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Fostering collaborative knowledge construction in a video-based learning setting: effects of a shared workspace and a content-specific graphical representation

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This study examined means of fostering videoconference-based collaborative learning. An experiment was conducted with 15 learning dyads divided into three conditions of videoconference-based learning: without shared workspace, with shared workspace and with shared workspace plus a content-specific graphical representation. Compared with those with a shared workspace, learning dyads without a shared workspace in the videoconference-based setting tended to make more effort at verbal coordination. This coordination effort did not affect the quality of collaboratively written texts or individual knowledge acquisition. Without shared workspace, participants’ coordinative utterances involved more frequent referrals to the learning content, which might have facilitated the cognitive processing of the learning content and might have compensated for the potential disadvantage of verbal coordination load. The content-specific graphical representation led to more coherent content-related dialogues and had positive effects on the quality of the collaboratively written texts and on individual knowledge acquisition. The study shows that content-specific graphical representation can be a meaningful support measure in videoconference-based learning settings, whereas the effects of a shared workspace should be further investigated.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Psychological Institute, University of Tübingen 2: Knowledge Media Research Center (KMRC), Tübingen

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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