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Measuring virtual student-student cooperation

A case study on the evaluation of cooperative learning in a virtual distributed computer & law course
: Nett, B.


Journal of educational computing research 33 (2006), No.3, pp.269-284
ISSN: 0735-6331
Journal Article
Fraunhofer FIT ()
CSCL; student-student interaction; evaluation; educational platform

This article demonstrates the evaluation of a German Computer and Law (C&L) seminar, which has been conducted in an experimental, distributed manner with five institutes co-operating. The evaluation was dedicated to the question, in which way the course supported cooperative learning among the students of the different participating institutes. As a result, most students concentrated upon writing their individual papers, which were to be placed on the learning platform afterwards. Additional cooperative functionalities such as forums and annotation were used for an intensification of tutor-student cooperation, but the intensified tutoring was not accompanied by more student-student cooperation. A concentration on most active students took place. The empirical results are based on interviews and on interaction analysis, as well. In the context of the interaction analysis, the paper describes the active-reception criterion which has been adopted focusing on inter-student activities. The limits of the criterion are discussed, which is given by educational goals to be evaluated and the educational scenario implemented. The paper points out the opportunity for related automatic evaluation. The RION project was financed by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).