Measuring perceived sociability of computer-supported collaborative learning environments
- ISSN: 03601315
- DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2005.05.004
Most asynchronous computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments can be charac- terized as functional environments because they focus on functional, task-specific support, often disre- garding explicit support for the social (emotional) aspects of learning in groups which are acknowledged by many educational researchers to be essential for effective collaborative learning. In contrast, sociable CSCL environments emphasize the social (emotional) aspects of group learning. We define sociability as the extent to which a CSCL environment is perceived to be able to facilitate the emergence of a sound social space with attributes as trust and belonging, a strong sense of com- munity, and good working relationships. Specific environmental characteristics, which we have desig- nated social affordances, determine sociability. This explorative study deals with the construction and preliminary validation of a self-reporting (Dutch language) Sociability Scale for determining the perceived degree of sociability of CSCL environments. It is one-dimensional Scale consisting of 10 items and has an internal consistency of 0.92. It was further vali- dated on the basis of a well-developed nomological network. The results of the explorative study are prom- ising and show that the sociability scale has the potential to be useful as a measure for perceived sociability.