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Collaborative Problem Solving in Engineering Courses: Does Technology Influence Quality of Interactions?

Mon, April 8, 12:20 to 1:50pm, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Floor: Mezzanine, Chestnut East


The emergence of reliable touch screens created new opportunities for collaborative learning with technology. While there has been research indicating that large multi-touch screens are useful for groups, they remain expensive, with limited available software. Tablets, provide much smaller screens, limiting collaborations, but are more widely available. We conducted a within-subjects comparison of groups using a large multi-touch table and tablets with software that synchronized screens within groups. Video data was collected from 12 groups in each of two weeks from four engineering classes. Interactions were coded; MANOVA results indicate that there were significantly more elaborative interactions in the multi-touch table condition; there were no significant effects of task. This indicates that there are collaboration advantages to large displays.