Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems - (Ph.D.)

Department

Information Systems

First Advisor

Starr Roxanne Hiltz

Second Advisor

Michael Bieber

Third Advisor

Il Im

Fourth Advisor

Katia Passerini

Fifth Advisor

Julian M. Scher

Sixth Advisor

D. E. Leidner

Abstract

With the proliferation of computer networks and the emergence of virtual teams, learning and knowledge sharing in the online environment has become an increasingly important topic. Applying constructivism and collaborative learning theories to assessment, the collaborative online exam is designed featuring students' active participation in various phases of the exam process through small group activities online. A participatory online exam process is designed featuring similar procedures except that students' involvement in each phase of the exam is individual. The collaborative online exam and the participatory online exam are investigated regarding student exam study strategies, group process, exam outcomes, faculty satisfaction, and exam efficiency. A 1*3 field experiment was conducted to compare three exam modes: the traditional exam, the participatory exam, and the collaborative exam. Results show that the collaborative examination significantly enhanced interaction and promoted higher order learning. In particular, small group activities in the online learning process significantly increased interactions among students which enhanced their sense of an online learning community. Active involvement in the online exams significantly reduced the use of surface learning in exam study. Overall, students reported significantly higher perceptions of learning in the collaborative exam than the other exam modes.

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