The introduction of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), specifically into intercultural learning environments, mirrors the largely internet-based and intercultural workplace of many professionals. This paper utilized a mixed methods approach to examine differences between students’ perceptions of collaborative learning, their reported learning experiences, and learning outcomes when they collaborated in a CSCL environment working with a culturally similar or dissimilar partner. Culturally diverse student dyads worked together to perform an online learning task in the domain of life sciences. Our sample of 120 BSc and MSc students was comprised of 56 Dutch and 64 international students, representing 26 countries. The results showed that students from an individualist cultural background had a more negative perception of collaborative learning than did students with a collectivist background, regardless of group composition. For women, working in a culturally similar dyad consisting of students from an individualist cultural background resulted in a more negative perception of collaborative learning than did working in this type of group for men or women working in a culturally similar dyad consisting of students from a collectivist cultural background. Students from an individualist cultural background achieved better learning outcomes than did students with a collectivist background, regardless of group composition. These findings suggest that cultural background adds an important dimension to collaborative learning, which requires students to manage collaboration that is not only virtual but also intercultural.
|Journal||Computers in Human Behavior|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- heterogeneous groups