Preparing teams of neuro-typical and neuro-atypical students with a computer orchestrated group learning environment for collaborative work: a multi case study

Manish Malik, J. Sime

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The number of student entering higher education, with a diagnosis of Autism or ADHD is on the rise. While diagnosis rates are rising, the numbers are higher than the sector average. This calls for understanding ways in which these students experience higher education and finding new ways to support them better and in an efficient way. This article investigates their experience and performance in using a novel Computer Orchestrated Group Learning Environment (COGLE) designed to support the orchestration of content delivery and learning in small face-to-face groups of neuro-typical (NT) and neuro-atypical (NAT) engineering students. This case-study research uses a literal replication logic, which uses multiple similar cases to help build evidence towards analytical generalisation and transferability. In the first case a flipped classroom setting receives the intervention of COGLE and in the second case a Project Based Learning setting also receives the same intervention. This paper compared NT and NAT students, focusing on their readiness in terms of the domain knowledge and team skills needed to deliver on the team challenge. Normalised learning gain (NLG) scores were computed using pre and post test data from the two cases. Qualitative comments provide insights into the experience of NT and NAT students using the novel learning environment. Key lessons learnt are presented, highlighting the importance of learning together to master content before engaging in collaborative activities such as peer instruction common within flipped classrooms and team working within Project Based Learning projects. Both NT and NAT students had comparable NLG scores in both case studies. NT and NAT student benefitted in terms of team working skills too as shown in the two case-studies. Implications for FC and PjBL settings are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 48th Annual Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationEngaging Engineering Education
EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Jarvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke Ten Dam
PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9782873520205
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2020
Event48th SEFI Annual Conference: Engaging Engineering Education - Online
Duration: 20 Sept 202024 Sept 2020


Conference48th SEFI Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleSEFI2020
Internet address


  • ADHD
  • ASD
  • Collaborative learning
  • Computer supported collaboration (CSCL) at computer
  • Neurologically atypical


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