Mixed Methods for Analyzing Collaborative Learning

Authored by: Sadhana Puntambekar

The International Handbook of Collaborative Learning

Print publication date:  February  2013
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415805735
eBook ISBN: 9780203837290
Adobe ISBN: 9781136869556


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Collaborative learning is a complex interplay of the individual, the group, and the context in which learning occurs. This presents a complex methodological challenge because of its dual focus on understanding how a group as a whole constructs knowledge through joint activity, while at the same time examining individual contribution and learning. This is a distinct shift from the traditional lens of viewing learning and knowledge as a highly individualistic process and product. As Reimann (2007) described, learning in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) environments occurs “in individuals in the form of learning and in groups in the form of participation and knowledge building” (p. 611). Because both the process and learning outcomes are important in collaborative learning, mixed methods that draw from the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative paradigms provide researchers with a way to address the unique methodological challenges.

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