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A Group-level Framework for Emergent Properties of Interactive Learning

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.50.1 - 26.50.14



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Paper Authors


Jonathan C. Hilpert Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Jonathan C. Hilpert is an educational psychologist at Georgia Southern University. His research focuses on domain general learning models in science learning contexts.

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Jenefer Husman Arizona State University

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Jenefer Husman received a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, in 1998. She served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama from 1998 to 2002, when she moved to Arizona State University. In 2008 she was promoted by ASU to Associate Professor. Dr. Husman serves as the Director of Education for the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technology Center - an NSF funded Engineering Research Center. Dr. Husman is an assistant editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, has been a guest editor of Educational Psychology Review, served on editorial board for top educational research journals, and currently sits on the editorial board of Learning and Instruction. In 2006 she was awarded the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER grant award and received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the President of the United States. She has conducted and advised on educational research projects and grants in both the public and private sectors, and served as an external reviewer for doctoral dissertations outside the U.S. She publishes regularly in peer-reviewed journals and books. Dr. Husman was a founding member and first President of the Southwest Consortium for Innovative Psychology in Education and has held both elected and appointed offices in the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Motivation Special Interest Group of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction.

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A group-level framework for emergent properties of interactive learningResearch into the history of collaborative learning shows a transition in focus from the individuallevel of analysis to the group level of analysis (Stahl, et al., 2006). This transition has beenmarked by an increased interest in complexity thinking in education research (Davis & Sumara,2006). Complex systems theory suggests group-level patterns emerge from agents interactingtogether in a system, which Sawyer (2004) refers to as collaborative emergence. Thus, onehallmark of contemporary collaborative learning research is the study of cumulative group levelpatterns (as opposed to individual-level variables). The shift in focus from the individual level ofanalysis to the group level of analysis was accompanied, early on, by a call for new tools that canbe used to examine the group level properties of student interaction (Dillenbourg, 1996). Newinstruments are important to engineering education because ABET requirements emphasize theability to work in teams.The purpose of this poster presentation will be to describe the ongoing progress of ourinstrument development research, where we are developing items for three latent constructsrelated to collaborative emergence: multiplicity, complexity, and spontaneous order (NSF TUESType I REC-1245081). We will share our process for developing the items, as well as evidencefor the factor structure of our instrument and other preliminary validity and reliability evidence.Most notably, we will show multivariate evidence for how our three latent factors predict studentinnovation in the classroom over and above individual level classroom engagement variables.Our preliminary results provide convincing evidence 1) for the hypothesized latent factorsstructure of our instrument, and 2) that group-level latent traits of collaborative emergence areimportant predictors of student innovation.

Hilpert, J. C., & Husman, J. (2015, June), A Group-level Framework for Emergent Properties of Interactive Learning Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23391

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