How Groups Cooperate in a Networked Geometry Learning Environment
ISAIJLS Volume 42, Number 4, ISSN 0020-4277
This paper presents a small group computing environment in which four students each control a different point in a geometric space, such that as a group they collectively manipulate the vertices of a quadrilateral. Prior research has revealed that students have considerable difficulty in learning about the interrelationships among quadrilaterals shapes. In this study, we investigated how a designed environment can help support students' learning in this area. In particular, in a case study of two student groups, we used the notions of appropriation and objectification to explain how students learned from one another different ways of using the technology and of explaining geometric concepts to progress in their geometric reasoning. When the students did not attain a shared focus of attention, they were not able to appropriate others' approaches to using the technology or explaining geometric concepts. In one group, although some individuals demonstrated learning gains, when the coordination among the group members fell apart, not all the members were able to benefit. On the other hand, another group which demonstrated more group-oriented behavior--listening to one another, sharing the same focus of attention, engaging in coordinated actions--was able to benefit as a whole and did better overall on individual assessments.
Lai, K. & White, T. (2014). How Groups Cooperate in a Networked Geometry Learning Environment. Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, 42(4), 615-637.