While virtual learning environments (VLEs) present several advantages, such as space-time flexibility, they are still not including proper opportunities and resources for students to engage in collaborative activities with their peers. Recent approaches, for example, are based on resources that are not standard for VLEs or usual for students. Thus, their integration with VLEs is not simple. This paper conducted a theoretical investigation to identify strategies that could induce collaborative behaviours in students. These strategies were implemented as learning objects running in a VLE and a quasi-experimental research design was conducted with 133 students. The results show that the approach promotes collaborative interactions between students and also tend to improve their learning outcomes. Moreover, learning objects use a conceptualization that is already established over the e-learning community, simplifying their integration with VLEs.
We present an overview of the nature of academic dishonesty with respect to computer science coursework. We discuss the efficacy of various policies for collaboration with regard to student education, and we consider a number of strategies for mitigating dishonest behaviour on computer science coursework by addressing some common causes. Computer science coursework is somewhat unique, in that there often exist ideal solutions for problems, and work may be shared and copied with very little effort. We discuss the idiosyncratic nature of how collaboration, collusion and plagiarism are defined and perceived by students, instructors and administration. After considering some of the common reasons for dishonest behaviour among students, we look at some methods that have been suggested for mitigating them. Finally, we propose several ideas for improving computer science courses in this context. We suggest emphasizing the intended learning outcomes of each assignment, providing tutorial sessions to facilitate acceptable collaboration, delivering quizzes related to assignment content after each assignment is submitted, and clarifying the boundary between collaboration and collusion in the context of each course. While this discussion is directed at the computer science community, much may apply to other disciplines as well, particularly those with a similar nature such as engineering, other sciences, or mathematics.
This work highlights the importance of verbal creativity, providing a productive online discourse definition, in which students intertwine convergent and divergent thinking by means of a transactional and controversial dialog. Developing the formulated productive online discourse definition, it is also presented and evaluated, an original scaffolding process designed here to further collaborative knowledge building, during ill-structured problem-solving, focusing on creativity and innovation. Evidence from qualitative online discourse analysis indicated an improvement in the knowledge building processes, and knowledge advancement and deepening after teacher's scaffolding.