Assessing collaborative computing: development of the Collaborative-Computing Observation Instrument (C-COI)

Maya Israel, Quentin M. Wherfel, Saadeddine Shehab, Evan A. Ramos, Adam Metzger, George C. Reese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the development, validation, and uses of the Collaborative Computing Observation Instrument (C-COI), a web-based analysis instrument that classifies individual and/or collaborative behaviors of students during computing problem-solving (e.g. coding, programming). The C-COI analyzes data gathered through video and audio screen recording software that captures students’ computer screens as they program, and their conversations with their peers or adults. The instrument allows researchers to organize and quantify these data to track behavioral patterns that could be further analyzed for deeper understanding of persistence and/or collaborative interactions. The article provides a rationale for the C-COI including the development of a theoretical framework for measuring collaborative interactions in computer-mediated environments. This theoretical framework relied on the computer-supported collaborative learning literature related to adaptive help seeking, the joint problem-solving space in which collaborative computing occurs, and conversations related to outcomes and products of computational activities. Instrument development and validation also included ongoing advisory board feedback from experts in computer science, collaborative learning, and K-12 computing as well as classroom observations to test out the constructs in the C-COI. These processes resulted in an instrument with rigorous validation procedures and a high inter-rater reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-233
Number of pages26
JournalComputer Science Education
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016


  • Collaborative computing
  • K-12 computing
  • computational thinking
  • computer programming
  • problem-solving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education


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