Enabling Idea Generation through
Computer-Assisted Collaborative Learning
Andrei NICULESCU1,2, Gisli THORSTEINSSON3
1 Spiru Haret University,
13 Ion Ghica Street, Bucharest 3, Romania
2 I C I Bucharest
(National Institute for R & D in Informatics)
8-10 Averescu Blvd.
011455 Bucharest 1, Romania
3 University of Iceland,
v/Stakkahlid, 101, Reykjavik, Iceland
Abstract: This article puts forward a three related case study series, using a Virtual Reality Learning Environment (VRLE) with a view to supporting the development of students’ ideation skills in conventional primary and secondary education. Since this learning environment is fairly new it is necessary to examine its educational uses and determine if the new learning environment will meet teachers’ expectations. Therefore, the overall goal for this research was twofold: a) to explore the ways in which idea generation was developed during students’ work in an enjoyable environment b) to assess the way VRLE affects students’ ability to generate new ideas and pass on knowledge. The data collected was qualitative and the analysis was based on grounded theory principles and an interpretive paradigm.
Keywords: Idea generation, collaborative learning, computer-assisted learning, Virtual Reality Learning Environment, pedagogy, ideation process.
CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Andrei NICULESCU, Gisli THORSTEINSSON, Enabling Idea Generation through Computer-Assisted Collaborative Learning, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 20(4), pp. 403-410, 2011.
Computer-Assisted Collaborative Learning (CACL) is commonly described as a situation in which two or more people learn or work together, usually aiming for dissimilar goals (Dillenbourg, 1999; Chiu, 2000). Students involved in Computer-Assisted Collaborative Learning benefit from one another’s resources and skills. This can include assessing each other’s ideas, asking one another for information and observing each other’s work (Chiu, 2000). CACL can, furthermore, be described as computer-based network systems that upkeep group work for a joint purpose and provide a shared interface for a team to work with (Ellis et al., 1991; Stahl et al., 2006).
In CACL, computers are used within an educational setting to facilitate and support collaborative group learning processes. The main purpose is to support students in learning together effectively, for example, communicating ideas, accessing information and providing feedback on problem-solving activities (Stahl et al., 2006).
The paper reports three case study series which took place in several elementary and secondary school classes (six to sixteen-year-old students; various groups of volunteers, from the seventh class onwards, took part in the research). The background of the VRLE is described and the overall aims, objectives and research questions stated. Idea generation is defined and a specific model for idea generation demonstrated. The research methods are explained and findings reported. Subsequently these findings are discussed and conclusions drawn.
- BLOM, J. O., A. F. MONK, A Theory of Personalisation of Appearance: Why Users Personalise Their PCs and Mobile Phones, Human-Computer Interaction, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2003, pp. 193-228.
- BRICKEN, M., Virtual Reality Learning Environments: Potentials and Challenges, Computer Graphics, Vol. 25, No. 3, 1991, pp. 178-184.
- CHIU, M. M. Group Problem Solving Processes: Social Interactions and Individual Actions, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2000, pp. 27-50.
- COHEN, L., L. MANION, K. MORRISON, Research Methods in Education (5th ed.), Taylor & Francis e-Library, London, 2005.
- CRESWELL, J. W., Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Traditions, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998.
- DEMEREST, M., Understanding Knowledge Management, Journal of Long Range Planning, Vol. 30, No. 3, 1997, pp. 374-384.
- DENZIN, N. K., The Research Act, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Prentice Hall, 1984.
- DENZIN, N. K. Y. S. Lincoln, (Eds), Handbook of Qualitative Research, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc, 1994.
- DILLENBOURG, P., Collaborative Learning: Cognitive and Computational Approaches, Advances in Learning and Instruction Series, New York, NY: Elsevier Science, Inc. 1999.
- ELLIS, C. A., S. J. GIBBS, G. L. REIN, Groupware: Some Issues and Experiences, Communications of the ACM, Vol. 34, No. 1, 1991, pp. 38-58.
- GLASER, B. G., A. L. STRAUSS, The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research, New York, Aldine Publishing Company, 1967.
- GUILFORD, J. P., Creativity, American Psychologist, Vol. 5, No. 9, 1950, pp. 444-454.
- GUNNARSDOTTIR, R., Innovation Education: Defining the Phenomenon, Unpublished doctoral thesis, Leeds, University of Leeds, 2001.
- HAMBURG, I., C. LINDECKE, H. T. THIJ, Social Aspects of e-Learning and Blending Learning Methods, in Proceedings of the 4th European conference E-comm-line, Bucharest, 2003.
- HAUBER J., H. REGENBRECHT, A. HILLS, A. COCKBURN, M. BILLINGHURST, Social Presence in Two- and Three-dimensional Videoconferencing, Proceedings Presence Workshop, London 2005.
- HENNESSEY, S., R. DEANEY, Sustainability and Evolution of ICT Supported Classroom Practice, 2004. Retrieved (5 April 2009) from http://22.214.171.124/istl/SAE041.doc.
- HENRY, J. Creative Management, London, Sage Publications, 1991.
