Application of the Transactional Distance Model to Collaborative Groupwork Research

V. Cano (UK)


Transactional distance, collaborative group work, asynchronous collaboration


This paper examines the impact of the three components on Moore's transactional distance model, dialogue, structure and learner autonomy, on educational research papers. Evidence of these components were searched in the sample of 30 randomly selected research papers on e-collaborative learning Structure was operationalisd as: planned activities to promote interaction of learners with material within the web-based environment or through the Internet are constantly evident. Dialogue: much emphasis is placed on promoting critical thought, less on the demonstration of the critical insights acquired, and little on promoting interactions between the lecturer and students. Lecturers are in the background as facilitators of student interaction with the material and student-to-student interaction. Learner-to-learner interaction is favoured over learner-to teacher interaction. This might be an expression of learner autonomy. There is no evidence of clear impact by Moore's work on the papers analysed. Although the operationalisation of dialog, structure and learner autonomy made an influence apparent, these results might be subjective. There is a need for a framework with which to study dialogue and structure in e-discussion fora from an evidence-based perspective.

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