Research on Collaboration in Learning

The articles below include some of the most recent research on collaboration, one of the Core Student Success Skills being promoted by the Strategies for Success program at Middlesex. We encourage faculty and staff to access full text copies of these articles through Middlenet.

Hansen, E., Indiana Univ., B., & And, O. (1991). Collaborative Learning in Higher Education. Proceedings of the Teaching Conference (Bloomington, Indiana, October 11-12, 1990). Panel Discussions and Selected Presentations. Retrieved from ERIC database.

This conference report contains selected presentations and panel discussions concerning the experiences of faculty and students with learner-oriented approaches to college teaching. Following a welcome address by Kenneth R. R. Gross-Louis and keynote addresses by Faith Gabelnick and Linda Harasim, papers are organized in two categories: "Collaboration in the Classroom" and "Computer-Mediated Collaborative Learning." Papers on classroom collaboration are as follows: "Collaborative Classrooms: Building a Community of Writers," (Sharon Hamilton-Wieler); "Making Connections: Minority Students and Collaborative Learning," (Laura F. Smith, Gladys F. DeVane); "Study Guides, Non-Traditional Teaching, and Non-Traditional Students," (Miriam Helen Hill); "Using Collaborative Learning to Help Promote Conceptual Change in Science," (David Maloney); "Collaborative Learning in Physics? Impossible! And Yet...," (Bennet B. Bradson); and "The Chemistry Laboratory: A Site for Collaborative Learning," (Wilmer K. Fife). Papers concerning computer-mediated collaborative learning are: "The Social Context of Networked Learning: Computers as Medium," (Helen Schwartz and Kristin Froehlke); "Hypertext as a Medium for Student Collaboration," (Kenneth Davis); "Supporting Learning with Process Tools," (David A. Goodrum and Randy A. Knuth); "Computer Conferencing for Collaborative Learning in Large College Classes," (Edmund Hansen and others). Panel discussions concerned the following topics: (1) innovative ways of handling classes with large enrollment, particularly at larger universities; (2) positive features of collaborative learning in general; (3) ways in which the instructors on the panel and in the audience had worked to increase the amount of writing in their classes and the quality of that writing experience; and (4) three different projects in which students had taken on major responsibility for their realization. References follow papers. Contains a 79-item bibliography. The conference agenda is appended.

Horn, S. (1997). Ideas in Practice: Extending Collaboration Beyond the Developmental Classroom. Journal of Developmental Education, 21(2), 26-33. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Presents examples of developmental students who support each other both personally and academically during the transitional first year of college. Describes the learning communities program, in which linked developmental classes specifically encourage cross-disciplinary learning and peer collaboration. Emphasizes the necessity for students to take the initiative in supporting each other, both academically and socially. Contains 12 references.

Trentin, G. (2009). Using a Wiki to Evaluate Individual Contribution to a Collaborative Learning Project. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(1), 43-55. Retrieved from ERIC database.

One critical issue arising in the educational use of collaborative learning concerns the teacher's difficulty in evaluating the contribution and participation of each student in group-work. This article aims to illustrate and discuss a methodology that enables evaluation of the collaborative learning process based on co-writing in a wiki environment. After considering the effectiveness of co-writing as a strategy of collaborative learning, the article will highlight issues regarding methods for evaluating each student's contribution to the collaborative process and to the group's overall action. A solution will be proposed to address the problem.

Last Modified: 8/5/12