Developing social capital among learners in collaborative learning through introducing yet another exchange system based on the concept of “bi-directional debt”
Abstract: The present study aims to develop social capital among learners engaged in collaborative problem solving. For this purpose, the authors propose a norm of “bi-directional debts”, and rules for mutual assistance based on this norm. These rules of mutual assistance place a person who has been helped under an “obligation to help someone,” while at the same time placing a person who has helped someone under an “obligation to be helped by someone else.” Credit is given only when these obligations are fulfilled. The authors introduced these rules into a project-based cooperative learning setting to verify their effectiveness. This preliminary study has suggested that these rules are effective in facilitating formation of social capital in a group of learners.