The Effectiveness of Online Collaborative Learning and Implications for Free-Riding Behavior

29 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2012  

Kristen Collett-Schmitt

University of Notre Dame - Mendoza College of Business - Department of Finance

Date Written: July 1, 2012

Abstract

This study explores the value of online collaborative learning to undergraduate business students participating in the Collaborative Study Guide (CSG), an online, class-built study guide. In this exercise, students earned participation credit for contributing multiple-choice questions to the CSG. All students, regardless of contribution, had access to the CSG to prepare for exams. Upon completion of each CSG, surveys were distributed to students seeking information about participation. Using midterm exam performance, an empirical investigation indicates that students benefited more from accessing the CSG than contributing to it. This suggests the presence of free-riding. However, students who both contributed to and accessed the CSG performed better on the cumulative final exam. The majority of survey respondents agreed that the CSG satisfied intended learning goals.

JEL Classification: A22, I21

Suggested Citation

Collett-Schmitt, Kristen, The Effectiveness of Online Collaborative Learning and Implications for Free-Riding Behavior (July 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2109954 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2109954

Kristen Collett-Schmitt (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame - Mendoza College of Business - Department of Finance ( email )

263 Mendoza College of Business
P.O. Box 399
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0399
United States
574-631-9372 (Phone)
574-631-5255 (Fax)

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