For developing collaborative problem solving as a 21st-century competency, researchers of computer-supported collaborative learning are studying various instructional models and programs using technology. For a successful problem solving, groups need ...
For developing collaborative problem solving as a 21st-century competency, researchers of computer-supported collaborative learning are studying various instructional models and programs using technology. For a successful problem solving, groups need to plan their goals and strategies, monitor problem-solving processes, modify their initial plan, and reflect on outcomes. These regulation activities, which are conducted at both individual and group levels, play a crucial role in collaborative problem-solving. To enhance CSCL, previous studies have explored how to support either self-regulated learning (SRL) or socially shared regulation of learning (SSRL) with advanced technologies, but the effects of scaffoldings for SRL and SSRL were seldom investigated in real contexts. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effect of SSRL scaffoldings on transactive memory, collaborative learning process, and learning outcomes. We also explored how cloud computing technology supports self- and group-regulation of collaborative problem-solving. In addition, we explored group regulation clusters in cognitive, social, and environmental aspects and investigated differences in learning process and outcomes.
In this study, 89 Korean students (male: 40, female: 49) participated as part of their coursework in school counseling classes. The classes were randomly assigned to three conditions: control (no scaffolding treatment; n=30), SRL scaffolding (n=30), and SSRL scaffolding (n=29). Groups of three to four students participated in collaboratively solving a problem about cyber school bullying for three weeks. During the group task, two intervention groups received either SRL or SSRL scaffoldings, which include not only macro-scripts about the regulation process (i.e., planning, monitoring, regulating, and evaluating) but also micro-scripts like prompts to facilitate SRL or SSRL. Visual feedback was also provided to help participants to monitor the progress of individual activities (SRL scaffolding) or group activities (SSRL scaffolding). Participants in the SRL scaffolding condition were individually engaged in regulation activities, whereas participants in the SSRL scaffolding condition were asked to jointly plan, monitor, regulate, and evaluate their group activity.
The control, SRL, and SSRL conditions were compared with each other regarding transactive memory, collaborative learning process, and learning outcomes. In the subcategories of transactive memory, participants in the SSRL scaffolding condition had higher credibility and coordination than those in the other conditions. With collaborative learning process, the SSRL condition had lower group conflict than the control condition, higher self-regulated learning scores than the other conditions, and higher SSRL scores than the SRL condition. There were no significant differences in the quality of collaborative problem-solving outputs among the three conditions. Regarding individual learning outcomes, participants in SRL and SSRL conditions improved more perceived knowledge of cyber school bullying than those in the control condition. In addition, participants in the SRL condition showed a more positive attitude to computer supported collaborative learning and had a higher self-efficacy than the others.
Next, this study explored SRL and SSRL activities in the collaborative problem-solving situation using cloud computing technology through interviewing learners in the control condition. As a result, this study found that the cloud computing technology facilitated cognitive, social and contextual regulation of groups as well as cognitive and motivational regulation of individuals. The cloud computing technology allowed real-time sharing, history logging, commenting, chatting, etc. Regarding SRL, the cloud computing technology helped to regulate participation in shared tasks and supported careful thought and expression. About SSRL, the technology facilitated constructing shared knowledge, interacting with group members, giving comments, sharing resources, managing time and learning environment, and maintaining social relationships.
This study also explored group-regulation clusters in cognitive, social, and environmental aspects and investigated differences in learning process and outcomes. As a result, three types of clusters were found. The task-oriented regulation cluster focused on the cognitive and environmental regulation activities, whereas the socially-oriented regulation cluster focused on building intimate and close relationships with group members. The all-round regulation cluster showed high engagement in all of the cognitive, social, and environmental group regulation activities. These three clusters showed significant differences in the frequencies of writing new postings, comments, and chatting for collaborative problem-solving. In addition, there was a marginally significant difference among the three clusters regarding shared knowledge of cyber school bullying at the post-test.
This study can make a significant contribution to academic and educational practice. First, from an academic point of view, this study can contribute to the progress in research on computer-supported collaborative learning, especially in regard to the roles of SRL and SSRL. The results of this study suggest that instructional supports for SSRL in computer-based collaborative learning is effective in enhancing the quality of collaborative learning, improving groups’ transactive memory, and improving individual learning outcomes. Based on the results, further study can be conducted systematically about the effects of SSRL scaffoldings on the group and individual learning outcomes in collaborative problem solving.
In regard to educational practice, this study will help to develop teaching strategies and tools for improving collaborative problem solving competences. In addition, teachers can utilize the results of this study to improve learners’ collaborative problem solving ability and promote a positive attitude and collaboration-related self-efficacy. Lastly, the learning materials (e.g., SRL and SSRL scaffoldings, evaluation tools) developed in this study can be used for professional development in K-12 schools as well as higher education.