Collaborative learning in technological project design



The POWERTECH contest in Taiwan was established in an attempt to promote inventiveness and technology to elementary school pupils. The POWERTECH contest is designed as a collaborative learning system for project design. Project design is comprised of technical processes, which include the construction of an artifact and improvement of its functions. Thus, pupils learn scientific and technical knowledge through a collaborative design project. The purpose of the study was to examine how collaborative learning could be facilitated in technological project design, and whether and how pupils working collaboratively were able to share their design ideas. The study was carried out by analyzing the design portfolio compiled by a team of four elementary school pupils who were engaged in a collaborative design project that focused on making a robot rat for the POWERTECH contest. A portfolio analysis was used in this study to help researchers assess the actual collaboration process among the team members. The study indicated that collaborative learning in a contest facilitated the sharing of knowledge and resources among the team members. Furthermore, reflections essential for problem-solving among the team members were often raised during the design process. These reflections were also conducive to the reduction of mistakes during the contest.


Design process Collaborative learning Portfolio Technology contest 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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