Online Course Student Collaboration Literature: A Review and Critique


University online course enrollment continues to rise at a rate higher than that of traditional, face-to-face university education, and several benefits exist to creating a collaborative online course environment. Therefore, a need exists to critically consider existing research about small group work in online courses. The present article provides a meta-synthesis of 41 articles related to this topic. This meta-synthesis includes a review of literature followed by a discussion of critiques and directions for future research about online course student collaboration. Findings from this meta-synthesis include a lack of consistent definitions within literature about student collaboration online, methodological issues in existing empirical studies, and the lack of interdisciplinary contribution to online course small group literature.

Publication Title

Small Group Research