Unraveling Students’ Online Collaborative Experiences in A Social Studies Classroom: A Phenomenological Inquiry
Online collaborative learning has the potential to keep students engaged, create a sense of community in the online learning environment, and allow them to experience and practice virtual teamwork skills. This study aimed to explore students’ online collaborative experiences in a social studies classroom. This study utilized qualitative research, specifically a phenomenological approach, using the purposive sampling method. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used in gathering the data. The analysis of the data identified six themes in the experiences of the students toward online collaborative learning: (a) communicating with groupmates became a challenge; (b) online communication tools proved extremely useful; (c) communicating in small groups or pairs is preferred; (d) lack of gadgets and technology skills; health is affected; (e) poor signal and expensive internet fees; and (f) everyone should be accountable for the time allotted. The study’s findings suggest that Higher Education Institutions/social studies instructors may formulate learners’ accountability systems and provide technical skills training. Further, school administrators of higher education institutions may collaborate with telecommunication agencies via a memorandum of agreement to provide essential services and technical and load assistance to students of far-flung areas who do not have internet connectivity. This will be realized by giving the students load cards/sim cards with internet connectivity load for them to participate in online collaborative learning.