This study examines how students collaborate on engineering problems and the effect of information technology on facilitating collaboration. Twenty-eight undergraduate engineering students were placed in small groups to discuss questions about mechanics of materials, either face-to-face or via a keyboard chat. Students were interviewed after completing the tasks, and the interviews were analyzed using the grounded theory approach. The resulting framework suggests that social goals as well as achievement goals are major motivations for students’ behavior in the team situation, and that technology and group characteristics were acknowledged to influence their actions during and after the cooperation.
Boese, Michelle J.; Sheng, Hong; and Hall, Richard, "Collaborative Learning in Engineering Education: A Grounded Theory Analysis of a CSCL Application" (2007). SIGHCI 2007 Proceedings. 2.