A Generic Platform for the Systematic Construction of Knowledge-based Collaborative Learning Applica
This study aims to explore the importance of efficient management of event information generated from group activity in collaborative learning practices for its further use in extracting and providing knowledge on interaction behavior. The essential issue here is how to design a platform that can be used for real, long-term, complex collaborative problem-solving situations and which enables the instructor to both analyze group interaction effectively and provide an adequate support when needed.
Narrative Evolution: Learning from Students' Talk about Species Variation
Learners do not always enjoy productive interactions with Multimedia Interactive Learning Environments. Their attention can be distracted away from the educational focus intended by designers and teachers through poor design and operational inadequacy. In this paper we describe a study of groups of learners using a multimedia CD-ROM research tool called Galapagos. This tool was developed to enable us to observe groups of learners interacting with different versions of the same multimedia content
MArCo: Building an Artificial Conflict Mediator to Support Group Planning Interactions
The emphasis on building co-operative/collaborative environments has brought out the matter of group interactions. This, in its turn, has highlighted the issue of conflicts, inherent to group problem solving. If well employed, conflicts can act as triggers of cognitive changes, and thus help to refine the group's solution to the task. In this paper, we present a computational framework for detecting and mediating Meta-Cognitive conflicts. The theoretical framework presented here enables a comput
Going Beyond the Problem Given: How Human Tutors Use Post-Solution Discussions to Support Transfer
Two studies investigated the role and effectiveness of post-solution, reflective dialogues in physics tutorials. The first study investigated the instructional roles of post-solution discussions, their relationship to problem-solving discussions, and features that predict learning. Seven tutors individually guided 15 students as they worked on problems in the Andes physics tutoring system. Tutors adapted the post-solution discussions to students' ability levels and their performance on the curre
Benefits of Virtual Characters in Computer Based Learning Environments: Claims and Evidence
Pedagogical theory of today gives high priority to social components of learning. Within the field of computer supported learning there are many attempts to acknowledge this. One approach involves the addition of virtual characters to electronic learning environments. Such character enhanced systems are the focus of the present article. Firstly, a systematic overview is given of pedagogical benefits that have been proposed in the literature regarding character enhancement of electronic learning
Synchronous computer mediated collaborative activities among collocated students: Conditions that ma
Synchronous collaborative activities are usually studied in conditions where teachers and students are physically separated. Is there any possibility to apply these activities when all participants are collocated? Does this collocated collaboration setting seems meaningful and for what reasons? Is the quality of learning and teaching process satisfactory high? Under what conditions? The present research explores the previous questions. More specifically, it explores synchronous computer mediated
Confronting ideas in collaborative scientific discovery learning
This study investigated how collaborative knowledge construction within a scientific discovery (or inquiry)learning environment can be assisted with tools that aim to support students proposition generation and testing processes. Sixty-six fourth year pre-university education students participated in a kinematics learning task. The instructional goal of the learning activity was to develop students understanding of one dimensional kinematics. All students completed a proposition test in whic
Email use in elementary school: An analysis of exchange patterns and content
E-mail was embedded in a project in design & technology education in elementary school. During four lessons children worked in groups on building a flying object. These groups communicated through e-mail with groups of children from another school. The analyses of the e-mails, as viewed from distributed cognition theory, focus on the exchange patterns and content. Two characteristic exchange patterns are stacking and compounding. In stacking e-mails are sent out quickly enough to afford a just
Using just-in-time information to support scientific discovery learning about geometrical optics in
Many problems that learners regularly encounter during discovery learning with computer-based simulations have been identified. A number of studies have examined different ways of support for discovery learning by facilitating the learning process. This study examines the effect of facilitating access to prior knowledge through just-in-time information. It is expected that access to just-in-time information will foster learning but will not interfere with it. To test these hypotheses, an experim
Principles for designing Web searching instruction
Web searching is a timely topic which importance is recognized by researchers, educators and instructional designers. This paper aims to guide these practitioners in developing instructional materials for learning to search the Web. It does so by articulating ten design principles that attend to the content and presentation of Web searching instruction. These principles convey a mixture of insights gleaned from instructional theory, empirical research, and many hours of classroom experience. Tog
Minimalist instruction for learning to search the World Wide Web.
