Coordinator: Dean's Office
Foundational Elective Graduate Course
Prof. K. Subramaniam
Coordinator: Dean's Office
Role of Shared Memory Space In Learning In Computer Supported Classroom
Mr. Rafikh Shaikh
G1, Main Building & Zoom
920 1564 0827
Social interactions in classrooms in India and many other countries are limited. Networked computers can potentially support classrooms to be more interactive. It can help students share representations amongst themselves and work together on a shared virtual activity space. In research on the role of shared screens or shared virtual workspace in learning settings, less attention has been paid to contexts where learners are co-located. This thesis project looks at the impact of the shared screen in a computational game environment on mathematics learning and practices and the construction of learners' emotions and social status in classroom interactions. It was done through three separate but connected studies.
In study 1, I investigated whether a chat application (instant messaging environment) can be used to create a game environment and help children learn arithmetic skills. If yes, what features of the digital game environment are central to the learning process and why? The study was conducted in a village school with primary school students. I found that the game based on the chat application was successful in helping children learn arithmetic. Analysis drawing on tools from a distributed cognition framework suggested that the shared screen might be the central feature of the computational game environment. Next, I decided to study the role of shared screens systematically.
In study 2, using an iterative design process, I designed two versions of a simple arithmetic game by modifying the chat application used in the previous study: a solo version in which the student played the game alone and a multiplayer version in which the screen was shared, and the players could see the arithmetic moves of the other players.
In the third study, I implemented these two versions of the game in a 4th-grade classroom in a suburban school in a large metropolis in India. Classroom sessions were video recorded, computer logs were collected, and field notes were taken. Focus group sessions were held with the students. I coded a portion of the data to get at patterns of classroom interactions. Then I drew on qualitative video analysis tools to analyse specific episodes to understand the fine timescale dynamics of dominant interaction patterns in each setting.
Results from three studies show that the shared screen served as a shared memory device, keeping a record of all the students' posts, and was entangled in the moment-to-moment dynamics of self- and peer-assessments of arithmetic. These findings suggest that thoughtful integration of networked digital tools in computer-supported learning environments can increase student-student interactions and support disciplinary learning.