This paper reports upon a collaborative learning
trial conducted in 2002 between students at Auckland
University of Technology New Zealand and Uppsala
The trial design included an initial phase in which virtual
groups became acquainted, using different modes of cybericebreaker,
and a subsequent phase with a common task
involving group decision making - evaluating and ranking
the different icebreaker experiences.
The software used in the trial comprised 1) a custom
developed web-based groupware database, and 2) a Java
3D application, employing configurable avatars, which
could be manipulated in a virtual world. Each of these
applications supported icebreaking activities intended to
establish trust between virtual group members, the latter in
3D mode, and the former in 2D mode.
The trial process and the software are initially outlined. The
evaluation strategy, and approaches to data analysis are
then discussed, and the paper concludes with a report of
preliminary findings from the trial.
2003. S1F1-S1F6 p.
computer science education, virtual groups, web software, undergraduate research experiences.