Title: Engaging students in computer-supported cooperative learning

Authors: Consolación Gil; María G. Montoya; Rosario I. Herrada; Raúl Baños; Francisco G. Montoya

Addresses: Department Informatics, University of Almería, ceiA3, La Cañada de San Urbano s/n, E-04120 Almería, Spain ' Department Informatics, University of Almería, ceiA3, La Cañada de San Urbano s/n, E-04120 Almería, Spain ' Department Didactics and School Organization, University of Murcia, Campus del Espinardo s/n, E-37100 Murcia, Spain ' Department Informatics, University of Almería, ceiA3, La Cañada de San Urbano s/n, E-04120 Almería, Spain ' Department Engineering, University of Almería, ceiA3, La Cañada de San Urbano s/n, E-04120 Almería, Spain

Abstract: Higher education institutions must provide mechanisms to enable students to acquire competencies. The aim of the study is to highlight the advantages of computer-supported cooperative learning to improve the performance of active learning methodologies, including cooperative and problem-based learning, with the aim of developing the competencies of self-directed work teams, and critical thinking for engineering degree students. This teaching-learning process is supported by the use of the well-known platform 'WebCT'. This study has been carried out in two different subjects from two academic years of the Informatics Engineering degree. Results obtained show the advantages provided by computer-supported cooperative learning for the acquisition of both competencies by the students. Furthermore, these methodologies have also been applied in a student-to-student tutoring experience where fourth-year students tutor second-year students, with very promising results.

Keywords: competencies; computer-mediated communication; active learning methods; computer-supported collaborative learning; CSCL; cooperative learning; e-learning; higher education; interactive learning environments; peer assessment; teamwork; virtual learning environments; VLEs; WebCT; electronic learning; online learning; informatics engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2013.057064

International Journal of Learning Technology, 2013 Vol.8 No.3, pp.297 - 311

Available online: 04 Oct 2013

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