Understanding and Reducing Stress in Collaborative E-Learning – Annotated Bibliography Example

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The paper “ Understanding and Reducing Stress in Collaborative E-Learning” is a motivating variant of annotated bibliography on education. Lawless, N. & Allan, J. (2004). in their article "Understanding and reducing stress in collaborative e-Learning", Electronic Journal on e-Learning 2 (1), pp. 121-128, say that online collaboration is progressively becoming a widespread practice in education and in organizations – specifically in teleworking, i.e. working while using the phone or while linked to the Internet. It is assumed that this can of itself bring about stress for collaborators. However, the authors believe that there are ways by which stress can be taken out of the context of online collaborative activities through the organization of the online working practice.

The research question addressed by this paper is what techniques there are of decreasing stress brought about by online collaborations and what rules there may be for structuring online collaborative exercises to make sure that stress is avoided or at least reduced (Lawless and Allan, 2004, p. 121). RelevanceThis research is relevant to practitioners, particularly to collaborative online groups, i.e. e-teams or virtual teams in organizations and in education because this research addresses the stressful effects of online collaborative exercises and aims to discover the reasons behind why stress is experienced from this kind of activity (Lawless and Allan, 2004, p.

121). It contributes to the practice of e-Learning because the lessons obtained from this study may be applied to the process of creating an introductory activity that will allow the participants to become aware of certain issues and actions that influence online collaborative activities. The intention behind this is for e-teams to recognize these factors early on and thus be able to function more quickly than those who were not prepared in such away.

It is hoped that through this process of early detection, collaborative online working will be less stressful (Lawless and Allan, 2004, p. 126). Research MethodologyTheory/theories usedThe authors referred to the findings of Salmon et. al. (2000) wherein “ technical aspects” and “ collaboration” were identified as barriers to teleworking, as well as that of Walther (1996) which stated that relationships are created more slowly online than face-to-face (Lawless and Allan, 2004, p.

124). Hogg’ s (1992) view on group cohesion and the term group development process as described by Tuckman (1965) were also used. The terms “ Asynchronous Anxiety” as defined by Crouch and Montecino (1997) and “ Technostress” as described by Gardner and Scheemerhom (1988) were used in the discussion (Lawless and Allan, 2004, p. 125). Usage of theory/theoriesThe theories were used to provide background information for the study. The authors referred to the abovementioned theories and published studies to present the current research as well as support its findings (Lawless and Allan, 2004, p.

123). Contribution to theoryThe current study supports and extends the theories used in the discussion. These theories relate to the work done by Lawless and Allan which centers on what they define as “ e-stress” (2004, p. 126). ParadigmThe research was conducted under the qualitative paradigm. The research made use of a literature review and a field study that utilized questionnaires (Lawless and Allan, 2004, p. 123). Research methodsThe authors made use of a literature review to present past studies regarding the research topic and to support the current research. For the study itself, a short web-based questionnaire was answered by the participants before they began the online management course; this was followed by another questionnaire that was answered after the course was finished.

This was conducted to determine the occurrence of stress in the students as well as its causes (Lawless and Allan, 2004, p. 123).    


LAWLESS, N. & ALLAN, J. (2004). Understanding and reducing stress in collaborative e-Learning, Electronic Journal on e-Learning 2 (1), pp. 121-128.

OKAMOTO, T. (2003). E-Collaborative Learning Technologies and e-Pedagogy, Proceedings of The 3rd IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, IEEE Computer Society.

TOMSIC, A. & SUTHERS, D. (2006). Discussion Tool Effects on Collaborative Learning and Social Network Structure, Educational Technology & Society, 9 (4), pp. 63-77.

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