Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Identifying Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Research in Selected Journals Published from 2003 to 2012: A Content Analysis of Research Topics and Issues

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Identifying Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Research in Selected Journals Published from 2003 to 2012: A Content Analysis of Research Topics and Issues

Article excerpt

Introduction

Computed-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) has become more and more popular and numerous studies related to CSCL have been reported. As an area of the learning sciences, the main concern of CSCL focuses on how people can learn together with the aid of computers (Stahl, Koschmann, & Suthers, 2006). In this area, a wide range of topics have been explored, such as CSCL system design, argumentative activities, CSCL scripts, interaction analysis etc. Furthermore, various kinds of research methods are adopted to understand the complex interactional phenomena and transform educational practices. Therefore, it is very significant and valuable to review and examine the CSCL trend in research topics and research issues so as to provide good references for researchers in this field.

In recent years, some reviews on CSCL researches have been conducted. These review had various kinds of foci, including review of the systems that supported the management of collaborative learning interaction (Soller et al., 2005), meta-analysis of research methods in CSCL field (Resta & Laferriere, 2007; Jeong & Hmelo-Silver, 2011), identifying the pitfalls for social interaction in CSCL environments (Kreijns et al., 2003), analysis of research foci on argumentation-based computer supported collaborative learning (Noroozi et al., 2012), review of the research topics in the International Journal of Computer-supported Collaborative Learning from 2006 to 2011 (Lonchamp, 2012), and review of the nine experimental studies on the impact of mobile technologies in supporting collaborative learning (Hsu & Ching, 2013). However, very few studies have thoroughly analyzed the research topics, research methodology, and technology adoption in this field over the past decade.

The present study provides insight into the research trends in the field of CSCL by systematically analyzing articles published in the nine selected SSCI journals on CSCL from 2003 to 2012. The nine selected journals were Computers & Education (C&E), International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (ijCSCL), Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL), Instructional Science (I&S), Educational Technology Research & Development (ETR&D), British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET), Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET), Interactive Learning Environments (ILE),and Educational Technology & Society (ET&S). The purpose of this study has been twofold. First, we investigate the distribution of research topics, research methodology, and technology adoption among the articles published in the nine leading journals during 2003 to 2012. Second, we explored the emerging trends after reviewing the nine journal publications. Therefore, the four research questions addressed in this study are as follows:

* What research topics related to CSCL were published in these selected journals from 2003 to 2012? And what were the topic variations between the first five years (2003-2007) and the second five years (2008-2012)?

* What research methodology related to CSCL was selected in these selected journals from 2003 to 2012? And what were the methodology variations between the first five years (2003-2007) and the second five years (2008-2012)?

* What types of collaborating learning and technologies for supporting collaborative learning were adopted in these selected journals from 2003 to 2012? And what were the collaborating learning type and technology adoption variations between the first five years (2003-2007) and the second five years (2008-2012)?

* Is there any significant association between research design, research methods and research topics?

Method

Materials

This study selected papers relevant to computer-supported collaborative learning in the SSCI database from 2003 to 2012. The journals with the top 21% of impact factor in the field of education were selected as the literature source. …

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