Social and cognitive dimensions of collaboration in informal learning spaces: Malaysian social science students’ perspectives

Chan Chang-Tik, Joseph N. Goh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the present study is to attain a better understanding of Collaborative Learning in Informal Spaces (CLIS) by addressing the nature of learning activities that will trigger socio-cognitive conflicts and the kind of socio-emotional challenges experienced in CLIS. To this end, research was conducted over four weeks where tasks were divided into pre-CLIS, during CLIS session and during CLIS presentation. The data in the form of video-stimulated semi-structured interviews were collected from 20 Year Two Gender Studies students of Monash University Malaysia. Based on the data collected, the students were divided into the Effective Learning Group (ELG) and the Lees Effective Learning Group (LELG). Consequently, the interview data were transcribed and analysed using the framework method as a form of thematic analysis. The results reveal that the LELG students require additional assistance from the lecturers and peers to overcome the pre-CLIS learning activities challenges. Further, ELG students are better at coordinating team members’ understandings leading to mutually shared cognition. Worthy of note is that the LELG students need to accept the fact that in collaborative learning, a socio-emotional atmosphere is strongly present and they have to learn to regulate the conflict rather than avoiding it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-623
Number of pages15
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Collaborative learning
  • group learning
  • informal learning spaces
  • learning activities
  • social science students

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