Computer supported collaborative learning and social creativity: A case study of fashion design

Wai Wing Ada MA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


There is an increasing volume of literature theorizing on how social creativity can be fostered in the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) environment, however, a scant amount of research has been actually carried out to investigate how the dynamics and creative cognitive processes taking place in the CSCL environment create communities of design. The scarcity of readily usable instruments to determine whether students engage in social creativity in a CSCL environment and if so, to what extent, has prompted this study to derive an analytical framework for tracking the effects of the creative processes upon the design community. With reference to the social, situated, distributed nature of social creativity, a self-devised instrument based on the Activity Theory (Engestrom, 1987) is established for understanding creativity in the context of computer supported collaborations. It can be understood as a set of three phases that occur with relation to collaborative creative processes, namely: exploration/clarification (phase I), negotiation and argumentation (phase II), and evidence of evolution and redesign (phase III). Based on the Activity System Model of Engestrom (1987), a content analysis scheme is proposed in which the analytical framework of subject-community-object triad, subject-community-roles triad, and subject-community-tool triad will investigate the inter-relationship among the interactivity, creativity presence, and social presence within a CSCL community. Findings confirmed that there was a strong interrelationship between the quality of collaborative creative process in terms of provision of informal ongoing peer feedback and the quality of social creativity fostered. Results confirmed that high levels of social presence with good quality of peer feedbacks were necessary to support the creative process in an intrinsically rewarding design community. The affective roles played by the peers were found to be particularly significant in building up the supportive and collegial interpersonal relationships to encourage open negotiation and argumentation in creative dialogues which was the core element promoting re-design and cocreation of new design. Self evaluation on the effectiveness of the self-derived investigative instruments was conducted with recommendations for future work given, and methodological limitations of this study were explored as well. Copyright © 2008 Informing Science Institute.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-39
JournalJournal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Ma, W. W. A. (2008). Computer supported collaborative learning and social creativity: A case study of fashion design. Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations, 3, 17-39.


  • Fashion design
  • Social creativity
  • Analytical model
  • CSCL


Dive into the research topics of 'Computer supported collaborative learning and social creativity: A case study of fashion design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.