students’ behavior during collaborative learning activities within three different educational settings. The study of Siemon, Scholkmann & Boom analyzes collaborative learning behavior of VET-students in a game-based learning arrangement. They consider the influence of learning goal motivation on time spent on a learning task, taking into account both individuals as well as learning partners’ motivation. Second, in their mixed-method study, Pullen, Griffioen, Schoonenboom, de Koning, and Beishuizen investigate how individual behavior and group process influence the team-result of students’ working on a business-related assignment. In the last study, Abbas, Ashwin, and McLean aim to identify factors and pertinent principles that lead to successful learning from collaboration in a seminar setting for undergraduate sociology students by means of Bernstein’s theoretical framework.
After the three presentations there will be a discussion with the audience about how the results of these studies can be put into practice in educational settings which involve collaborative learning. Together the studies in this symposium describe the actual behavior of students during collaborative learning and provide insights into factors influencing students’ actual behavior and successful collaboration. Exploring these factors and different collaborative settings are highly relevant for the development of guidelines for teachers and students on learning how to collaborate with others in both vocational and higher education.
Alicántara, L., Hayes, S., & Yorks, L. (2009). Collaborative inquiry in action: Transformative learning through co-inquiry. In J. Mezirow, E.W. Taylor, & Associates (Eds.), Transformative learning in practice: Insights from community, workplace and higher education. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass. Binkley, M., Erstad, O., Herman, J., Raizen, S., Ripley, M., Miller-Ricci, M., & Rumble, M. (2012). Defining twenty-first century skills In P. Griffin, B. McGaw & E. Care (Eds.), Assessment and Teaching 21st Century Skills. Springer. Dillenbourg, P. (1999). What do you mean by collaborative learning? In P. Dillenbourg (Ed.), Collaborative-learning: Coginitve and Computational Approaches. Oxford: Elsevier. Janssen, J., Kirschner, F., Erkens, G., Kirschner, P. A., & Paas, F. (2010). Making the black box of collaborative learning transparent: Combining process-oriented and cognitive load approaches. Edcuational Psychology Review, 22(2), 16. Olssen, M., & Peters, M. A. (2005). Neoliberalism, higher education and the knowledge economy: from the free market to knowledge capitalism. Journal of Education Policy, 20(3), 313-345. Van der Linden, J., Erkens, G., Schmidt, H., & Renshaw, P. (2000). Collaborative learning. In R. J. Simons, J. Van der Linden & T. Duffy (Eds.), New Learning. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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