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Uncertainty-reducing cooperation scripts in online learning environments

Abstract : Online learning courses can create new interaction situations for participants who have not previously worked with each other. Initially, there is some degree of uncertainty between participants in these interaction situations. According to the uncertainty reduction theory, low uncertainty increases theamount of discourse and decreases information seeking. Thus, uncertainty may influence online discourseand learning. However, the relation of uncertainty reduction to learning outcomes has not yet been investigated systematically. Cooperation scripts may reduce uncertainty, and therefore enhance learning.A cooperation script, which aims to reduce uncertainty at a cognitive level, was chosen for this study. The participants were 48 students in their first semester of Educational Sciences and they were randomly grouped into triads. The amount of discourse, information seeking and individual learning outcomes intwo conditions (with uncertainty-reducing script and without uncertainty-reducing script) were investigated. The results indicate that the uncertainty-reducing script in fact increased the amount ofdiscourse and decreased information seeking activities. The results revealed, however, that the unscriptedand more uncertain condition led to better learning outcomes. These results are discussed against the background of the uncertainty reduction theory.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 23, 2007 - 8:43:34 AM
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Kati Mäkitalo, Armin Weinberger, Päivi Häkkinen, Frank Fischer. Uncertainty-reducing cooperation scripts in online learning environments. 1st joint meeting of the EARLI SIG 6 Instructional Design and SIG 7 Learning and Instruction with Computers, Tübingen, Germany, 2004, Tübingen, Germany. pp.8. ⟨hal-00190392⟩



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