Skip to main content

Epistemic and social scripts in computer–supported collaborative learning

Abstract

Collaborative learning in computer-supported learning environments typically means that learners work on tasks together, discussing their individual perspectives via text-based media or videoconferencing, and consequently acquire knowledge. Collaborative learning, however, is often sub-optimal with respect to how learners work on the concepts that are supposed to be learned and how learners interact with each other. One possibility to improve collaborative learning environments is to conceptualize epistemic scripts, which specify how learners work on a given task, and social scripts, which structure how learners interact with each other. In this contribution, two studies will be reported that investigated the effects of epistemic and social scripts in a text-based computer-supported learning environment and in a videoconferencing learning environment in order to foster the individual acquisition of knowledge. In each study the factors ‘epistemic script’ and ‘social script’ have been independently varied in a 2 × 2-factorial design. A total of 182 university students of educational science participated in these two studies. Results of both studies show that social scripts can be substantially beneficial with respect to the individual acquisition of knowledge, whereas epistemic scripts apparently do not always lead to the expected effects.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. M. Baker K. Lund (1997) ArticleTitlePromoting reflective interactions in a CSCL environment Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 13 175–193

    Google Scholar 

  2. L.W. Brooks D.F. Dansereau (1983) ArticleTitleEffects of structural schema training and text organization on expository prose processing Journal of Educational Psychology 75 811–820

    Google Scholar 

  3. A.L. Brown A.S. Palincsar (1989) Guided, cooperative learning and individual knowledge acquisition L.B. Resnick (Eds) Knowing, Learning, and Instruction. Essays in the Honour of Robert Glaser Erlbaum Hillsdale, NJ 393–451

    Google Scholar 

  4. C.K.K. Chan (2001) ArticleTitlePeer collaboration and discourse patterns in learning from incompatible information Instructional Science 29 443–479

    Google Scholar 

  5. M.T.H. Chi P.J. Feltovich R. Glaser (1981) ArticleTitleCategorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices Cognitive Science 5 121–152

    Google Scholar 

  6. C.A. Chinn W.F. Brewer (1993) ArticleTitleThe role of anomalous data in knowledge acquisition: A theoretical framework and implications for science instruction Review of Educational Research 63 1–49

    Google Scholar 

  7. D. Clark A. Weinberger I. Jucks M. Spitulnik R. Wallace (2003) ArticleTitleDesigning effective science inquiry in text-based computer supported collaborative learning environments International Journal of Educational Policy, Research & Practice 4 IssueID1 55–82

    Google Scholar 

  8. E.G. Cohen (1994) ArticleTitleRestructuring the classroom: Conditions for productive small groups Review of Educational Research 64 1–35

    Google Scholar 

  9. D.F. Dansereau K.W. Collins B.A. McDonald C.D. Holley J.C. Garland G. Diekhoff S.H. Evans (1979) ArticleTitleDevelopment and evaluation of a learning strategy program Journal of Educational Psychology 71 64–73

    Google Scholar 

  10. P. Dillenbourg (2002) Over-scripting CSCL: The risks of blending collaborative learning with instructional design P.A. Kirschner (Eds) Three Worlds of CSCL. Can We Support CSCL Open Universiteit Nederland Heerlen 61–91

    Google Scholar 

  11. W. Doise (1990) System and metasystem in cognitive operations M. Carretero M.L. Pope P.R.J. Simons J.I. Pozo (Eds) Learning and Instruction: European Research in an International Context Pergamon Elmsford, NY 125–139

    Google Scholar 

  12. R.J. Dufresne W.J. Gerace P. Thibodeau Hardiman J.P. Mestre (1992) ArticleTitleConstraining novices to perform expertlike problem analyses: Effects on schema acquisition The Journal of the Learning Sciences 2 IssueID3 307–331

    Google Scholar 

  13. Ertl, B.M. (2003). Kooperatives Lernen in Videokonferenzen: Förderung von individuellem und gemeinsamem Lernerfolg durch external repräsentierte Strukturangebote [Cooperative learning in videoconferences: Facilitation of individual and collaborative learning outcome through externally represented structuring tools]. Doctoral dissertation, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany. Available at: http://edoc.ub.unimuenchen.de/archive/00001227/01/Ertl_Bernhard_M.pdf.

  14. Fischer, F. (2001). Gemeinsame Wissenskonstruktion. Analyse und Förderung in computerunterstützten Kooperationsszenarien [Collaborative knowledge construction. Analysis and facilitation in computer-supported collaborative scenarios]. Professorial dissertation, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.

