Supporting Effective Collaboration: Using a Rearview Mirror to Look Forward

In IJAIED 26 (1)

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Collaborative learning, Collaborative skills network, Computer supported cooperative work, Group leader tutor, Intelligent collaborative learning system, Intelligent Tutoring System


Our original research, to design and develop an Intelligent Collaborative Learning System (ICLS), yielded the creation of a Group Leader Tutor software system which utilizes a Collaborative Skills Network to monitor students working collaboratively in a networked environment. The Collaborative Skills Network was a conceptualization of collaborative skills and subskills associated with particular sentence openers. The Group Leader (GL) Tutor taught students effective use of collaboration skills while they worked in Jigsaw Teams on a Local Area Network (LAN). In their discussions, students selected sentence openers associated with particular collaborative skills defined in the Collaborative Skills Network, completing them with free-form sentence closers. Subsequent researchers leveraged this system in various ways including incorporating intelligent agents, expanding the Collaborative Skills Network, and matching sentence openers with appropriate sentence closers. The universal use of the Internet, responsive user interfaces, and learning management systems (LMS) have since provided additional research opportunities using more powerful technology. The ICLS research continues to hold promise for future applications and extensions of our model to new domains. Addressing the needs of both traditional students as well as adult learners in e-learning environments, even MOOCs, may extend the reach of our research into the future. Additionally, enhanced assessment of students’ learning outcomes may help improve their collaborative skills.