Effects of Computer Support for Collaborative Learning in STEM Education: A Research Synthesis

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

Our goal is to conduct a comprehensive research synthesis of the literature on computer-supported collaborative learning in STEM disciplines from 2005-2014. We will conduct a traditional meta-analysis along with a metasynthesis and explore the use of automated data mining and text analysis as a tool in research synthesis.



Research Design: 

The project will generate evidence that is synthetic using meta-analysis, meta-synthesis, and data mining. Secondary data are being collected on published research articles. We have developed coding schemes for study characteristics, technologies and pedagogies and are using these to synthesize results.

For all studies, we will conduct a hierarchical cluster analysis of study characteristics and then we will sample from different clusters to synthesize across qualitative and quantitative studies. For the quantitative studies, we will compute effect sizes and examine which factors affect the magnitude of effects.


Thus far, we have identified four major clusters. Cluster 1, is characterized by socio-cultural theory, and descriptive design method, using less-structured data, such as interviews, videos, situating studies in classrooms. This cluster is associated with qualitative analysis method. In cluster 2, there don’t appear to be any specific theories and is characterized by classroom studies using questionnaires, and descriptive designs. Cluster 3 is characterized by constructivist theory, and quasi-experimental designs, using inferential statistics to analyze questionnaire data, situating studies in classrooms. Cluster 4 studies were not characterized by specific theories, were set in classrooms, collected categorical data, and used quantitative method, guided with experimental designs.

Publications & Presentations: 

Jeong, H., Hmelo-Silver, C. E., Yu, Y. (2014). An examination of CSCL methodological practices and the influence of theoretical frameworks 2005–2009. iJCSCL, 9, 305-344.

Other Products: 

We anticipate developing principles that identify the circumstances under which CSCL is most useful in STEM education.

Research Design: 


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