This study examines an alternative function of information sharing - social construction of meaning. Drawing on social construction, social interaction, and task closure theories, we explored the influence of both the media environment in which students are situated and the medium that group members choose to communicate with one another on the intricate relationships among breadth of information sharing, depth of information sharing, and performance of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). A total of 126 students participated in the experiment - including 63 students (15 groups of four students and one group of three students) in the control and experimental groups respectively. Our findings show that most of the proposed hypotheses are supported. Intersubjective interpretation underlies groups information sharing and plays a key role in student learning performance. Evidence shows that when facing a relatively complex task in multimedia environments, students who choose to utilize a medium lower in social presence (i.e., electronic information sharing) are more likely to achieve task closure than a medium higher in social presence (i.e., verbal information sharing). This in turn leads to higher learning performance. The implications for both theory and pedagogy are also discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science(all)