A meta-analysis on computer-supported collaborative learning (Best Evidence in Brief)

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief with among others, this study that might surprise some people and oh, my dear friend and co-author Paul Kirschner was involved:

Juanjuan Chen and colleagues recently performed a meta-analysis on the effects of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL).

Using 425 empirical studies (all of which used a controlled experimental or quasi-experimental design) published between 2000 and 2016, researchers found several main characteristics to examine: the effects of the collaboration itself; the effects of computer use during collaboration; the effects of extra technology-related learning tools used in CSCL, such as videoconferencing and sharing visuals with team partners; and strategies such as role assignment and peer feedback.
Collaborative learning itself positively affected:
  • Knowledge gain (+0.42)
  • Skill acquisition (+0.62)
  • Student perceptions of the experience (+0.38)
The use of computers, when combined with collaborative learning, positively affected:
  • Knowledge gain (+0.45)
  • Skill acquisition (+0.53)
  • Student perceptions (+0.51)
  • Group task performance (+0.89)
  • Social interaction (+0.57)
Lastly, extra technology-related learning tools during CSCL positively affected knowledge gain (+0.55), as did the use of strategies (+0.38).

3 thoughts on “A meta-analysis on computer-supported collaborative learning (Best Evidence in Brief)

  1. Many thanks for posting this.
    The summary would seem to suggest that the use of computers made only very negligible difference to knowledge acquisition (relative to collaborative learning without computers) and had a negative impact on skill acquisition … but that student perceptions of the experience were more positive when computers were used. Is that right? If so, it doesn’t seem to suggest that the case for collaborative learning with computers is particularly strong.

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