  15. F. Fischer J. Bruhn C. Gräsel H. Mandl (2002) ArticleTitleFostering collaborative knowledge construction with visualization tools Learning and Instruction 12 213–232

    Google Scholar 

  16. A. Geyken H. Mandl W. Reiter (1998) Selbstgesteuertes Lernen mit Tele-Tutoring [Selfguided learning with tele-tutoring]. R. Schwarzer (Eds) Multimedia und TeleLearning [Multimedia and telelearning] Campus Frankfurt a. M. 181–196

    Google Scholar 

  17. Guzley, R.M., Avanzino, S. & Bor, A. (2001). Simulated computer-mediated / video-interactive distance learning: A test of motivation, interaction satisfaction, delivery, learning & perceived effectiveness. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 6.

  18. L.R. Herrenkohl M.R. Guerra (1998) ArticleTitleParticipant structures, scientific discourse, and student engagement in fourth grade Cognition and Instruction 16 433–475

    Google Scholar 

  19. F.W. Hesse B. Garsoffky A. Hron (1997) Interfacedesign für computerunterstütztes kooperatives Lernen [Interface design for computer-supported cooperative learning]. L.J. Issing P. Klimsa (Eds) Informationen und Lernen mit Multimedia (Information and learning with multimedia) EditionNumber2nd ed Beltz Weinheim 253–267

    Google Scholar 

  20. K. Hogan B.K. Nastasi M. Pressley (2000) ArticleTitleDiscourse patterns and collaborative scientific reasoning in peer and teacher-guided discussions Cognition and Instruction 17 IssueID4 379–432

    Google Scholar 

  21. A. Hron F.W. Hesse P. Reinhard E. Picard (1997) ArticleTitleStrukturierte Kooperation beim computerunterstützten kollaborativen Lernen [Structured cooperation in computer-supported collaborative learning] Unterrichtswissenschaft 25 IssueID1 56–69

    Google Scholar 

  22. V.I. Hytecker D.F. Dansereau T.R. Rocklin (1988) ArticleTitleAn analysis of the processes influencing the structured dyadic learning environment Educational Psychologist 23 IssueID1 23–37

    Google Scholar 

  23. A. King (1994) ArticleTitleGuiding knowledge construction in the classroom: Effects of teaching children how to question and how to explain American Educational Research Journal 31 338–368

    Google Scholar 

  24. A. King (1999) Discourse patterns for mediating peer learning A.M. O’Donnell A. King (Eds) Cognitive Perspectives on Peer Learning Erlbaum Mahwah, NJ 87–115

    Google Scholar 

  25. I. Kollar F. Fischer F.W. Hesse (2003) Cooperation scripts for computer-supported collaborative learning B. Wasson R. Baggetun U. Hoppe S. Ludvigsen (Eds) Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning–CSCL 2003, COMMUNITY EVENTS–Communication and Interaction InterMedia Bergen, NO 59–61

    Google Scholar 

  26. C.O. Larson D.F. Dansereau A.M. O’Donnell V.I. Hytecker J.G. Lambiotte T.R. Rocklin (1985) ArticleTitleEffects of metacognitive and elaborative activity on cooperative learning and transfer Contemporary Educational Psychology 10 342–348

    Google Scholar 

  27. H. Mandl H. Gruber A. Renkl (1996) Communities of practice toward expertise: Social foundation of university instruction P.B. Baltes U. Staudinger (Eds) Interactive Minds. Life-Span Perspectives on the Social Foundation of Cognition Cambridge University Press Cambridge 394–411

    Google Scholar 

  28. B.K. Nastasi D.H. Clements (1991) ArticleTitleResearch on cooperative learning: Implications for practice School Psychology Review 20 110–131

    Google Scholar 

  29. Nussbaum, E.M., Hartley, K., Sinatra, G.M., Reynolds, R.E. & Bendixen, L.D. (2002). Enhancing the quality of online discussions. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

  30. A.M. O’Donnell (1999) Structuring dyadic interaction through scripted cooperation A.M. O’Donnell A. King (Eds) Cognitive Perspectives on Peer Learning Erlbaum Mahwah, NJ 179–196

    Google Scholar 

  31. A.M. O’Donnell D.F. Dansereau (1992) Scripted cooperation in student dyads: A method for analyzing and enhancing academic learning and performance. R. Hertz Lazarowitz N. Miller (Eds) Interactions in Cooperative Groups. The Theoretical Anatomy of Group Learning Cambridge University Press Cambridge, MA 120–141

    Google Scholar 

  32. A.S. Palincsar L.R. Herrenkohl (1999) Designing collaborative contexts: Lessons from three research programs. A.M. O’Donnell A. King (Eds) Cognitive perspectives on peer learning Erlbaum Mahwah, NJ 151–177

