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Trust and conflict in collaborative groups in engineering education: A multi-case study of using a computer orchestrated group learning environment with neurologically typical, autistic and ADHD students

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Manish Malik
Publication date1/07/2021
Number of pages305
Awarding Institution
Thesis sponsors
  • University of Portsmouth
Award date1/07/2021
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Collaborative approaches, such as Flipped Classroom and Project Based Learning, are commonly used within engineering education. Challenges linked to group-work often render these approaches ineffective, inefficient and less inclusive. Self, Co and Shared regulation scripts offer a potentially efficient way to orchestrate group-work. However, over-scripting and successful transfer of skills to un-orchestrated environments pose challenges. Trust and conflict are important for team effectiveness but they have rarely been investigated within engineering education or scripting studies. Likewise, benefits of non-social prompts for inclusiveness has not been investigated. To this end, I developed a Computer Orchestrated Group Learning Environment (COGLE), which supports and promotes cooperation, group-wide mastery and encourages teammates to come together. I investigated its impact on acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for team working. I also studied the transfer of these newly acquired skills to an un-orchestrated setting. This research contributes to the theory around use of computer orchestration for attitudes and regulation skills development. It explores important links between team effectiveness and conflict management, self-efficacy, team-trust and regulation skills. Two literal replication cases helped verify the findings related to COGLE use and a theoretical replication helped discard the rival theory explanations. In the theoretical replication case, students orchestrated their learning and working themselves. Within-case and cross-case analysis helped generate empirical evidence used in modifying the theoretical framework. COGLE helped neuro-typical and neuro-atypical students to engage in early and often communication, experienced reduced social awkwardness, and developed trust in each other in record time. It helped transfer goal-orientedness and regulations skills to un-orchestrated team task. Neuro-typical students improved their self-efficacy with neuro-atypical not that far behind and they delivered on team tasks together. Whereas in the theoretical replication case, clique formation, low cognitive trust, low self-efficacy, delayed communication, and partial completion highlighted the challenges of un-orchestrated collaborative settings.
Keywords: Team-working, orchestration, self-efficacy, trust, conflicts, regulation of learning and scripting.