International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

Socio-cognitive openness in online knowledge building discourse: does openness keep conversations going?

3 weeks 4 days ago

This study describes the socio-cognitive dynamics of collaborative online knowledge-building discourse among Dutch Master of Education students from the perspective of openness. A socio-cognitive openness framework consisting of four social and four cognitive components was used to analyze contributions to online collective knowledge building processes in two Knowledge Forum® databases. Analysis revealed that the contributions express a moderate level of openness, with higher social than cognitive openness. Three cognitive indicators of openness were positively associated with follow-up, while the social indicators of openness appeared to have no bearings on follow-up. Findings also suggested that teachers’ contributions were more social in nature and had less follow-up compared to students’ contributions. From the perspective of openness, the discourse acts of building knowledge and expressing uncertainty appear to be key in keeping knowledge building discourse going, in particular through linking new knowledge claims to previous claims and simultaneously inviting others to refine the contributed claim.

Towards a micro-ecological approach to CSCL

4 weeks ago

In this paper, we argue that how we use theories may be preventing us from developing a deeper understanding of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) contexts. We focus the argument on our understanding of orchestration processes and draw on common theories to show how they prioritize a mono-ecological approach: the examination of collaborative processes at a single level of an ecological system. We argue that doing so prevents us from seeing the full complexity of the types of decisions that teachers and learners make when implementing collaborative learning activities in technologically enhanced, real-world contexts. To address this problem, we propose a micro-ecological framework that recognizes collaborative learning as a complex, cognitively nested, ecological phenomenon and analyzes interactions in a way that aligns with this view. Our approach focuses on the microanalysis of interactions between individuals, learning objects, the small group, and the classroom community. The purpose of this analysis is to identify critical points in the learning process where actions at one level of cognitive activity propagate to influence other levels of individual and joint activity. We call these events transecological disruptions. We argue that these disruptions can provide opportunities to understand how the learning ecology develops over time through teacher orchestration and learner engagement. To illustrate our framework, we pursue the following research question: “How can a micro-ecological framework help us better understand the CSCL ecology?”

Learners’ agency and CSCL technologies: towards an emancipatory perspective

1 month 2 weeks ago

This squib continues the ongoing conversation about the direction and future of CSCL, initiated by Wise and Schwarz (International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 12, 423–467, 2017) and the ijCSCL editors. It argues that CSCL should take an emancipatory perspective to learners’ agency and its technological substratum. The implication is that learners should be empowered to select, change, inter-operate and/or adapt not only the software applications they use, but more generally, the support they obtain from these technologies. This raises many exciting questions and challenges for CSCL in terms of educational, social, design and technical considerations.

What information should CSCL teacher dashboards provide to help teachers interpret CSCL situations?

1 month 3 weeks ago

Teachers play a major role during CSCL by monitoring and stimulating the types of interactions between students that are conducive to learning. Teacher dashboards are increasingly being developed to aid teachers in monitoring students’ collaborative activities, thereby constituting a form of indirect support for CSCL in the classroom. However, the process of how teachers find and interpret relevant information from dashboards, and which help they need during this process, remains largely unexamined. We first describe how we arrived at the design of a prototype teacher dashboard in the context of primary school fraction assignments, based on teacher interviews. We then report an experimental study (n = 53) to investigate the effect of the type of support a teacher dashboard offers (mirroring, alerting, or advising) on teachers’ detection and interpretation of potentially problematic situations where intervention might be needed. The results showed that the type of support did not influence detection of events, but did influence teachers’ interpretation of a CSCL situation.

Conceptualizing the designs of authentic computer-supported collaborative learning environments in schools

1 month 4 weeks ago

A major perspective within research on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) approaches learning as a cultural practice and considers the implications of this on the way classroom learning environments are designed. Often referred to as authentic learning, many innovative approaches to the design of learning environments come with the intention that practices of the people who are experts in a domain are enculturated by the participating students. Different approaches taken given the constraints of educational settings have led to conceptual fragmentation in this area of CSCL scholarship. Therefore, the dual aim of this research is to advance our understanding of the relevant cultures at play when designing for authenticity and show how these cut across different approaches taken for the design of authentic CSCL environments in schools. Using the constant-comparative method, we looked back at the past quarter century of sociocultural research to analyze the way different variations of sociocultural activities, scenes, participants, time, and cultural tools have been designed within authentic CSCL environments. A refined conceptualization of authentic learning that elucidates the relationships between intended, current, and authentic cultures emerged coupled with a novel coding scheme and visualization tool that can help the field rise above the wide variation in designs for authenticity.

Guiding collaborative revision of science explanations

2 months 2 weeks ago

This paper illustrates how the combination of teacher and computer guidance can strengthen collaborative revision and identifies opportunities for teacher guidance in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment. We took advantage of natural language processing tools embedded in an online, collaborative environment to automatically score student responses using human-designed knowledge integration rubrics. We used the automated explanation scores to assign adaptive guidance to the students and to provide real-time information to the teacher on students’ learning. We study how one teacher customizes the automated guidance tools and incorporates it with her in-class monitoring system to guide 98 student pairs in meaningful revision of two science explanations embedded in an online plate tectonics unit. Our study draws on video and audio recordings of teacher-student interactions during instruction as well as on student responses to pretest, embedded and posttest assessments. The findings reveal five distinct strategies the teacher used to guide student pairs in collaborative revision. The teacher’s strategies draw on the automated guidance to personalize guidance of student ideas. The teacher’s guidance system supported all pairs to engage in two rounds of revision for the two explanations in the unit. Students made more substantial revisions on posttest than on pretest yet the percentage of students who engaged in revision overall remained small. Results can inform the design of teacher professional development for guiding student pairs in collaborative revision in a computer-supported environment.