Designing online environments to facilitate classroom management and student collaborative work
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This dissertation is about the design and use of online tools to facilitate classroom management and student collaborative work. It draws from management theory, complexity theory, and constructivist pedagogy to propose that classrooms are information ecologies where communications and resources flow in many directions. Given the complexity of such environments, online tools can play a valuable role in facilitating communication, coordination, and teamwork. The dissertation discusses a test bed software project, the Collaboration Center, which was developed over four semesters to experiment with ways of using online tools to manage classrooms and support student teams. It draws from this experience to propose design principles which can aid in the creation of a next generation of classroom management and team collaboration software.