    Google Scholar 

  33. J. Piaget (1932/1965) Moral Judgment of the Child Free Press New York

    Google Scholar 

  34. B.J. Reiser (2002) Why scaffolding should sometimes make tasks more difficult for learners G. Stahl (Eds) Computer Support for Collaborative Learning: Foundations for a CSCL Community. Erlbaum Hillsdale, NJ 255–264

    Google Scholar 

  35. G. Salomon T. Globerson (1989) ArticleTitleWhen teams do not function the way they ought to International Journal of Educational Research 13 IssueID1 89–99

    Google Scholar 

  36. M. Scardamalia C. Bereiter (1996) Computer support for knowledge-building communities T. Koschmann (Eds) CSCL: Theory and Practice of an Emerging Paradigm Erlbaum Mahwah, NJ 249–268

    Google Scholar 

  37. S. Scarr K. McCartney (1983) ArticleTitleHow people make their own environments: A theory of genotype-environment effects Child Development 54 424–435

    Google Scholar 

  38. D.D. Suthers (2003) Representational guidance for collaborative inquiry J.E.B. Andriessen M. Baker D.D. Suthers (Eds) Arguing to Learn. Confronting Cognitions in Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments Kluwer Dordrecht 27–46

    Google Scholar 

  39. D.D. Suthers C.D. Hundhausen (2001) Learning by constructing collaborative representations: An empirical comparison of three alternatives P. Dillenbourg A. Eurelings K. Hakkarainen (Eds) European Perspectives on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning University of Maastricht Maastricht, NL 577–592

    Google Scholar 

  40. S. Teasley (1997) Talking about reasoning: How important is the peer in peer collaboration? L.B. Resnick R. Säljö C. Pontecorvo B. Burge (Eds) Discourse, Tools and Reasoning: Essays on Situated Cognition Springer Berlin 361–384

    Google Scholar 

  41. A.L. Veerman T. Treasure-Jones (1999) Software for problem solving through collaborative argumentation P. Coirier J.E.B. Andriessen (Eds) Foundations of Argumentative Text Processing Amsterdam University Press Amsterdam 203–230

    Google Scholar 

  42. N.M. Webb S. Farivar (1999) Developing productive group interaction in middle school A.M. O’Donnell A. King (Eds) Cognitive Perspectives on Peer Learning Erlbaum Mahwah, NJ 117–149

    Google Scholar 

  43. N.M. Webb D. Jonathan T. Fall R. Fall (1995) ArticleTitleConstructive activity and learning in collaborative small groups Journal of Educational Psychology 87 406–423

    Google Scholar 

  44. Weinberger, A. (2003). Scripts for computer-supported collaborative learning. Effects of social and epistemic cooperation scripts on collaborative knowledge construction. Doctoral dissertation, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany. Available at: http://edoc.ub.uni-muenchen.de/archive/00001120/01/Weinberger_ Armin.pdf.

  45. A. Weinberger F. Fischer H. Mandl (2002) Fostering computer supported collaborative learning with cooperation scripts and scaffolds G. Stahl (Eds) Computer Support for Collaborative Learning:Foundations for a CSCL Community. Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 2002, Boulder, USA Erlbaum Hillsdale, NJ 573–574

    Google Scholar 

  46. A. Weinberger F. Fischer H. Mandl (2003) ArticleTitleGemeinsame Wissenskonstruktion in computervermittelter Kommunikation: Wirkungen von Kooperationsskripts auf den Erwerb anwendungsorientierten Wissens? [Collaborative knowledge construction in computer-mediated communication: Effects of cooperation scripts on acquisition of application-oriented knowledge] Zeitschrift für Psychologie 211 IssueID2 86–97

    Google Scholar 

  47. Weinberger, A. & Mandl, H. (2003). Computer-mediated knowledge communication. Special Issue: New Media in Education. Studies in Communication Sciences: 81–105.

  48. B. Weiner (1985) ArticleTitleAn attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion Psychological Review 92 548–573

    Google Scholar 

  49. J. Zhang D.A. Norman (1994) ArticleTitleRepresentations in distributed cognitive tasks Cognitive Science 18 87–122

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Armin Weinberger.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Weinberger, A., Ertl, B., Fischer, F. et al. Epistemic and social scripts in computer–supported collaborative learning. Instr Sci 33, 1–30 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-004-2322-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • computer-supported collaborative learning
  • CSCL
  • cooperation scripts
  • computer-mediated communication
  • discussion boards
  • videoconferencing