The many levels of CSCL

Gerry Stahl, Friedrich Hesse
2007 International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning  
Collaborative groups in context Pierre Dillenbourg & Fabrice Hong bring our flash theme of scripting to a conclusion with a pedagogical design model for scripting classroom activities. Their theoretical framework for conceptualizing and structuring pedagogical scripts defines three primary social levels on which learning, interaction and knowledge building can take place: that of the individual student, the small workgroup and the class as a whole (including the teacher). An effective script
more » ... only works on a given level, but more importantly relates the activities at each level to each other to form an effective integrated pedagogical process. The authors propose their suggestive SWISH principle as a stimulus for collaborative learning. Collaboration, they argue, takes place most effectively in a relatively unconstrained small group process of peers working together to overcome some cognitive barrier to the shared accomplishment of a joint task. In order to set up the groups oriented to their tasks and to introduce the barriers without interfering with the self-directed nature of small-group collaboration, a script specifies how to form small groups and organize tasks while operating on the teacher-centered classroom level, and then "split when interaction should happen" (SWISH) onto the small-group level. Following the collaboration phase, the script then specifies individual-and class-level activities to share, solidify and internalize the knowledge building that took place in the groups. While supporting the idea that small-group interaction is key to collaborative learning, the article stresses the essential role of integrating that interaction in coherent processes involving individual and class activities as well. This recognition represents a major step forward for CSCL theory. The article provides a detailed analytic framework for thinking about and supporting this complex and often overlooked need for an effective pedagogy that integrates across social levels.
doi:10.1007/s11412-007-9036-y fatcat:ejceiag2dbajjiky2uiqloo3pe