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Title: Effects of Alternate Representations of Evidential Relations on Collaborative Learning Discourse
Authors: Suthers, Daniel D.
Issue Date: Dec-1999
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Suthers, D. D. (1999). Effects of Alternate Representations of Evidential Relations on Collaborative Learning Discourse. 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: Over the past decade or so, a number of software environments have been created to support students engaged in collaborative investigations in science (e.g., Belvedere, CoVis, CSILE, SenseMaker, and WebCamile). These environments have used a variety of representations for recording information such as alternate hypotheses, empirical observations, and evidential relations (e.g., node-link graphs, structured lists, and containers). There are both empirical and theoretical reasons to believe that the expressive constraints imposed by a representation and the information (or lack of information) that a representation makes salient may have important effects on students' discourse during collaborative learning. However, to date no systematic study has been undertaken to explore possible effects. This paper outlines a research agenda to address this need; provides theoretically motivated predictions; and reports initial results from a pilot study. Students worked together in groups of two on hypertext-based "science challenge" problems. Two groups used each of free text (MS Word), matrix (Excel) or graph (Belvedere) representations of evidence, for a total of six groups. Analysis of discourse transcripts suggests that these representations have quite different effects on the extent to which students discuss evidential relations.
Appears in Collections:CSCL 1999

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