Smart Groups: A system to orchestrate collaboration in hybrid learning environments. A simulation study
Keywords:hybrid learning, collaborative learning, orchestration, smart learning environment, beacons, positioning
COVID-19 has brought new hybrid learning environments with some students in the classroom and some others online, synchronously, due to the needs of social distancing. These new hybrid learning environments pose new challenges, for example for group collaboration. This paper presents Smart Groups, a system aimed at helping teachers to orchestrate collaboration in hybrid learning environments and assesses its usability and usefulness through a simulation study. Smart Groups identifies the students that are in the classroom and online, automates the creation of groups (recommending collaborative learning flow patterns to teachers and considering the previous work done by students), supports the communication among students and the use of additional tools and resources for collaboration, and helps maintain the safety distance among the students who are in the classroom. The usability of Smart Groups has been assessed through a mock-up by 60 users (41 students and 19 teachers) with the system usability scale (SUS) obtaining good results (mean = 75.47, standard deviation = 14.95, median = 76.25). A subgroup (10 teachers out of 19) carried out follow-up interviews using the technology acceptance model (TAM) and highlighted the usefulness of Smart Groups to orchestrate collaboration in hybrid learning environments.
Implications for practice or policy:
- Smart Groups supports teachers in the orchestration of groups in hybrid learning environments.
- Smart Groups facilitates group coordination and communication among students.
- Smart Groups helps maintain the safety distance.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Adrián Carrruana Martín, Carlos Alario-Hoyos, Carlos Delgado Kloos
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