An empirical examination of the use of group support systems in the classroom
AuthorReinig, Bruce Anthony, 1969-
KeywordsBusiness Administration, General.
Education, Adult and Continuing.
AdvisorNunamaker, Jay F., Jr.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examines the use of group support systems (GSS) and cooperative learning techniques to improve classroom productivity. Cooperative learning assumes that learners have prior knowledge they can contribute, that knowledge is expanded, clarified and created as it is shared, participation is critical to learning and learners will participate given necessary and sufficient conditions. GSS were initially developed to support users and analysts in identifying system requirements, a task which satisfies the assumptions of cooperative learning. GSS features such as anonymity and parallel communication can overcome obstacles to cooperative learning such as air-time fragmentation, production blocking, free-riding, evaluation apprehension and dominance. Additional issues examined in this dissertation include the relationship between deindividuation and electronic communication and the effect GSS have on affective reward. The following research questions were identified: (1) What influence can the use of GSS have on classroom participation? (2) How are obstacles to participation such as dominance, free-riding, production blocking, evaluation apprehension and the sucker effect influenced by the use of GSS? (3) What effect can the use of GSS in the classroom have on both self-reported and observed learning? (4) What is the relationship between GSS and both flaming and off-task buffoonery in the classroom? (5) What is the relationship between GSS and affective reward? A longitudinal experiment was conducted comparing two sections of an introductory MIS course held in consecutive semesters. The two sections were identical with respect to lectures and class-activities with the exception that the second class received GSS-support for the course's eight group tasks. In the GSS-supported class, total student participation increased by over 500% with all students engaging in every task. Dominance was cut by 50%. Process losses such as free-riding, production blocking and the sucker effect were substantially reduced. Flaming and off-task buffoonery occurred in the first task and then subsided. Students in the GSS-supported class reported a greater degree of affective reward. Perhaps more impressively, students in the GSS-supported class were more successful in retaining and applying concepts learned during the group tasks.
Degree ProgramGraduate College