Collaborative learning: The effects of trust and open and closed dynamics on consensus and efficacy

Owen Harney, Michael J. Hogan, Benjamin Broome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The current study compared the effects of open versus closed group dynamics on perceived consensus, objective consensus, and perceived efficacy of collaborative learning in participants high and low in dispositional trust in the context of an Interactive Management (IM) session. Interactive management is a computer-mediated collaborative tool designed to enhance group problem-solving by facilitating cooperative inquiry and consensus. In the current study, two groups of 15 undergraduate psychology students (N = 30) came together to structure the interdependencies between positive and negative aspects of social media. After screening for trust scores, participants high and low on dispositional trust were randomly assigned to either an open or closed voting condition. The closed voting group were not permitted to discuss the problem relations, but consensus votes were recorded by the group design facilitator. The open group were allowed to discuss the relations before voting. Results indicated that those in the open-voting group, and those in the high dispositional trust group, scored significantly higher on perceived consensus and perceived efficacy of the tool itself. Results are discussed in light of theory and research on collaborative learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-532
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Collaboration
  • Computer supported collaborative learning
  • Consensus
  • Dialogue
  • Technology
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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