Making the black box of collaborative learning transparent: Combining process-oriented and cognitive load approaches

Jeroen Janssen*, Femke Kirschner, Gijsbert Erkens, Paul A. Kirschner, Fred Paas

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Abstract

    Traditional research on collaborative learning employs a “black box” approach that makes it difficult to gain a deeper understanding of the differential effects of collaborative learning. To make the black box transparent, researchers have studied the process of collaboration, in order to establish which interaction features are likely to make learning more effective and efficient for group members. Although cognitive load theory has been developed in the context of individual learning situations, it may provide a promising new way of looking inside the black box, assuming that students working in groups have more processing capacity than students working individually. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the process-oriented and cognitive-load approaches to conducting collaborative learning research, to highlight their respective advantages and disadvantages, and to suggest how they can be combined in order to address new research questions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)139-154
    Number of pages16
    JournalEducational Psychology Review
    Volume22
    Issue number2
    Early online date4 May 2010
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

    Keywords

    • Collaborative learning
    • Cognitive load
    • Process-oriented research

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