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The "collage effect" occurs when participants in a collaborative learning environment post non-collaborative contributions to a shared workspace, as opposed to contributions that are co- constructive. The resulting artifacts become a collage of individual contributions that do not fully engage the partici-pants in the collaborative learning process. Most online, asynchronous collaborative tools only allow participants to participate with textual interactions, which discourage co-construction in ways discussed in the paper. Graphical tools could provide better affordances for co-construction. HTML provides little support to represent inter-active graphical elements in online environments. However, with SVG and AJAX, we can create inter-active graphical tools in an online environment. Using SVG and AJAX, we implemented concept maps in an online learning environment called MapCourse. We used MapCourse in several different asynchro-nous online assignments in two different courses. Our analyses suggest that concept maps encourage more co-constructive contributions than wikipages.
Date of Conference: 4-7 Jan. 2011