Feedback and Reflection to Promote Student Participation in Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: A Multiple Case Study

  • Fleur Prinsen
  • Jan Terwel
  • Monique Volman
  • Marieke Fakkert
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning book series (CULS, volume 8)

This chapter describes a multiple case study in Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL). Feedback and reflection were components in a program in which 5th grade students worked with CSCL in small groups. The feedback and reflection was focused on improving the interaction processes of the students, especially on supporting elaborative contributions in the groups. The interaction processes in two groups were closely followed and analysed, and portrayed through examples. The main research question was: How do interaction processes between students develop within a learning environment in which feedback by the researcher/teacher on elaboration is provided and student reflection on elaboration is encouraged? We expected that feedback and reflection about the quality of the participation, elaboration in particular, would in the initial stages result in better quality participation and more elaborated contributions of the students later on in the process. Looking at the patterns in the interactions over the subsequent lessons, we may conclude that our hypothesis was confirmed. However, the results show significant differences in the quality of participation between individual students and between the two case groups which appear to be related to students’ characteristics and group composition, that is, ability and sociocultural background. The implications for teaching are discussed.


Reading Comprehension Cooperative Learning Student Characteristic Computer Skill Multiple Case Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brown, A. L., & Palincsar, A. S. (1989). Guided, cooperative learning and individual knowledge acquisition, In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, Learning and Instruction: Essays in Honor of Robert Glaser (pp. 393–451). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  2. Bruggen van, J. M., Kirschner, P. A., & Jochems, W. (2002). External representations of argumentation in CSCL and the management of cognitive load. Learning and Instruction, 12, 121–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bull, S., Dimitrova, V., & Brna, P. (2002). Enhancing reflective modeling through communicative interaction in learning environments. In P. Brna, M. Baker, K. Stenning, & A. Tiberghien (Eds.), The Role of Communication in Learning to Model (pp. 183–211). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  4. CITO (1998). Toets Begrijpend Lezen (Comprehensive Reading Test), G. Staphorsius, & R. Krom, Centraal Instituut voor Toetsontwikkeling (National Institute for Test Development), Arnhem, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, E. G., & Lotan, R. A. (1995). Producing equal-status interaction in the heterogeneous classroom. American Educational Research Journal, 32, 99–120.Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, E. G., Brody, C. M., & Sapon-Shevin, M. (2004). Teaching Cooperative Learning. The Challenge for Teacher Education. New York: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  7. Crook, C. (1994). Computers and the Collaborative Experiences of Learning. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Dewiyanti, S. (2005). Learning together: A positive experience. The effect of reflection on group process in an asynchronous computer-supported collaborative learning environment. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Open Universiteit, Maastricht, Nederland.
  9. Dillenbourg, P., & Self, J. A. (1995). Designing human-computer collaborative learning. In C. E. O’Malley (Ed.), Computer Supported Collaborative Learninig. Hamburg: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  10. Esis. (2006). Eniac School Informatie Systeem, versie 3.40. Rovict, Soest, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  11. Fakkert, M. C. (2006). Leerprocessen binnen samenwerkend leren in Knowledge Forum: Multiple case studies naar de effectiviteit van tussentijdse feedback op het leerproces van individuen en de samenwerkende groep. Unpublished Master of Education thesis, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  12. Fischer, G., & Ostwald J. (2002). Transcending the information given: Designing learning environments for informed participation. Computers in Education, 1, 378–381.Google Scholar
  13. Gennip, H., van Braam, H., & Poulisse, N. (2002). Ict-Onderwijsmonitor Basisonderwijs 2000–2001. Nijmegen: ITS.Google Scholar
  14. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R.T. (1994). Learning Together and Alone: Cooperative, Competitive and Individualistic Learning (4th ed). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  15. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., Stanne, M. B., & Garibaldi, A. (1990). Impact of group processing on achievement in cooperative groups. The Journal of Social Psychology, 130, 507–516.Google Scholar
  16. Johnston, L. D. (1997). Risking learning? A comparative study of the attitudes and behaviors of some groups of second-year undergraduate students in Information Management seminars, following the introduction of different technologies designed to enhance critical and creative thinking. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.Google Scholar
  17. Leeman, Y., & Volman, M. (2001). Inclusive education, recipe book or quest. On diversity in the classroom and educational research. International Journal on Inclusive education, 5, 267–379.Google Scholar
  18. Prinsen, F. R., Volman, M. L. L., & Terwel, J. (2006). The influence of learner characteristics on degree and type of participation in a CSCL environment. British Journal of Educational Technology (Online Early Articles). doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00692.xGoogle Scholar
  19. Raven, J. C. (1976). Standard Progressive Matrices. Sets A, B, C, D & E. (ISBN 1856390209). Oxford, England: Oxford Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  20. Ross, J. A., & Rolheiser, C. (2003). Student assessment practices in cooperative learning, In R. M. Gillies, & A. F. Ashman (Eds.), Cooperative Learning: The Social and Intellectual Outcomes of Learning in Groups (pp. 54–68). London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  21. Slavin, R. (1995). Cooperative Learning: Theory, Research and Practice (2nd ed). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  22. Stahl, G. (1999). Reflections on WebGuide. Seven issues for the next generation of collaborative knowledge building environments, in Proceedings of CSCL 99: C. Hoadley (Ed.), The Third International Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (pp. 600–610). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  23. Terwel, J. (2003). Cooperative learning in secondary education: A curriculum perspective. In R.M. Gillies, & A. F. Ashman (Eds). Cooperative Learning: The social and Intellectual Outcomes of Learning in Groups (pp. 54–68). London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  24. Ulicsak, M.H. (2004). ‘How did it know we weren’t talking?’: An investigation into the impact of self-assessments and feedback in a group activity. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20, 205–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Van Dijk, I. M. A. W., Van Oers, H. J. M., & Terwel, J. (2003a). Providing or designing? Constructing models in primary maths education. Learning and Instruction, 13, 53–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Van Dijk, I. M. A. W., Van Oers, B.,Terwel, J., & Van den Eeden (2003b). Strategic learning in primary mathematics education: Evaluation of a program in modelling. Educational Research and Evaluation, 9, 161–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Veerman, A., & Veldhuis-Diermanse, E. (2001). Collaborative learning through computermediated communications in academic education. Proceedings of the International Conference Euro-CSCL’01. The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  28. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in Society. London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Webb, N. M., & Farivar, S. (1999). Developing productive group interaction in middle school. In A. M. O’Donnell and A. King, eds, Cognitive Perspectives on Peer Learning pp. 117–149. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  30. Yager, S., Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Snider, B. (1996). The impact of group processing on achievement in cooperative learning groups. The Journal of Social Psychology, 126, 389–397.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fleur Prinsen
    • 1
  • Jan Terwel
    • 1
  • Monique Volman
    • 1
  • Marieke Fakkert
    • 2
  1. 1.Vrije UniversityNetherlands
  2. 2.Dutch National Police AcademyNetherlands

Personalised recommendations