Multilevel analysis in CSCL Research

Jeroen Janssen*, Gijsbert Erkens, Paul A. Kirschner, Gellof Kanselaar

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    50 Downloads (Pure)


    CSCL researchers are often interested in the processes that unfold between learners in online learning environments and the outcomes that stem from these interactions. However, studying collaborative learning processes is not an easy task. Researchers have to make quite a few methodological decisions such as how to study the collaborative process itself (e.g., develop a coding scheme or a questionnaire), on the appropriate unit of analysis (e.g., the individual or the group), and which statistical technique to use (e.g., descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, correlation analysis). Recently, several researchers have turned to multilevel analysis (MLA) to answer their research questions (e.g., Cress, 2008; De Wever, Van Keer, Schellens, & Valcke, 2007; Dewiyanti, Brand-Gruwel, Jochems, & Broers, 2007; Schellens, Van Keer, & Valcke, 2005; Strijbos, Martens, Jochems, & Broers, 2004; Stylianou-Georgiou, Papanastasiou, & Puntambekar, chapter #). However, CSCL studies that apply MLA analysis still remain relatively scarce. Instead, many CSCL researchers continue to use ‘traditional’ statistical techniques (e.g., analysis of variance, regression analysis), although these techniques may not be appropriate for what is being studied. An important aim of this chapter is therefore to explain why MLA is often necessary to correctly answer the questions CSCL researchers address. Furthermore, we wish to highlight the consequences of failing to use MLA when this is called for, using data from our own studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAnalyzing Interactions in CSCL
    Subtitle of host publicationMethods, Approaches and Issues
    EditorsSadhana Puntambekar, Gijsbert Erkens, Cindy Hmelo-Silver
    Place of PublicationBoston
    PublisherSpringer Science + Business Media
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)9781441977106, ISBN-10 9781441977090
    ISBN (Print)9781441977090
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Publication series

    SeriesComputer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series (CULS)


    • CSCL
    • Multilevel analysis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Multilevel analysis in CSCL Research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this