Web-Support for Activating Use of Theory in Group-Based Learning

Johan (CTIT) van der Veen, Maarten van Riemsdijk, Eelko Laagland, E.M. Gommer, Valerie M. Jones

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This paper describes a series of experiments conducted within the context of a course on organisational theory which is taught at the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Twente. In 1997 a group-based learning approach was adopted but after the first year it was apparent that acquisition and application of theory by student groups was inadequate. In an attempt to remedy this problem a Web-based collaborative work environment was introduced in 1998 with the intention of encouraging students to read relevant theoretical material and also to reflect more on what they had read. In addition to hosting a ‘theory repository’, the collaborative work environment was designed to control the flow of work and to enforce rules for groups’ access to the output of other groups, based on their own performance. Further changes were made and a third edition of the course was run and evaluated in 1999. A description of the educational setting and the Web-based "Theory repository" is presented. The evaluation results over the period 1997-1999 are presented and discussed. The extent to which the discipline of reading improved was evaluated, as were the effects on insight into theory. It turns out that the technical realisation works well. Uptake of the instructional tasks for reflection, however, only takes place if these tasks are perceived as being helpful.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherCentre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT)
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001

Publication series

NameCTIT Technical Report
ISSN (Print)1381-3625


  • IR-63108
  • EWI-5918


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