Juanjuan Chen and colleagues recently performed a meta-analysis on the effects of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL).
Using 425 empirical studies (all of which used a controlled experimental or quasi-experimental design) published between 2000 and 2016, researchers found several main characteristics to examine: the effects of the collaboration itself; the effects of computer use during collaboration; the effects of extra technology-related learning tools used in CSCL, such as videoconferencing and sharing visuals with team partners; and strategies such as role assignment and peer feedback.
Collaborative learning itself positively affected:
- Knowledge gain (+0.42)
- Skill acquisition (+0.62)
- Pupil perceptions of the experience (+0.38)
The use of computers, when combined with collaborative learning, positively affected:
- Knowledge gain (+0.45)
- Skill acquisition (+0.53)
- Pupil perceptions (+0.51)
- Group task performance (+0.89)
- Social interaction (+0.57)
Lastly, extra technology-related learning tools during CSCL positively affected knowledge gain (+0.55), as did the use of strategies (+0.38).
Source: The role of collaboration, computer use, learning environments, and supporting strategies in CSCL: A meta-analysis (December 2018), Review of Educational Research, 88(6).