Group practices: a new way of viewing CSCL
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The analysis of group practices can make visible the work of novices learning how to inquire in science or mathematics. These ubiquitous practices are invisibly taken for granted by adults, but can be observed and rigorously studied in adequate traces of online collaborative learning. Such an approach contrasts with traditional pre/post comparisons that miss sequential interactional processes or that reduce group phenomena to individual or social factors. The analysis of the enactment of practices by small groups in CSCL contexts can systematically inform the design, testing, and refinement of collaborative-learning software, curriculum, pedagogy, and theory. CSCL can be re-conceptualized as the design of technology to foster the adoption of group practices by student teams.
KeywordsGroup practices CSCL theory CSCL methodology Design-based research
Thanks to everyone who participated in the VMT project and who collaborated on the analysis of its data. Also, to the anonymous reviewers, who prompted me to elaborate several aspects and implications of this view of CSCL.
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