Mine, ours and yours: Whose engagement and prior knowledge affects individual achievement from online collaborative learning?

B Slof, A van Leeuwen, J Janssen, PA Kirschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In computer-supported collaborative learning research, studies examining the combined effects of individual level, group level and within-group differences level measures on individual achievement are scarce. The current study addressed this by examining whether individual, group and within-group differences regarding engagement and prior knowledge predict individual achievement. Engagement was operationalised as group members' exhibited activities in the task space (i.e., discussing domain-content) and social space (i.e., regulating ideas, actions and socioemotional processes). Prior knowledge and achievement were operationalised as group members' performance on a domain-related pre-test and post-test, respectively. Data was collected for 95 triads of secondary education students collaborating on a complex business-economics problem. Subsequently, three different multilevel models were tested to examine the combined effect. First a model with the individual level measures (model 1) was tested and in subsequent models the group level measures (model 2) and within-group levels measures (model 3) were added. Findings indicate model 2 showed the best fit; group members' individual engagement in the social space activities as well as the groups' average prior knowledge positively predicts individual achievement. No effects were found for either group members' or groups' engagement in the task space and for the within-group differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Collaborative learning
  • Secondary education
  • Student engagement
  • Student individual achievement
  • student engagement
  • collaborative learning
  • secondary education
  • student individual achievement


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