Online Communication: The Implementation of the Collaborative mLearning Science Module in a Malaysian Secondary School
Dorothy DeWitt, Norlidah Alias, Saedah Siraj
Department of Curriculum and Instructional Technology, Faculty of Education, University of Malaya
50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Communication skills are required for collaborative discussions among scientists in constructing science knowledge. A collaborative mLearning (CmL) module with online communication tools (discussion forum, wiki, and text messaging) can enable authentic discussions for learning of science outside the classroom. This study seeks to determine whether online communication and collaboration is effective for learning. A developmental research approach with three phases of needs analysis, design, and implementation was employed. An urban school with a multiracial composition was selected for this study. In the Needs Analysis phase, a survey of 158 learners’ background in the use of technology was conducted to determine the types of tools which can be used in the CmL module. The module was implemented with twenty (20) selected Form 2 students to determine the types of interactions in their online discussions. Transcripts of their online communications were analyzed according to the types of interactions and processes; the learners were interviewed to verify if learning was effective in the CmL module. The findings showed that learners interacted with the content, instructor, and other learners in the discussion forum. However, only learner-content interaction was detected in the wiki, and learner-instructor in the text messaging SMS Quiz. Findings from interviews verified that learning was effective in the CmL module. In addition, the discussion forum allowed for argumentation to challenge the dualism of science knowledge. This study is significant as it shows that online communication tools force collaboration and are effective for teaching science.
[DeWitt D, Norlidah A, Saedah S. Online Communication: The Implementation of the Collaborative mLearning Science Module in a Malaysian Secondary School. Life Sci J 2013;10(1):1352-1363] (ISSN:1097-8135). http://www.lifesciencesite.com. 204
Keywords: Communication in science; online communication; collaborative learning; mobile learning.