Computer supported collaboration: Is the transfer of cognitive structures mediated by mode of communication?

Description:

The objective of this study was to observe evidence of structural transfer among subjects in a group problem-solving activity and determine whether mode of collaborative technology or use of a priming agent affected the nature of transferred structures. Evidence for structural transfer is found in three theoretical perspectives: organizational ditransitive (linguistic) verb structures, adaptive structuration theory, and mental model transfer theory. Dependent variables included various grammatical structures and coefficients derived from pretest and posttest scores on David Kolb's Learning Styles Inventory, modified for the experiment. The combination of changes in grammatical frequencies and learning style may suggest that one or more media or the priming agent may affect structural transfer. Results indicate that groups using the GroupSystems™ collaborative technology produced less overall linguistic content than did subjects using a generic chat system, but employed more complex language as indicated by frequency of the organizational ditransitive verb structure. Also, subjects supplied with an organization chart (priming agent) during the group problem-solving session experienced greater change on the learning styles inventory than did those participating in the session without the chart. These findings suggest that mode of communication and use of priming agents may contribute positively or negatively to the transfer of structures among group members. Researchers, collaborative system designers, organizational leaders, trainers & educators, and frequent collaborative technology system end-users should be aware of these potential affects. Suggestions for future research are provided. Relationship of theoretical foundations of structural transfer to constructivism is discussed.

Creator(s): Bandy, Kenneth E.
Creation Date: May 2002
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: May 2002
  • Digitized: July 25, 2007
Description:

The objective of this study was to observe evidence of structural transfer among subjects in a group problem-solving activity and determine whether mode of collaborative technology or use of a priming agent affected the nature of transferred structures. Evidence for structural transfer is found in three theoretical perspectives: organizational ditransitive (linguistic) verb structures, adaptive structuration theory, and mental model transfer theory. Dependent variables included various grammatical structures and coefficients derived from pretest and posttest scores on David Kolb's Learning Styles Inventory, modified for the experiment. The combination of changes in grammatical frequencies and learning style may suggest that one or more media or the priming agent may affect structural transfer. Results indicate that groups using the GroupSystems™ collaborative technology produced less overall linguistic content than did subjects using a generic chat system, but employed more complex language as indicated by frequency of the organizational ditransitive verb structure. Also, subjects supplied with an organization chart (priming agent) during the group problem-solving session experienced greater change on the learning styles inventory than did those participating in the session without the chart. These findings suggest that mode of communication and use of priming agents may contribute positively or negatively to the transfer of structures among group members. Researchers, collaborative system designers, organizational leaders, trainers & educators, and frequent collaborative technology system end-users should be aware of these potential affects. Suggestions for future research are provided. Relationship of theoretical foundations of structural transfer to constructivism is discussed.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): Groupware | collaborative technology | distributed cognition | group | computer-mediated communication | organizational learning
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • OCLC: 54788652 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc3162
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Bandy, Kenneth E.
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.