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When students learn collaboratively, they generally learn better when they complement one another in knowledge. Both cooperative and collaborative learning strategies involve group discussions. However, when group members meet face to face, they may be influenced by interpersonal relationships and peer pressure, which can cause group members to interact in less desirable ways. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether peers engaged in group discussions for the purpose of collaborative learning interact differently in face-to-face or anonymous conditions. The study examines how peers assess one another, to identify group interaction patterns. Different interaction patterns may result in different learning achievements, and this study shows that anonymous group discussions tend to generate better results.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2013