Publication Details

Zheng, Y., Bao, H., Shen, J. & Zhai, X. (2020). Investigating sequence patterns of collaborative problem-solving behavior in the online collaborative discussion activity. Sustainability, 12 (20), 8522-1-8522-17.


Collaborative problem solving (CPS) is an influential human behavior affecting working performance and well-being. Previous studies examined CPS behavior from the perspective of either social or cognitive dimensions, which leave a research gap from the interactive perspective. In addition, the traditional sequence analysis method failed to combine time sequences and sub-problem sequences together while analyzing behavioral patterns in CPS. This study proposes a developed schema for the multidimensional analysis of CPS. A combination sequential analysis approach that comprises time sequences and sub-problem sequences is also employed to explore CPS patterns. A total of 191 students were recruited and randomly grouped into 38 teams (four to six students per team) in the online collaborative discussion activity. Their discussion transcripts were coded while they conducted CPS, followed by the assessment of high- and low- performance groups according to the developed schema and sequential analysis. With the help of the new analysis method, the findings indicate that a deep exploratory discussion is generated from conflicting viewpoints, which promotes improved problem-solving outcomes and perceptions. In addition, evidence-based rationalization can motivate collaborative behavior effectively. The results demonstrated the potential power of automatic sequential analysis with multidimensional behavior and its ability to provide quantitative descriptions of group interactions in the investigated threaded discussions.



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