The Effect of Face-to-Face Collaborative Learning on the Elaboration of Computer-Based Simulated Cases

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Abstract

Introduction:

This study investigates the effects of working face to face in small groups on the processes that occur when students elaborate on computer-based simulated cases.

Methods:

We performed a randomized controlled experiment that was designed to measure the effect of “social context” (triads versus individuals) on students’ perceptions of the elaboration process and on the time spent on the different parts of the computer case. We sought students’ perceptions using a questionnaire that was administered to all participating students (N = 47) and we examined the actions of the students working in triads (N = 12) and individually (N = 11) by analyzing the log files of the computer case.

Results:

The results demonstrated no significant effect of social context on the degree of elaboration of the computer case.

Conclusions:

Working with computer-based simulated cases in small groups as opposed to individually in itself is not enough to increase the scope and depth of the elaboration of computer cases.

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