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Mobile Computer-supported Collaborative Learning (mCSCL)
Chinese language learning
Design-based Research (DBR)
User interface design
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Wong, L. H., Boticki, I., Sun, J., & Looi, C. K. (2011). Improving the scaffolds of a mobile-assisted Chinese character forming game via a design-based research cycle. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(5), 1783-1793.
This paper reports on one cycle of a design-based research (DBR) study in which mCSCL was explored through an iterative process of (re)designing and testing the collaboration and learning approach with students. A unique characteristic of our mCSCL approach is the student-led emergent formation of groups. The mCSCL application assigns each student a component of a Chinese character and requires them to form groups that can assemble a Chinese character using the components held by the group members. The enactment of the learning design in two modes (with and without the digital technology) was observed, and the actual process of students being scaffolded technologically or socially to accomplish their task was analysed. Students were found to favor the card mode over the phone mode due to the emergent game strategy (social scaffold) of "trial and error" that they found it comfortable in applying. That triggered us to examine the scaffolding strategies by conducting another round of literature review. We explored domain-oriented theories (i.e. in Chinese character learning) to inform and guide them in deciding how they should further accommodate or rectify the students' use of the strategy. This cycle of DBR in Chinese-PP project has effectively reshaped the overall learning model design. This paper brings to the fore the value of the interplay and iterations of theories, implementations and reflections, in no fixed order, as advocated by DBR.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Computers in Human Behavior. The published version is available online at
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