International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
In Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) classrooms it may be challenging for teachers to keep awareness of certain aspects of the learning process of each small group or assess whether the enactment of the class script deviates from the original plan. Orchestration tools, aimed at supporting the management of the increasing uncertainty and complexity of CSCL classrooms, have been emerging in response. Similarly, learning analytics innovations hold the promise of empowering teachers by making certain aspects of the classroom visible and by providing information that can prompt actionable responses. However, the active role that data may play in teachers’ decision-making and orchestration processes is still not well understood. This paper investigates the perspectives of teachers who used a real-time analytics tool to support the orchestration of a CSCL classroom. A longitudinal study was conducted with a handheld dashboard deployed in a multi-display collaborative classroom during one full academic term. The dashboard showed real-time information about group participation and task progress; the current state of the CSCL script; and a set of text notifications informing teachers of potential students’ misconceptions automatically detected. The study involved four teachers conducting 72 classroom sessions during 10 weeks with a total of 150 students. The teachers’ perspectives discussed in this paper portray the promises and challenges of introducing new technologies aimed at enhancing orchestration and awareness in a CSCL classroom.
Research on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) has provided significant insights into why collaborative learning is effective and how we can effectively provide support for it. Building on this knowledge, we can investigate when collaboration is beneficial to support learning. Specifically, collaborative and individual learning are often combined in the classroom, and it is important for the CSCL community to understand when a combination is beneficial compared to individual or collaborative learning alone. Before investing significant work into discovering these details, an initial investigation is needed to determine if there may be any value in a combination. In this study, we compared a combined condition to individual or collaborative-only learning conditions using an intelligent tutoring system for fractions. The study was conducted with 382 4th and 5th grade students. Students across all three conditions had significant learning gains, but the combined condition had higher learning gains than the other conditions. However, this difference was restricted to the 4th grade students. By analyzing the hints and errors of students over time from process data, we found that students in the combined condition tended to make fewer errors both when working collaboratively and individually, and asked for fewer hints than the students in the other conditions. Students who collaborated (collaborative and combined conditions) also reported having higher situational interest in the activity. By finding support for the effectiveness of combining collaborative and individual learning, this paper opens a broader line of inquiry into how they can effectively be combined to support learning.
This paper investigates the role of the physical classroom environment, coupled with a technology environment that includes real-time agents and data analytics, to support the orchestration of complex collaborative inquiry designs in a high school physics classroom. This design-based research contributes to the wider domain of scripting and orchestration (e.g., Dillenbourg 2012; Dimitriadis 2012; Fischer et al. 2013). Guided by a theoretical perspective of learning in knowledge communities (Slotta et al., 2018), we partnered with a physics teacher to co-design curricular activities and assessments that engaged students in collectively solving, tagging and evaluating physics problems, creating a knowledge base of student-contributed examples, and using those examples as a resource in collaborative inquiry challenges. To support the teacher in orchestrating such a complex curricular design, we developed a tablet application that allowed the teacher see the state of the class in real-time, control the flow of activities and helped him know when and where he was needed within the flow of class activities. The tablet leveraged a set of specially designed real-time software agents to process student interactions in real time, allowing dynamic orchestration of student groups, material allocation, and teacher notifications. The paper begins with a review of recent literature on scripting and orchestration, drawing connection to the theoretical perspective of knowledge communities. We then describe our theoretical model, the design-based method, and details of our curriculum and technology environment. The paper concludes with a summary of how the teacher tablet and the real-time software agents helped support the teacher’s real-time facilitation and orchestration.