Online active learning: a comparison of three virtual classroom collaborative learning scenarios

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Although virtual classroom (videoconferencing) technology has developed into full maturity, from a pedagogical perspective its deployment in higher online education is still rather limited in terms of interactivity and student-centred learning designs. Whereas current virtual classroom functionalities support the use of a plethora of collaborative learning techniques, teachers appear reluctant in exploring them. We describe the development, implementation and evaluation of three didactical scenarios for collaborative learning in the virtual classroom: case-based learning, project-based learning and problem-based learning. The scenarios were developed building on existing initiatives in three different fields (Law, Science, and Educational Sciences). The three scenarios involve a variety of online collaborative learning activities in parallel groups of various sizes. The scenarios have been evaluated with students through online questionnaires and in focus groups, drawing on the Group Learning Activities Instructional Design framework. Results indicate high satisfaction levels across the scenarios regarding the technology used (virtual classroom as well as its communication tools). Satisfaction regarding collaborative activities varied, depending on duration (i.e., size) of the group learning task and related feedback needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICERI2020 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication13th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, November 9th-10th, 2020
EditorsL. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez, I. Candel Torres
Place of PublicationValencia, Spain
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-09-24232-0
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation - Online, Seville, Spain
Duration: 9 Nov 202010 Nov 2020
Conference number: 13


Conference13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Abbreviated titleICERI 2020
Internet address


  • Online active learning
  • Virtual classroom
  • Collaborative learning


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