Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning among Students of Different English Proficiency, Cognitive Styles, and Genders
Keywords:collaborative learning, English proficiency, cognitive styles, genders
Research have often suggested that language learners benefited greatly by the collaborative learning. However, it is still unclear whether learners with different English proficiency, cognitive styles and genders profit equally from working in an online collaborative learning environment. Therefore, the aim of this study attempts to explore the effectiveness of an inter-school online collaborative learning on students with heterogeneous English proficiency, cognitive styles and genders. Two intact classes of 78 first-year English and non-English majors from two universities participated in the study. During the one-year online collaborative learning, students were divided into 17 groups, and each group was requested to create an e-book. Instruments of the study included the Group Embedded Figure Test and student individual pre/post essays. Two English professors were requested to evaluate student pre/post essays. The results showed that English majors had significant improvement in the post-essay writing, especially in the scores of the content. Non-English majors also improved in their post-essays, but the improvement was not significant. Moreover, field dependent students wrote better in their post essay, while field independent students did not improve and their post-essay scores even declined. Furthermore, female students progressed more than male students. Some research implications were provided to conclude this study.
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