Synchronous collaboration competencies in web-conferencing environments - their impact on the learning process

Matt Bower*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Based on a three-semester design-based research study examining learning and teaching in a web-conferencing environment, this article identifies types of synchronous collaboration competencies and reveals their influence on learning processes. Four levels of online collaborative competencies were observed -operational, interactional, managerial, and design. The relative importance of students and teachers possessing the different levels of competencies depended on the degree of interactivity in the learning designs being applied. Both misunderstandings and misuses impacted on learning and collaborative processes, with misuses occurring more persistently throughout semesters than misunderstandings. The distinction between developing students' technical skills and their collaborative capabilities is drawn. Strategies for developing each are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalDistance Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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