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Students can be inspired to learn through online collaboration

Aleksandra Lazareva disputerer for ph.d.-graden med avhandlingen “Facilitating Student Engagement in the Context of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning” torsdag 27. September 2018. (Foto: Privat)

I focus on how collaboration scripting combined with online tutoring can facilitate student engagement in the CSCL context, helping students build an online community, perform productive collaborative interactions, and ultimately reach better learning outcomes.

Aleksandra Lazareva

PhD candidate / Assistant Professor

Digital technology offers students the possibility of learning independently of time and place more than ever, and technological tools provides access to knowledge resources that are not available in traditional classrooms. For her doctoral thesis, Aleksandra Lazareva has researched how students can be motivated to use to use these tools – in combination with each other.

It is focused on how collaboration on scripting combined with online education can create student engagement, even if the collaborative work is not equally divided and some are more active than others. Good interactions in a collaborative online group could result in better learning. 

Aleksandra Lazareva is defending her doctoral thesis titled “Facilitating Student Engagement in the Context of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning” on Thursday, 27 September 2018. 

She has followed the PhD programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences, specialising in information systems. During her doctoral research fellow period she worked at the Department of Global Development and Planning, now she is working as an assistant professor at the Department of Education

Her PhD work is funded as a part of the ADILA project (Agder Digital Learning Arena) at UiA.

The candidate’s own description of the thesis’ essence:

Online collaborative learning: How to engage the students

Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) provides students with numerous opportunities for active knowledge construction. Technological tools allow for learning across time and space, giving the participants access to resources that often would not be available in a traditional classroom setting.

Student engagement

However, CSCL research findings demonstrate that many learners experience challenges related to the process of collaboration, as well as motivation and social interactions.

The focus of my work is student engagement in the context of CSCL.

The term “engagement” is very often used interchangeably with such concepts as motivation and interest.

While they indeed have quite much in common, the concept of engagement is much more complex that it may seem at first.

It does not only describe the emotional attitudes of the student towards the learning activities and other participants involved in the learning process, but also characterizes the student’s explicit behavior and the degree of intellectual investment in learning.

Understanding what affects the different dimensions of student engagement is crucial for designing successful CSCL environments.

CSCL-collaboration generates better learning

In my work, I discuss how the asynchronous mode of interaction affects the flow and outcome of collaboration.

I focus on how collaboration scripting combined with online tutoring can facilitate student engagement in the CSCL context, helping students build an online community, perform productive collaborative interactions, and ultimately reach better learning outcomes.

Disputation facts:

Candidate: Aleksandra Lazareva, born 1990 in Arkhangelsk, Russia (then USSR). Northern Arctic Federal University (Arkhangelsk, Russia) – Master in linguistics and teaching foreign languages, University of Oulu (Oulu, Finland) – Master in learning and educational technology. Currently working as an assistant professor at UiA’s Department of Education

Trial lecture and disputation will take place in Auditorium 46-277, Sigrid Undset’s hus (Building 46), Campus Kristiansand, Thursday, 27 September 2018

The public defense is led by Dean Anne Halvorsen.

Trial lecture at 10:00

Public defense at 12:00

Stated topic for trial lecture:The concept of engagement and its relevance to understanding computer supported collaborative learning”

Title of thesis: “Facilitating Student Engagement in the Context of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning”

Search for the thesis in AURA – Agder University Research Archive – a digital archive for academic articles, theses and master’s dissertations by employees and students at the University of Agder. AURA is updated regularly. The thesis will be available to borrow from the University Library. Copies of the thesis will be available to borrow in the room where the disputation is held.

Opponents:

First opponent: Professor Sanna Järvelä, Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Finland

Second opponent: Professor Nikol Rummel, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Tyskland

The Evaluation Committee is headed by Professor Øystein Sæbø, Department of Information Systems, Faculty of Social Sciences, the University of Agder

Supervisors for the doctoral work were Professor Bjørn Erik Munkvold, UiA and Professor Oddgeir Tveiten, UiA.