Cooperative vs collaborative group work: educational use of social media and social connection for international students

ID: 52208 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Jade Sleeman, Catherine Lang, and Eva Dakich, La Trobe University, Australia

Thursday, June 28 12:00-12:20 PM Location: Jordaan 2 View on map

Presider: Maya Al Hawary, Hamadan Bin Mohammed Smart University, United Arab Emirates

Abstract: Group work is often employed in educational contexts for social learning benefits, such as co-construction of knowledge, as well as facilitating social connections within the classroom (C-M Zhao & Kuh, 2004) For international students, the social interactions that grow out of group assignments can positively influence learning and adjustment to the new cultural and educational context (Cruickshank, Chen, & Warren, 2012) However, in higher education, participation in group assignments is increasingly mediated by digital technologies, and as such may impact on the opportunities available for international students to make social connections with classmates Therefore, this study investigated the experiences of 26 international students using social media for group assignments and their resulting perceptions of connection to classmates The results suggest that students who engaged in collaborative rather than cooperative interactions via social media were more likely to perceive a connection to their classmates The implications for educators include classroom modelling of digitally-mediated collaborative interactions to benefit students’ participation in group assignments

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