Patterns of Collaboration in Design Courses: Team dynamics affect technology appropriation, artifact creation, and course performance

Heidy Maldonado, Brian Lee, Scott R Klemmer, Roy D Pea
CSCL: Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 2007
In a collaborative task, group dynamics have been shown to affect students’ grades, motivation to pursue a topic or subject, documentation of the experience, learning, enjoyment of a project, and relationships with their classmates. The results presented in this paper illustrate the effect team dynamics also have upon technology appropriation, by combining proven data-collection strategies and the use of a system that augments paper sketchbooks with multimedia capture and sharing capabilities. We analyze the relationships between students’ design notebooks, questionnaires, and interview responses, class observations, and course performance. Our study found that students’ use of collaborative tools increases when they believe their teammates to be equally engaged and involved in the project. Moreover, students engaged in successful collaborations are likely to take fewer notes than those involved in conflict-filled collaborations, and students with considerable experience working in groups may bypass critical steps in creating joint problem-solving spaces with each new group.