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Pál Molnár, Henriett Pintér & Edit Tóth: Effects of Attitude to Collaboration on Collaborative Learning and Sense of Community Among learners Engaged in Inquiry-Based Learning

In contemporary networked societies, collaboration is crucial to work and learning. Instructors are thus increasingly adopting collaborative strategies in the classroom. One important, well-researched student-centred approach is inquiry-based learning. This is one of few studies to investigate students’ attitudes to collaboration and its effects on learning. We studied the relationships between attitude to collaboration, perceived collaborative learning, learning in an online (blended) environment and sense of community. Students worked in groups in a semester-long, collaborative, inquiry-based learning scenario. Student data were collected by questionnaire before and after the collaborative inquiry. Then, structural equation modelling was used to test hypothesized effects and correlations. Our results showed that before the learning scenario, many students stated that group work was effective and interesting, but not easy. After the inquiry, most regarded collaborative inquiry as positive and fruitful. Most saw learning in an online environment as positive. Further, the majority valued feedback from peers and felt that the discussions helped them to share their experiences and knowledge and to understand their peers’ viewpoints. The students experienced a relative sense of community. Some indicated that their interactions increased because of the online learning environment. In addition, some believed these interactions formed an important part of their learning community. As for the effects of attitude to collaboration on collaborative learning and sense of community, results showed that students’ attitudes had a strong effect on their perception of these factors. Overall, students whose attitude was positive to collaboration perceived collaborative learning as effective and meaningful and saw themselves as part of a community. Our results suggest that instructors should consider their students’ attitudes to collaboration when planning and managing collaborative learning settings. Instructors should not force group work on their learners, and/or they should use various methods to improve students’ attitudes. For example, it may be helpful to discuss the purpose of collaboration, proper strategies, the role of peers and feedback to students

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 117. Number 4. 423-449. (2017)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Molnár Pál, ELTE TTK, Természettudományi Kommunikáció és UNESCO Multimédia¬pe¬da-gó¬gia Központ, H–1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A. Pintér Henriett, Semmelweis Egyetem, Pető András Kar, H–1085 Budapest, Üllői út 26. Tóth Edit, MTA-SZTE Képességfejlődés Kutatócsoport, H–6722 Szeged, Petőfi Sándor sgt. 30–34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia