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"Examining a potential group work tool for students at the University of Strathclyde." T. Geist. M. Halvey. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2017. Download PDF (BibTeX) IM

This paper presents a case study at the University of Strathclyde, regarding group work in the context of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Group work is a popular and frequently applied teaching methodology in higher education (HE). Therefore, the research examines the challenges students often face and investigates on potential resolutions regarding CSCL.

The aim of this work is to conduct a business analysis regarding enhancements for students during group work, referring to CSCL. The following research questions serve as a guide for the author:

• RQ1: What is the significance of group work in higher education and why?
• RQ2: What are the challenges of group work for students in higher education?
• RQ3: How can the University of Strathclyde support its students to resolve the challenges?

First, the dissertation clarifies the significance of group work in HE and identifies on the challenges for the students. Second, the challenges of group work will be verified and ranked through a students' questionnaire. Furthermore, all currently available IT resources, potentially enhancing group work, are identified during further analysis. Accordingly, 16 software requirements are identified and analysed, supported through eight expert interviews with either technical or teaching background. In the next stage, the researcher presents, how these features are valuable for a student for group work and how they canbe put into practice based on the available IT resources.

The dissertation uncovers that group work in HE is well appreciated by employers since it offers the unique opportunity to develop the students' personal transferable skills (PTS). Accordingly, academic institutions acknowledge the demand and encourage group work among all field of studies. Despite the benefit of gaining PTS, group work is a challenge for students. However, the University of Strathclyde aims to create an outstanding student experience and investigates for potential enhancements. With a focus on transparency, coordination, communication, and information sharing, the case study identifies possible ways to resolve the challenges under the premise to use available IT more effectively. During analysis, several functionalities turn out to be available already or with merely a need for different settings or minor software modifications. As the result of the business analysis activity, the 16 potential functionalities can be considered for future development and implementation through the Information Service Directorate (ISD) within the prevailing agile software development environment.