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Collaborated: Digicom 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Design and Digital Communication

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date16/11/2019
Number of pages8
<mark>Original language</mark>English


CollaboratED is a research initiative exploring the opportunities andchallenges for collaborative work between online and campus students within the Digital Media Design MSc programme, where groupwork is an important aspect of the learning process. This paper discusses the outcomes from the longitudinal research, involving questionnaires, observations, and individual interviews with students andlecturers on the programme. CollaboratED asks students and academic staff about the benefits and challenges to group work, looking tofind ways to successfully bring campus and online learners into a creative and shared studio environment. The first round of gathered data have been analysed through familiarisation, coding, categorisation and in-depth thematic analysis. The initial research findings suggest that the challenges that online students face are mostly focused on balancing work and studies, but also working from different time zones and overcoming cultural differences within the team. Despitethese challenges, the online learners recognise the benefits of group discussion and sharing resources with their peers, mostly, however,they value the sense of being part of a community. Similar results are currently identified for the campus cohort, but it would appear that sharing resources and receiving instant feedback from their peers were the biggest motivators for being part of a group. Despite positive responses towards group discussion and collaboration, in both campus and online cohorts, the largest percentage of students prefer to work alone where course assignments are concerned. This presents achallenge for the tutors and course organisers of the MSc programme. In its final stages, CollaboratED is looking to suggest ways of overcoming this challenge through interactions that trigger learning mechanisms and ways of engaging the students by setting up conditions for an inclusive studio environment.