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Session Overview
SYM-19: Students’ Motivation, Transfer, and Strategy Use in CSCL Tasks
Time: Thursday, 30/Aug/2012: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Session Chair: Sanna Järvelä, University of Oulu
Discussant: Jenefer Husman, Arizona State University
Organizer: Andreas Gegenfurtner, TU München
Organizer: Sanna Järvelä, University of Oulu
Location: 454

Session Abstract

In computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) to date, there is still little research on motivation. However, an awareness of the importance of motivational aspects is rising in the CSCL community. In light of this development, the present symposium brings together three timely empirical investigations of how computer support and collaboration afford varying degrees of students’ motivation, transfer, and strategy use. First, Malmberg, Järvenoja, and Järvelä closely investigate 12 elementary school students’ task specific solutions and strategy uses across two different CSCL tasks using gStudy and trace-data. Their findings demonstrate that the students used the same strategies across both tasks, and that task type affected their willingness to persist in the tasks. Second, Schoor, Narciss, and Körndle examine goal setting and instrumentality of 58 undergraduate students. Highlighting the effect of social comparison, their results indicate that feeding back the motivational states of the group partner influenced the motivational states (but not performance) of the study participants. Finally, Gegenfurtner, Vauras, and Veermans focus on how computer support, collaboration, and time lag affect self-efficacy and transfer of learning. Their findings tend to suggest that, independent of time lag, computer support was more significant than collaboration in promoting self-efficacy and transfer. In conclusion of the symposium, Husman discusses the three presentations, reflecting the growing trend of motivation research in the CSCL arena.


Traces of Students’ Task Approach and Strategy Use in Different CSCL Task Types

Jonna Malmberg, Hanna Järvenoja, Sanna Järvelä

University of Oulu, Finland

There has been a major development of computer supported collaborative learning environments that seeks to support students learning in specific task types. Yet, not all the students benefit support in these environments equally. Several studies have shown the importance of self-regulated learning in CSCL environments, but there is not much research on how students focus their strategic learning activities when learning with different task types. The aim of this study is to follow students’ task specific solutions and strategy uses across two different CSCL tasks. Elementary school students (N=12) aged 10-12 participated in two CSCL study lessons during the years 2008-2009. In both lessons, the students were asked to solve different types of tasks. Across these tasks, the students used gStudy learning environment designed to support strategic learning. In addition, gStudy records traces of each student action as they proceed with tasks. First the students’ task specific solutions was rated in four categories, namely “on track”, “off track”, “only task” and “off task”. Second, learning patterns that emerged throughout these tasks were investigated. The results show that the students used the same strategies across the tasks. Cross case comparison of task specific solutions and learning patterns indicates and students who are “off track” would benefit

the support in terms of task understanding. Also, the task type influences on students’ willingness to persist in tasks.

Motivational and Behavioural Consequences of Feeding Back the Motivation of a Group Partner

Cornelia Schoor, Susanne Narciss, Hermann Körndle

University of Dresden, Germany

During CSCL, learners are not independent from each other but influenced by their learning partners’ cognitive activities as well as their motivation. This study investigated how the motivation of a group partner influences the learner’s own motivation and performance. Prior research on cooperative learning indicate that information about the motivation of the group partners has a positive effect on motivation. However, social psychological research on motivation in group work suggest a motivation loss effect after being provided with information about a group partner’s low motivation. Karau and Williams (1993) explain this motivation loss effect by the lower instrumentality of the own effort. In our experimental study, 58 participants received information about the goals of another participant in a performance task. In the cooperative condition, their group partner was said to have set a significantly lower goal. In the two individual conditions, the participants were either informed about a significantly lower or about a significantly higher goal of another participant. After this feedback, the goal of the participants was assessed once again. There was a significant effect of the condition on this second goal setting whereas there was no effect on the actual performance of the participants. The results show that there is an overall effect of feeding back the motivation of somebody else by social comparison. Additionally, being tied to a lowly motivated group partner in the cooperative condition had an additional negative effect on motivation as predicted. We discuss why this had no effect on the actual performance.

Effects of Computer Support, Collaboration, and Time Lag on Self-Efficacy and Transfer

Andreas Gegenfurtner, Marja Vauras, Koen Veermans

University of Turku, Finland

This meta-analysis (29 studies, k = 33, N = 4,158) examined the longitudinal development of the relationship between performance self-efficacy and transfer before and after training. A specific focus was on training programs that afforded varying degrees of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Consistent with Social Cognitive Theory, results suggested positive population estimates between self-efficacy and transfer before (? = 0.31) and after training (? = 0.39) and thus a small but positive increase. Three boundary conditions were estimated. First, effect sizes were higher in trainings with rather than without computer support. Second, effect sizes were higher in trainings without rather than with collaboration. Third, and irrespective of computer support and collaboration, time lag did not moderate these estimates. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of complex social and computer-mediated learning and their practical significance for scaffolding technology-enhanced learning and interaction.

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