Using Web 2.0 Technologies To Foster Collaborative Learning in Higher Education
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15 May 2017
Nuria Hernandez-Nanclares and Bart Rienties
Previous research has indicated that technology can support teams to share knowledge, expertise, and to build effective shared mental models. At the same time, several studies have indicated that technology might influence team dynamics negatively, as there might be miscommunications due to time delays or technological affordances. However, to what extent does the use of open technology changes teams’ perceptions of their own performance? This is the central aim of this study, whereby we aim to unpack students’ perceptions about their team learning as measured by Team Learning Beliefs (TLB) by the use of Moxtra. This is a WEB 2.0 tool able to integrate real-time conversation capabilities with file sharing and editing facilities, improving other popular discussion board, including students’ favourite WhatsApp, as supportive technology for collaborative learning. The study compared the perceptions about their team performance and effectiveness of two courses, whereby 36 students worked in 11 teams with Moxtra, while in the comparison cohort 57 students worked in teams without Moxtra. The results indicated limited effects of using technology in the students’ team performance perceptions, as there were not significant differences between both group’s median answers to the different variables. Our findings could suggest that students’ inexperience in collaborative learning prevent teams to grasp all potentials technology could offer.