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Facilitating learning in multidisciplinary groups with transactive CSCL scripts

Abstract

Knowledge sharing and transfer are essential for learning in groups, especially when group members have different disciplinary expertise and collaborate online. Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) environments have been designed to facilitate transactive knowledge sharing and transfer in collaborative problem-solving settings. This study investigates how knowledge sharing and transfer can be facilitated using CSCL scripts supporting transactive memory and discussion in a multidisciplinary problem-solving setting. We also examine the effects of these CSCL scripts on the quality of both joint and individual problem-solution plans. In a laboratory experiment, 120 university students were randomly divided into pairs based only on their disciplinary backgrounds (each pair had one partner with a background in water management and one partner with a background in international development studies). These dyads were then randomly assigned to one of four conditions: transactive memory script, transactive discussion script, both scripts, or no scripts (control). Learning partners were asked to analyze, discuss, and solve an authentic problem that required knowledge of both their domains, i.e., applying the concept of community-based social marketing in fostering sustainable agricultural water management. The results showed interaction effects for the transactive memory and discussion scripts on transactive knowledge sharing and transfer. Furthermore, transactive memory and discussion scripts individually, but not in combination, led to better quality demonstrated in both joint and individual problem solutions. We discuss how these results advance the research investigating the value of using scripts delivered in CSCL systems for supporting knowledge sharing and transfer.

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Correspondence to Omid Noroozi.

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This research was supported by the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology (MSRT) of the Islamic Republic of Iran through a grant awarded to Omid Noroozi. The authors want to express their gratitude for this support.

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Noroozi, O., Teasley, S.D., Biemans, H.J.A. et al. Facilitating learning in multidisciplinary groups with transactive CSCL scripts. Computer Supported Learning 8, 189–223 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-012-9162-z

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Keywords

  • Collaborative learning
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Multidisciplinary groups
  • Transactive discussion script
  • Transactive memory script