- HUSSAIN, H., Z. C. EMBI, S. HASHIM, A Conceptualized Framework for Edutainment, Informing Science: InSite – Where Parallels Intersect, 2003, pp. 1077-1083.
- JOHNSON, A., T. MOHER, Y. CHOO, Y. J. LIN, J. KIM, Augmenting Elementary School Education with VR.IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, March/April, 2002, pp. 6-9.
- JONASSEN, D., A. Constructivist’s Perspective on Functional Contextualism, Educational Technology Research & Development, Vol. 54, No. 1, 2006, pp. 43-47.
- LOISELLE, J., M. St. LOUIS, L. DUPUY-WALKER, Giving Professional Help to Pre-service Teachers through Computer-mediated Communication, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators, Dallas, 1998.
- McLELLAN, H., Virtual Reality, in Jonassen D. (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology, MA, Kluwer-Nijhoff Publishing. 1996, pp. 457-487.
- O’QUIN, K., P. DERKS, Humour and Creativity: A Review of the Empirical Literature, in Runco, M. (Editor), Creativity research handbook, Vol. 1, Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1999, pp. 223-252.
- OGLE, T., The Effects of Virtual Environments on Recall in Participants of Differing Levels of Field Dependence, PhD Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 2002.
- OSBERG, K. M., Virtual Reality and Education: A Look at Both Sides of the Sword, 1993.
- OSBORN, A. F., Applied Imagination: Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem Solving (Third Revised Edition), NY, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1967.
- OULASVIRTA, A. J. BLOM, Motivations in Personalisation Behaviour, Interacting with Computers, Vol. 20, No.1, 2008, pp.1-16.
- PASSEY, D., C. ROGERS, J. MACHELL, G. McHUGH, The Motivational Effect of ICT on Pupils, Department of Educational Research Lancaster University, 2004.
- PATTON, M. Q. Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods (2nd ed.), Newbury Park, CA, Sage, 1990.
- PAULUS, P. B., T. S. LAREY, A. H. ORTEGA, Performance and Perceptions of Brainstormers in an Organizational Setting, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 17, No. 1-2, 1995, pp. 249-265.
- PRENSKY, M., Engage Me or Enrage Me: What Today’s Learners Demand, Educause Review, Vol. 40, 2005, pp. 60-65. Retrieved (12. August, 2009) from http://www.hitl.washington.edu/publications/r-93-7/
- RICKARDS, T., B. FREEDMAN, Procedures for Management in Idea-deficient Situations: An Examination of Brainstorming Approaches, The Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1978, pp. 43-55.
- ROMISZOWSKI, A. J., R. MASON, Computer-mediated Communication, in D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology, Simon & Schuster Macmillan, New York, 1996, pp. 438-456.
- SCHRUM, L., B. BERENFELD, Teaching and Learning in the Information Age: A Guide to Educational Telecommunications, Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon, 1997.
- SMITH, G. F., Towards a Logic of Innovation, The International Handbook on Innovation, Elsevier Science Ltd., 2003.
- STAHL, G., T. KOSCHMANN, D. SUTHERS, Computer-supported Collaborative Learning: An Historical Perspective, in R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2006, pp. 409-426.
- STRAUSS, A. J. CORBIN, Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, CA, 1998.
- TAYLOR, D. W., P. C. BERRY, C. H. BLOCK, Does Group Participation When Using Brainstorming Facilitate or Inhibit Creative Thinking?, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1958, pp. 23-47.
- TAYLOR, R., The Computer in the School: Tutor, Tool, Tutee, Teachers College Press, New York, 1980.
- The Oxford Dictionaries Online, Retrieved (5 April, 2011) from http://oxforddictionaries.com.
- THOMPSON, L., Making the Team: A Guide for Managers (3rd ed.), Upper Saddle River, Prentice Hall, NJ, 2008.
- THORSTEINSSON, G., T. PAGE, A. NICULESCU, Adoption of ICT in Supporting Ideation Skills in Conventional Classroom Settings’, Studies in Informatics and Control, Vol. 19, No.3, 2010a, pp. 309-318, ISSN 1200-1766.
- THORSTEINSSON, G., H. G. DENTON, The Development of Innovation Education in Iceland: A Pathway to Modern Pedagogy and Potential Value in the UK, The Journal of Design and Technology Education, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2003, pp. 172-179.
- THORSTEINSSON, G., H. G. DENTON, Developing an Understanding of the Pedagogy of using a Virtual Reality Learning Environment (VRLE) to Support Innovation Education (IE) in Iceland: A Literature Survey, Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2008, pp. 15-26, ISSN 1360-1431.
- THORSTEINSSON, G., T. PAGE, A. NICULESCU, Using Virtual Reality for Developing Design Communication, Studies in Information and Control, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2010b, pp. 93-106, ISSN 1220-1766.
- THURLOW, C., L. LENGEL, A. TOMIC, Computer Mediated Communication: Social Interaction and the Internet, Sage, London, 2004.
- TITUS, P., Marketing and the Creative Problem-solving Process, Journal of Marketing Education, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2000, pp. 225-35.
- VAN DE VEN, A., V. ANGLE, M. S. POOLE, Research on the Management of Innovation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000.