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A comparative study of computer and mobile phone-mediated collaboration: the case of university students in Japan

Estudio comparativo sobre la colaboración mediante teléfono móvil y ordenador: el caso de los estudiantes universitarios en Japón

Abstract

Web-based forums are the major form of asynchronous communication in online courses. They are considered suitable collaborative learning environments to conduct discussions among groups of learners (Lieblein, as cited in Lamb, 2004; Zhu, 2006; Swan, 2001; Palloff & Pratt, 2005). However, despite their relevance, web-based forums have been reported to be lacking when measuring the productivity of participants’ interaction. Although previous studies have suggested the use of Short Message Service in supporting online collaboration, little research has been conducted to understand whether mobile phones increase interaction in online discussions and how interacting via mobile phones differs from desktop computers. Thus, this exploratory case study examines online collaboration through Moodle forums on desktop computers and the LINE chat application on smartphones.

First, this paper compares how these two types of media influence the participation, interaction and collaboration of students. Second, it inquires into the students’ collaboration experiences, opinions, and difficulties they encountered during the online discussions. Finally, it explores the impact that these two types of media had on the students’ final outcome. Based on a literature review, the results of the content analysis of the posts and the experiences shared by the participants, this study concludes that mobile phones have great potential to enhance interaction in online collaboration.

Resumen

Los foros basados en web son la principal forma de comunicación asincrónica en los cursos en línea. Se consideran entornos de aprendizaje colaborativo adecuados para llevar a cabo debates entre grupos de alumnos (Lieblein, citado en Lamb, 2004; Zhu, 2006; Swan, 2001; Palloff y Pratt, 2005). Aun así, a pesar de su relevancia, se ha documentado que los foros basados en web son insuficientes para medir la productividad de la interacción de los participantes. A pesar de que estudios anteriores han sugerido el uso de SMS para apoyar a la colaboración en línea, se han realizado pocas investigaciones para entender si los teléfonos móviles incrementan la interacción en los debates en línea y para saber qué diferencias hay entre la interactiín a través de móvil y ordenador. Así, este estudio preliminar examina la colaboración en línea a través de foros de Moodle en ordenadores y la aplicación del chat LINE en teléfonos inteligentes.

En primer lugar, esta investigación compara de qué manera ambos dispositivos influyen en la participación, la interacción y la colaboración de los estudiantes. En segundo lugar, indaga en las experiencias de colaboración de los estudiantes, sus opiniones y las dificultades con que se han enfrentado en los debates en línea. Finalmente, explora el impacto de ambos medios en el resultado final obtenido por los estudiantes. Basándose en una revisión de la bibliografía existente, el resultado del análisis de contenidos de los mensajes y las experiencias compartidas por los participantes, este estudio llega a la conclusión de que los teléfonos móviles tienen un gran potential para incrementar la interacción en la colaboración en línea.

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Correspondence to Gibran Alejandro Garcia Mendoza.

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Garcia Mendoza, G.A. A comparative study of computer and mobile phone-mediated collaboration: the case of university students in Japan. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 11, 222–237 (2014). https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v11i1.1898

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Keywords

  • participation
  • interaction
  • online collaboration
  • LINE
  • Moodle
  • mobile phones
  • desktop computers

Palabras clave

  • participación
  • interacción
  • colaboración en línea
  • LINE
  • Moodle
  • teléfonos móviles
  • ordenadores