Vol. 35 No. 1 (2020): Special Issue on Technology and Teacher Education
Special Issue

Technology Used to Support Learning in Groups

Dr. Barbara Brown
University of Calgary
Dr. Christy Thomas
University of Calgary
Published October 30, 2020
How to Cite
Brown, B., & Thomas, C. (2020). Technology Used to Support Learning in Groups. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 35(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1158


Abstract: Across disciplines, researchers recognize that working together in a small group can be a challenging learning activity, particularly in an online course where group members meet remotely. This 2-year, design-based research study focused on improving group work in both online and blended sections of an undergraduate course for pre-service teachers. Surveys were completed by instructors (N = 15) and students (N = 361) at three different junctures during the course to learn about how technologies were used by students and instructors to support group work. Interviews were also conducted at the end of the term to gather in-depth descriptions about the types of technologies and how they were used by students and instructors to support group work. Findings indicated that students and instructors selected a combination of technologies, including institutionally supported and mainstream applications such as shared workspaces to coordinate, track, and monitor group progress. Students and instructors also described using communication technologies to manage group challenges related to scheduling, communicating, and integrating tasks into the project. Findings contribute to our understanding about how technologies were used to support process and product when working on a group assignment.


Keywords: technology-supported, online, group work, group assignment, social interdependence, teacher education


Résumé: Dans toutes les disciplines, les chercheurs reconnaissent que travailler ensemble en petit groupe peut être une activité d'apprentissage stimulante, en particulier dans un cours en ligne où les membres du groupe se rencontrent à distance. Cette étude de recherche de deux ans basée sur la conception s'est concentrée sur l'amélioration du travail en groupe dans les sections en ligne et mixtes d'un cours de premier cycle pour les enseignants en formation. Des sondages ont été complétés par des instructeurs (N = 15) et des étudiants (N = 361) à trois moments différents pendant le cours pour apprendre comment les technologies étaient utilisées par les étudiants et les instructeurs pour soutenir le travail de groupe. Des entrevues ont également été menées à la fin du trimestre afin de recueillir des descriptions détaillées sur les types de technologies et la façon dont les technologies étaient utilisées par les étudiants et les instructeurs pour soutenir le travail de groupe. Les résultats ont indiqué que les étudiants et les enseignants ont choisi une combinaison de technologies, y compris des applications soutenues par l'établissement et des applications grand public, y compris des espaces de travail partagés pour coordonner, suivre et surveiller les progrès du groupe. Les étudiants et les instructeurs ont également décrit l'utilisation des technologies de communication pour gérer les défis de groupe liés à la planification, à la communication et à l'intégration des tâches dans le projet. Les résultats contribuent à notre compréhension de la façon dont les technologies ont été utilisées pour soutenir les processus et les produits lorsque nous réalisons un travail en groupe.


Mots-clés: soutenu par la technologie, en ligne, travail de groupe, affectation de groupe, interdépendance sociale, formation des enseignants



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