Studying Collaboration Dynamics in Physical Learning Spaces: Considering the Temporal Perspective through Epistemic Network Analysis

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Apr 21;21(9):2898. doi: 10.3390/s21092898.


The role of the learning space is especially relevant in the application of active pedagogies, for example those involving collaborative activities. However, there is limited evidence informing learning design on the potential effects of collaborative learning spaces. In particular, there is a lack of studies generating evidence derived from temporal analyses of the influence of learning spaces on the collaborative learning process. The temporal analysis perspective has been shown to be essential in the analysis of collaboration processes, as it reveals the relationships between students' actions. The aim of this study is to explore the potential of a temporal perspective to broaden understanding of the effects of table shape on collaboration when different group sizes and genders are considered. On-task actions such as explanation, discussion, non-verbal interaction, and interaction with physical artefacts were observed while students were engaged in engineering design tasks. Results suggest that table shape influences student behaviour when taking into account different group sizes and different genders.

Keywords: collaborative learning; epistemic network analysis; gender; group size; learning space; table shape.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Students*