Outcomes for healthcare undergraduates using wikis and MS Powerpoint in computer supported collaborative assessment: the influence of student approaches to learning

MacDonald, Iain ORCID logo ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6056-1801 (2020) Outcomes for healthcare undergraduates using wikis and MS Powerpoint in computer supported collaborative assessment: the influence of student approaches to learning. In: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED), 2-4 March 2020, Valencia, SPAIN.

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There are increasing opportunities for groups of students to collaborate with formative assessment that is afforded by virtual learning environments within undergraduate education such as Blackboard and Moodie. However, this can present challenges to both the students who undertake the assessment and lecturing staff who design and facilitate it. In this study, two methods of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) assessment were used by second year health undergraduate students in one university setting: the 'familiar' Microsoft (MS) PowerPoint presentation and the 'novel' wiki, a web communication and collaboration tool. The potential influence of the student approaches to learning (SAL) on their use of collaborative assessment was a key element of the study. There has been relatively little previous work on the response of individual students with varying learning approaches towards CSCL, compared to cognitive changes of whole groups of students.

The study comprised 2 research cycles using an action research methodology, having 32 students in cycle 1 and 19 in cycle 2. An online questionnaire was used to gather data on students approaches to learning and their CSCL experience. The students were ranked according to their approach to learning, with the upper quartile of both the surface learning tendency group (n=8 in cycle 1; n=5 in cycle 2) and deep learning tendency group (n=8 in cycle 1;n=5 in cycle 2) selected for analysis. The research was informed by grounded theory that provided outcome measures of the student experience using the two group assessments. Several key themes were clarified and explored, particularly socially-shared construction of learning and socio-emotional responses. Based on these emergent themes, six in-depth interviews were also carried out with students who had varying levels of wiki use and achievement in the course. The influence of student approaches to learning (SAL) and intensity of wiki use on the identified themes was emphasised.

Findings demonstrated that all students had previous experience of MS PowerPoint; however, the wiki was new to them. The MS PowerPoint was considered the more sustainable assessment and it had advantages such as improving confidence, particularly in those with surface learning tendency. Cycle 1 demonstrated that the wiki was less valuable in providing socially-constructed knowledge and overall utility of the collaborative learning experience compared to the MS PowerPoint presentations, particularly amongst those with surface learning tendency. After changes implemented for cycle 2 of the research, students noted improvements in the utility and socially-constructed knowledge provided by the wiki. In particular, there was a greater effect on those students with surface learning tendency, and their self-efficacy in using the wiki was increased. There is emergent theory that those with surface learning tendency, who were also less motivated to the course in general, may respond positively to the changes implemented in delivery of the wiki.

In practice, it is recommended that attention should be paid to the perceptions of assessment by students with different approaches to learning, and the design and delivery of assessment should reflect this. This research increases understanding of the complex responses of students using CSCL assessment, with the intended audience being lecturers in higher education using group formative assessment.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Institute of Health > Continuing Development and Health Leadership
Depositing User: Christian Stretton
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2020 07:57
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 10:45
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/5693


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