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New forms of computer-mediated, online learning can benefit from new forms of assessment that fit the medium and the pedagogical style of the online environment. This paper investigates students' learning styles and learning strategies in taking online collaborative exams. Applying constructivist and collaborative learning theories, the collaborative examination features students' active participation in various phases of the exam process through small group activities online. Students' learning strategies, including deep learning and collaborative learning, are investigated using a 1 3 field quasi-experiment to compare the team-based collaborative online exam with the traditional in-class exam and with the participatory exam, where students participate in the online exam processes individually. Data analysis using results from 485 students indicates that collaborative examinations significantly reduced surface learning in exam study, enhanced interactions and the sense of an online learning community, and increased perceived learning. The results also suggest learning predispositions were significantly correlated with exam study strategies, and provide indications of their effects on learning strategies.
Date of Publication: March 2008