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Article of Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2009

A three-level analysis of collaborative learning in dual-interaction spaces

Author: Jacques Lonchamp

Abstract: CSCL systems which follow the dual-interaction spaces paradigm support the synchronous construction and discussion of shared artifacts by distributed or colocated small groups of learners. The most recent generic dual-interaction space environments, either model based or component based, can be deeply customized by teachers for supporting different collaborative learning tasks and different ways of performing them. This work stresses the importance of basing customization decisions on a socio-cognitive interpretation of how learners interact in a given learning situation. The central contribution of this article is a methodological approach for conducting qualitative interaction analysis oriented toward the improvement of the supporting environment which can be applied to any learning task and any environment configuration. This "generic analysis approach" is organized into three levels. At the dialog level, a task-independent dialogical model is proposed for analyzing action/communication traces as "generalized conversations." A graphical notation is provided for visualizing the syntactical characteristics of collaborative sessions. At the knowledge level, a typology of task-independent collaborative knowledge-building episode types that can occur during such generalized conversations is proposed. Thanks to that classification scheme, recurrent meaningful elements that structure the low-level descriptions can be detected and characterized. These regularities help to pass from local interpretations to a global interpretation of the whole process. At the action level, task-dependent socio-cognitive interpretations of why the collaborative learning process unfolds as observed are proposed. They constitute a firm basis for improving the customization of the generic environment in order to support learners more efficiently.

Keywords: Dual-interaction spaces, Interaction analysis, Generic environment, Generic analysis approach

Citation: Lonchamp, J. (2009) A three-level analysis of collaborative learning in dual-interaction spaces. ijcscl 4 (3), pp. 289-317

DOI: 10.1007/s11412-009-9068-6

Preprint: Acrobat-PDF lonchamp_4_3.pdf

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