Considerations in Choosing Online Collaboration Systems: Functions, Uses, and Effects

October 11, 2011


In this article, we explore the functions, uses, and effects of collaborative technologies in higher education classroom contexts. Increased interest in collaborative learning strategies and the burgeoning number of courses offered online indicate the need to consider collaborative technologies as part of the instructional design process. Existing and upcoming technologies provide potentially powerful and useful collaborative features, but we argue they are not neutral choices. The functions a particular collaborative technology offers, along with how the functions are utilized, will affect the learning environment. We explore the functions, uses, and effects of two collaborative systems as a way of assisting instructors in choosing a system to meet their learning objectives.

SOURCE: Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology

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