Correlation between Students’ Online Participation and Learning Achievements in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments

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The level of participation in online groups, and the effectiveness of group collaboration are recognized as dominant factors for enhancing learning outcomes in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments. This paper presents a novel method for modelling collaboration among members of online groups. The objectives of the proposed model are: i) to demonstrate online group activities, ii) to identify the level of contribution made by each group member, iii) to determine levels of pair-wise collaboration/interactions among group members, and (iv) to measure the degree of connectivity for the entire group. The degree of connectivity for each of the 18 small online discussion groups in a third year undergraduate course at an Australian university identified major contributors in the group. The research conducted also determined the intensity of collaboration within the groups, and compared the degree of connectivity between the groups. Comparisons were also made between individual student’s final grades in the course, and the group’s degree of connectivity in order to determine correlation between the computed measures and students’ achievements in the course. In order to facilitate visualisation of the groups’ collaborative activities, the authors applied the underlying principles of Graph Theory. Contributions made by each individual student were determined by identifying the number of sent/received posts, as well as the number of actors involved in these interactions with the individual. The pair-wise interactions among group members were then derived.


Keywords: CSCL, Group Collaboration, Online Groups, Group Activities, Students’ Achievements
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Research Theme for Investigating the Effectiveness of Collaborative e-Learning in Higher Education, A


Dr. Farhad Daneshgar

Senior Lecturer, School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, University of New South Wales
Kensington, NSW, Australia

Dr. Farhad Daneshgar is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Information Systems, Technology, and Management (SISTM) at UNSW, Australia. Farhad is a member of the editorial board in three IS/KM Journals, and the leader of Knowledge Management Research Group at SISTM. He is the creator of the awareness net modelling language and his research interests include e-collaboration, Analysis and Design of Collaboration-Support Systems, Collaborative Learning, and Mass Customisation and has published extensively in these areas.

Christine Van Toorn

Lecturer & Director BIT/ISM Programs, School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, University of New South Wales
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Christine Van Toorn is a Lecturer and Director of the BIT and ISM Co-op Scholarship Programs in the School of Information Systems, Technology and Management at UNSW. Her commercial background is diverse and she has considerable experience across a wide variety of industries. Christine has a research masters degree from UNSW and her current research interests lie in the areas of knowledge management and decision support, with particular emphasis in relation to human computer interaction. She has over 15 years of teaching experience at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as the corporate sector. Christine has extensive industry experience in the fields of information systems, information technology and accounting, she is a CISA and a CPA member. Her appointment as Director of the University’s exclusive and highly sought after BIT (Business Information Technology) and ISM (Information Systems and Management) Co-operative Scholarship Programs complements her vast experience both within industry and academia.

Babak Abedin

PhD Student, Information Systems, Technology & Management
Sydney, NSW, Australia


John Van Toorn

Applications Support Manager, OneSteel, Australia
Sydney, NSW, Australia


Ref: L09P1319