Measuring the meaning conveyed by a glance or a
gesture in a Computer Supported Collaborative
Learning Environment Denise Whitelock and
Eileen Scanlon Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
AbstractThis paper investigates the role of gaze and
gesture when subjects were collaboratively
solving physics problems with a computer. The
results indicate that gesturing has an important
role to play when subjects are discussing
collisions since they use their hands to denote
speed and force of an impact. More surprisingly,
however, gesturing was also associated with
problem solving success when subjects were
supporting one another with very positive
feedback and also when disagreements arose
between them. Mutual gesturing also impacted
upon the planning process of the investigation.
However, more mutual gesturing and gazing
occurred with female pairs rather than male and
mixed gender dyads. Problem solving success
also correlated with gaze which again was
associated with cognitive planning and the
provision of positive and negative feedback
among partners. To conclude our main finding is
that differences in non-verbal communication
strategies effect not only the strategies that
progress the collaborative process but more
importantly also those that influence the
understanding of the problem space. These
results suggest the quality of video linkage will
play an important role in collaborative solving
for distance learners.Keywords - Problem solving, gaze and gesture,
IntroductionSocial interaction in groups to progress cognitive
understanding has become an important issue
both for developmental psychology and
educational research ( Perret-Clermont et al., 1991, Linn &
Burbules, 1993 and Barfurth 1995). A large number of studies have
commented upon how learning has resulted from
a group's collective efforts to understand new
information and there has been an examination of
the type of talk ( Whitelock 1993, Mercer 1994, Wegerif 1996) which accompanies computer
supported collaborative learning activities.
Studies with children have also found that peer
presence facilitates problem solving ( Joiner et al, 1991) and that gender too has a mediating effect
( Loveridge et al, 1993). However, there has been
little principled investigation into the role of the
non-verbal interactions which accompany and
support such cognitive skills as planning and
problem solving within a CSCL setting. Gender
composition has also received little consideration
within this context.It has been argued by Isroff ( 1996) that
motivational issues should be considered in
CSCL environments and hence the roles that
gaze and gesture play in motivating and
sustaining collaborative interactions requires
attention. This paper reports the results of a
study which focuses upon the role of gaze and
gesture when adults are collaboratively solving
physics problems with a computer. We were
particularly interested in investigating the
|What types of inter subject events promote
gaze and gesture?|
|Do these events influence the joint problem
|What mediating effect does gender play in
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Proceedings of CSCL '97:The Second International Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning, December 10-14, 1997, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Contributors: Rogers Hall - Editor, Naomi Miyake - Editor, Noel Enyedy - Editor.
Publisher: University of Toronto.
Place of publication: Toronto.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 308.
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