Juanjuan Chen and colleagues recently performed a meta-analysis on the effects of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL).
Using 425 empirical studies (all of which used a controlled experimental or quasi-experimental design) published between 2000 and 2016, researchers found several main aspects to examine: the effects of the collaboration itself; the effects of computer use during collaboration; the effects of extra technology-related learning tools used in CSCL, such as videoconferencing and sharing visuals with team partners; and strategies such as role assignment and peer feedback.
Collaborative learning itself positively affected:
- Knowledge gain (ES= +0.42)
- Skill acquisition (ES= +0.62)
- Student perceptions of the experience (ES= +0.38)
The use of computers, when combined with collaborative learning, positively affected:
- Knowledge gain (ES= +0.45)
- Skill acquisition (ES= +0.53)
- Student perceptions (ES= +0.51)
- Group task performance (ES= +0.89)
- Social interaction (ES= +0.57)
Lastly, extra technology-related learning tools during CSCL positively affected knowledge gain (ES= +0.55), as did the use of strategies (ES= +0.38).
Source : Chen, J., Wang, M., Kirschner, P. A., & Tsai, C.-C. (2018). The role of collaboration, computer use, learning environments, and supporting strategies in CSCL: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 88(6), 799–843.