Int. J. of Learning Technology   »   2015 Vol.10, No.1

 

 

Title: Investigating preschoolers' problem solving strategies in computer-mediated collaborative environments

 

Authors: Georgia Virla; Nikolaos Tselios; Vassilis Komis

 

Addresses:
ICT in Education Group, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, 26500 Rio, Patras, Greece
ICT in Education Group, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, 26500 Rio, Patras, Greece
ICT in Education Group, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, 26500 Rio, Patras, Greece

 

Abstract: This study aims at investigating gender's influence on the collaborative behaviours among preschoolers in the context of a collaborative problem-solving task with computers. The collaborative task was mediated using the puzzle-solving game Incredible Machine. Their approaches towards the problem-solving task were examined while they worked in one of three gender groups (girls, boys, mixed). In order to classify the verbal interactions during their collaboration, Mercer's and Yelland's model was adopted as a means to understand the cognitive dimension of children's talk around computers. In addition, Inkpen's taxonomy of mouse usage across the group members' was adopted in order to deeply understand their expressed low level interaction styles. Analysis of results demonstrated significant deviations for all gender pairs, which are presented and discussed in detail.

 

Keywords: collaborative learning; gender studies; verbal interactions; problem solving; early childhood education; preschool education; computer-mediated collaborative environments; puzzle solving games; cognitive dimension; mouse usage.

 

DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2015.069452

 

Int. J. of Learning Technology, 2015 Vol.10, No.1, pp.4 - 29

 

Available online: 14 May 2015

 

 

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