This study examined the efficacy of minimalist instruction to develop self-regulatory skills involved in Web searching. Two versions of minimalist self-regulatory skill instruction were compared to a control group that was merely taught procedural skills to operate the search engine. Acquired skills were tested on Web search tasks and search tasks in an online library catalogue. Self-regulatory skill instruction was found to increase practice time by 25%. However, it did not enhance search perfo
Exploring novice users' training needs in searching information on the World Wide Web.
Searching for information on the WWW involves locating a website and locating information on that site. A recent study implied that novice users' training needs exclusively relate to locating websites. The present case study tried to reveal the knowledge and skills that constitute these training needs. Fourteen pre-university students, classified as novice (n = 7) or experienced WWW-user (n = 7) performed three web search tasks. Their actions and verbalisations were recorded. Between-group compa
Self-directed learning in simulation-based discovery environments
SIMQUEST1 is an authoring system for designing and creating simulation-based learn-ing environments. The special character of SIMQUEST learning environments is that they include cognitive support for learners which means that they provide learners with support in the discovery process. In SIMQUEST learning environments we try to find the balance between direct guidance of the learning process and sufficient free-dom for learners to regulate the learning process themselves. In this article we de-
The effects of graphical overviews on exploratory behaviour and knowledge acquisition in hypertext e
One of the main and recognized problems of learning with hypertexts is that learners are easily distracted and end up lost in hyperspace. As a result, they do not acquire complete and adequate knowledge. In this study, we enhanced a hypertext environment with a graphical overview that represented the basic structure of the domain and we designed the layout in such a way that learners were unobtrusively encouraged to follow a sequence of exploration that followed the domain structure. This so
Can kindergarten children be successfully involved in probabilistic tasks?
This paper describes a classroom teaching experiment, concerning the concept of probability, with children aged 5 in a kindergarten school. The teaching experiment was based on constructivist and interactionist theories about the learning of school mathematics and lasted one month. The collection of the information was based on the tape-recorded interviews with the children (each child was interviewed prior to the research program, at the end of the program and one month later) and the videotape
Differences between novice and experienced users in searching information on the World Wide Web
Lazonder, Biemans, and Wopereis observed 25 fourth grade students divided into novice and expert classes on the basis of self reported World Wide Web experience and a proficiency test. No significant differences were found among the subjects in domain expertise (based on standard test performance), gender or ethnic background. Each subject preformed three 13 minute search and browse assignments where site location and information location were treated separately. Time and success were recorded,
The ZAP Project: Designing interactive computer tools for learning psychology
In the ZAP project, a set of interactive computer programs called 'ZAPs' was developed. The programs were designed in such a way that first-year students experience psychological phenomena in a vivid and self-explanatory way. Students can either take the role of participant in a psychological experiment, they can experience phenomena themselves, or they can take the role of researcher and learn by discovery. ZAPs provide added value to existing learning materials about psychological topics and c
The relation between prior knowledge and students' collaborative discovery learning processes
In this study we investigate how prior knowledge influences knowledge development during collaborative discovery learning. Fifteen dyads of students (pre-university education, 15-16 years old) worked on a discovery learning task in the physics field of kinematics. The (face-to-face) communication between students was recorded and the interaction with the environment was logged. Based on students' individual judgments of the truth-value and testability of a series of domain-specific propositions,
Effects of pictures, age and experience on learning to use a computer program
This study examines the effects of pictures of screen captures and input devices on documentation for older novices. There was no main effect of pictures, but there were statistically significant interactions between the type of picture and the factors of age and computer experience. As predicted, the most optimized designsthe ones presenting screen capturesmoderated the negative effects of age. We argue that screen captures help reduce two problems in the cognitive area that are especially
Computer simulations - Technological advances in inquiry learning
Computer simulations enhance inquiry-based learning - in which students actively discover information - by allowing scientific discovery within a realistic setting.