Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning: "My E-Mentor Told Me So!"
Dr. Joan Barber Parris.
High school business and computer students in a north Alabama public high school (United States) participated in an entrepreneurship study utilizing two different learning methods. The study used an independent t-test in comparing differences in achievement of students participating in a traditional teacher-led learning model and students participating in a computer-supported collaborative learning model. The study also relied on multiple linear regression procedures to identify demographic characteristics and student temperaments that predicted student achievement in high school entrepreneurship education when comparing the two learning models. Student achievement was measured with difference scores between a pretest of beginning knowledge on entrepreneurship and the same test administered as a posttest at the completion of the study. Students were placed in one of the two learning models by a random selection of classes. Students whose classes were randomly selected to receive the traditional teacher-led instruction participated in class discussions, class lectures, and appropriate assignments. Students whose classes were randomly selected to participate in the computer-supported collaborative learning method were again randomly selected for three-member teams. The teams conducted online research on entrepreneurship, corresponded via e-mail interviews with E-Mentors, and presented their findings to their class using presentation software. No significant differences in achievement were noted between the two learning methods and no student temperament predictors of achievement emerged in the study. Two demographic characteristics emerged as significant predictors of achievement during the entrepreneurship study: age and home parent/guardian living situation. The majority of new jobs created in recent years have been in small businesses; therefore, since entrepreneurialism is so vital to our country's economy, the study recommends that stronger efforts be made to effectively teach the concept to high school students. As there was no significant difference in achievement in the two learning models, teachers should provide students with more realistic training for future careers by providing practice of skills needed by today's work force. Computer-supported collaborative learning projects can effectively simulate a real work setting where collaboration with coworkers and business associates around the world is common practice.
Dr. Joan Barber Parris (United States)
Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems
Computer Information Systems Department, College of Business
The University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama
Joan B. Parris, Ph.D. I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems in the College of Business at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama where I teach and advise graduate and undergraduate CIS students. I also teach and advise graduate and undergraduate students in the University's Business Education and Marketing Education programs. My Ph.D. is from the University of Alabama in the field of Instructional Leadership, with emphasis in the area of instructional technology. I have 23 years of teaching experience in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi: 12 years in high school business education and 11 years at the community college and university levels.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)