Article

International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 193-233

First online:

Operationalizing macro-scripts in CSCL technological settings

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Abstract

This paper presents a conceptual analysis of the technological dimensions related to the operationalization of CSCL macro-scripts. CSCL scripts are activity models that aim at enhancing the probability that knowledge generative interactions such as conflict resolution, explanation or mutual regulation occur during the collaboration process. We first recall basics about CSCL scripts and macro-scripts. Then, we propose an analysis of some core issues that must be made explicit and taken into account when operationalizing macro-scripts, such as the reification of some aspects of the script within the technological setting, the strategy within which students are presented with the technological setting and the uncertainties related to scripts and technological setting perception and enactment. We then present SPAIRD, a model that we propose as a means to conceptualize the relations between scripts and technological settings used to operationalize them. This model describes four points of view on the script (structural model, implementation-oriented model, student-oriented models and platform specification) and the underlying design rationale (learning hypothesis, pedagogic principle and design decisions). In order to exemplify SPAIRD’s usefulness we propose examples of how it allows drawing general propositions with respect to the couple script + technological setting. Finally, we present an analysis of current state-of-the-art technological approaches with respect to this conceptualization, and research directions for the design and implementation of technological settings that present the properties identified in our analysis. In particular, we study the interest of model-driven approaches, flexible technological settings and model-based script engines.

Keywords

CSCL macro-scripts Operationalization Technological setting Computer science