Evaluating and selecting articles on a tabletop

Field: Experimental Research, Blended Learning
Goal: Comparing three different structuring techniques to improve the selection of articles
Principle: Collaborative and cooperative learning (Johnson et al., 2007)

Funded by a three-year research program studying the possibilities of blended learning in the context of libraries, I conducted a study focusing on the screening and selection process of literature within a group of students. For this, students were asked to read twelve human-geographical articles and select four of these for further reporting based on the article's abstracts. 180 students worked together in teams of three per tabletop and were provided with one of three structuring techniques (collaboration, division of labor or parallel cooperation; Johnson, Johnson, & Smith, 2007). As each team member was forced to read and specify a rating for each article, groups with the parallel cooperation technique had a significantly better selection performance than groups provided with other techniques.

Searching and collecting keywords/ authors on a tabletop

Field: Experimental Research, Blended Learning
Goal: Improving the search process and retention of keywords and authors through heterogeneity in pairs of searchers
Principle: Heterogeneity/informational diversity (van Knippenberg et al., 2004)

Over the course of a three-year research program studying the possibilities of blended learning in the context of libraries, I conducted a study focusing on the search and collection process of literature within a group of students. For this, students had to search and collect keywords and authors related to an interdisciplinary research paper for an imaginary lecturer. 128 students worked together in pairs per tabletop and were grouped according to their field of study either homogeneously or heterogeneously. A first round of results indicate that heterogeneity has no significant influence on keyword and author retention.