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Title: Location-based Collaborative Learning at a Geography Trail: Examining the Relationship among Task Design, Facilitation and Discourse Types
Authors: Tan, Esther
So, Hyo-Jeong
Issue Date: Jun-2011
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Tan, E. & So, H. (2011). Location-based Collaborative Learning at a Geography Trail: Examining the Relationship among Task Design, Facilitation and Discourse Types. In Spada, H., Stahl, G., Miyake, N., & Law, N. (Eds.), Connecting Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning to Policy and Practice: CSCL2011 Conference Proceedings. Volume I — Long Papers (pp. 41-48). Hong Kong, China: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: In this paper, we examine the characteristics of a discourse that show evidences of collective knowledge construction and investigate the impact of task design and facilitation on in situ small group collaborative learning. To examine discourse types, all audio-recorded verbal data of the three groups of secondary students is transcribed, coded and analysed with respect to two key dimensions in the knowledge construction process, namely, the epistemic and the social. Tasks were categorized largely into performative and knowledge-generative. Analysis showed that different epistemic activities and the nature of facilitation have a definitive bearing on group discursive moves and more importantly, the presence of a real world context could generate intense knowledge co-construction even for mundane performative tasks. In conclusion, we propose that a three-prong approach (FAT) Facilitation, Activities in-situ, and Technology should be considered to support meaningful collaborative learning practices in mobile learning. Introduction Rapid advancement in information and communications technology has revolutionised the teaching and learning landscape; creating new and exciting possibilities for learning beyond the four walls of the classroom, and thereby, inevitably changing the role of both the learner and the teacher. Seamless learning across context and space is now made possible with the affordances of mobile computing and web applications. Interaction with the real world environment has also given learning, new shades of meaning and intent. In the field of computer- supported collaborative learning (CSCL), whilst there is extensive research and literature on leveraging emerging mobile devices and Web 2.0 technologies to enhance the learning experience in the real-world setting and/ or learning on the move (e.g., Squire & Klopfer, 2007), there remains little empirical research on other equally significant configurations of mobile learning: that is the design configuration of mobile learning environments and the execution path to bring about the desired learning outcomes. Another common pitfall is the focus on the unending possibilities of mobile devices and innovative software applications over the rich affordances of the physical environment in the context of enhancing mobile learning. To examine the design configurations and the affordances of real-world contexts for promoting meaningful collaborative learning experiences, this paper articulates the in situ learning experience of three groups of Secondary One students (ages 12-13) on a geography mobile learning trail. Specifically, we are interested in investigating the intricate relationship among task-design, facilitation and the discourse types in situated small group collaborative learning. This study analyses the content, process and pattern of students' interactional discourse in the knowledge construction process. We believe that a focus on process rather than outcome is pertinent to understanding the design configurations necessary for effective in situ collaborative learning.
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