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Title: Designs for collaborative learning environments: Can specialization encourage knowledge integration?
Authors: Cuthbert, Alex J.
Issue Date: Dec-1999
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Cuthbert, A. J. (1999). Designs for collaborative learning environments: Can specialization encourage knowledge integration?. In Hoadley, C. M. & Roschelle, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 1999 Conference. Palo Alto, CA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: In this paper, I develop strategies for designing and assessing collaborative learning environments from a knowledge integration perspective. I identify strengths and weaknesses associated with collaborative learning, linking them to the instructional approaches used in an eighth-grade science curriculum where students design a desert house. The house design activity provides a context for connecting instructional goals and technical innovations. Focusing on how students specializing in different areas can share ideas and provide feedback for each other, I show how social and technical supports can work to achieve common goals. I examine two assumptions about how an expanded repertoire of models contributes to knowledge integration. First, I provide evidence that considering more alternatives leads to improved designs only if students have a framework for organizing those alternatives and selecting between them. Then, I provide evidence that encouraging students to iteratively refine their ideas contributes to knowledge integration. Finally, I show how these cognitive goals can be pursued through social and technical innovations which seek to encourage knowledge integration by making thinking visible for students.
Appears in Collections:CSCL 1999

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