Skip to main content

Approaching institutional contexts: systemic versus dialogic research in CSCL

Abstract

The research literature in CSCL has rarely addressed the question of how institutional contexts contribute to constituting the meanings and functions of CSCL applications. The argument that we develop here concerns how the institutional context impacts the use of CSCL applications and how this impact should be conceptualized. In order to structure to our argument, we introduce a distinction between systemic and dialogic approaches to CSCL research. We develop our argument by working through a selection of relevant studies belonging to the two perspectives, and conclude that not enough attention has been given to the emergent characteristics of activities where CSCL tools have been introduced. This is particularly the case in studies belonging to a systemic approach. Our basic argument is that a dialogic stance can provide important insights into how institutional practices shape the meanings and functions of CSCL tools. A dialogic perspective provides opportunities for making sense of learning and knowledge construction at different levels of activity, while at the same time retaining sensitivity to the mutually constitutive relationship between levels.

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

References

  • Arnseth, H. C. (2004). Discourse and artefacts in learning to argue. Analysing the practical management of computer supported collaborative learning. Unpublished PhD thesis. Oslo, Norway: University of Oslo, Faculty of Education.

  • Baker, M., Hansen, T., Joiner, R., & Traum, D. (1999). The role of grounding in collaborative learning tasks. In P. Dillenbourg (Ed.), Collaborative Learning: Cognitive and Computational Approaches (pp. 34–63). Amsterdam: Pergamon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown, A. L., Ellery, S., & Campione, J. C. (1998). Creating zones of proximal development electronically. In J. G. Greeno & S. V. Goldman (Eds.), Thinking Practices in Mathematics and Science Learning (pp. 341–368). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, A., & Scardamalia, M. (1998). Discourse about ideas: monitoring and regulating in face-to-face and computer-mediated environments. Interactive Learning Environments, 6, 93–113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology. A once and future discipline. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crook, C. (1998). Children as computer users: The case of collaborative learning. Computers & Education, 30(3 & 4), 237–247.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crook, C., & Light, P. (2002). Virtual society and the cultural practice of study. In S. Woolgar (Ed.), Virtual Society? Technology, Cyberbole, Reality (pp. 153–175). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dillenbourg, P. (1999): What do you mean by collaborative learning? In P. Dillenbourg (Ed.), Collaborative Learning: Cognitive and Computational Approaches (pp. 1–19). Amsterdam: Pergamon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Edelson, D. C., Gording, D. N., & Pea, R. D. (1999). Addressing the challenges of inquiry-based learning through technology and curriculum design. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 8, 391–450.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Goodwin, C. (1997). The blackness of black: Color categories as situated practice. In L. B. Resnick, R. Säljö, C. Pontecorvo, & B. Burge (Eds.), Discourse, Tools and Reasoning. Essays on Situated Cognition (pp. 111–140). Berlin: Springer Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Guzdial, M. (1997). Information ecology of collaboration in educational settings: Influence of tool. In R. Hall, N. Miyake, & N. Enyedy (Eds.), Proceedings of Computer Support for Collaborative Learning 1997 (pp. 83–91). Toronto: University of Toronto.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hakkarainen, K., Lipponen, L., & Järvelä, S. (2001). Epistemology of inquiry and computer-supported collaborative learning. In T. Koschman, R. Hall, & N. Miake (Eds.), CSCL 2: Carrying Forward the Conversation (pp. 128–156). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hewitt, J. (2001). From focus on tasks to a focus on understanding: The cultural transformation of a Toronto classroom. In T. Koschmann, R. Hall, & N. Miyake (Eds.), CSCL 2. Carrying Forward the Conversation (pp. 11–41). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hewitt, J., & Tevlops, C. (1999). An analysis of growth patterns in computer conferencing threads. In C. Hoadley, (Ed.), Proceedings of Computer Support for Collaborative Learning. Designing New Media for a New Millennium: Collaborative Technology for Learning, Education, and Training (pp. 232–241). Palo Alto, California: Stanford University.

  • Hoadley, C., & Linn, M. (2000). Teaching science through online peer discussions: speakeasy in the knowledge integration environment. Journal of Science Teaching, 22, 839–857.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ivarsson, J. (2004). Renderings & reasoning: Studying artifacts in human knowing. Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, B., & Henderson, K. (1995). Interaction analysis: Foundations and practice. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4(1), 39–103.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kirschner, P. A., Martens, R. L., & Strijbos, J. W. (2004). CSCL in higher education: A framework for designing multiple collaborative environments. In J. W. Strijbos, P. A. Kirschner, & R. L. Martens (Eds.), What We Know About CSCL: And Implementing it in Higher Education (pp. 3–31). Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic/Springer Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Krange, I. (in press). Collaborative learning in collaborative virtual environments. Students' use of new learning resources in traditional educational settings. Oslo: Intermedia, University of Oslo.

  • Kvale, S. (1996). InterViews. An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lamon, M., Secules, T., Petrosino, A., Hackett, R., Bransford, J., & Goldman, S. (1996). Schools for thought: Overview of the project and lessons learned from one of the sites. In L. Schauble, & R.Glaser (Eds.), Innovations in Learning: New Environments for Education (pp. 243–288). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lehtinen, E., Hakkarinen, K., Lipponen, L., Rahikainen, M., & Muukkonen, H. (1999). Computer supported collaborative learning: A review of research and development. Netherlands: University of Nijmegen, Department of Educational Sciences (The J.H.G.I Giesbers Reports on Education, 10).

    Google Scholar 

  • Lemke, J. L. (2000). Across the scales of time: Artifacts, activities, and meanings in ecosocial systems. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 7(4), 273–290.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Linell, P. (1998). Approaching dialogue. Talk, interaction and contexts in dialogical perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lipponen, L. (2001). Computer-supported collaborative learning: From promises to reality (Rep. No. 245). Turku: Department of Education.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lipponen, L., Rahikainen, M., Lallimo, J., & Hakkarainen, K. (2003). Patterns of participation and discourse in elementary students' computer-supported collaborative learning. Learning & Instruction, 13, 487–509.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ludvigsen, S. R. (in press). What counts as knowledge: Learning to use categories in computer environments. In R. Säljö (Ed.), ICT and Transformation of Learning Practices. Amsterdam: Pergamon Press.

  • Ludvigsen, S. R., & Mørch, A. (2003). Categorisation in knowledge building: Task specific argumentation in a co-located CSCL environment. In B. Wasson, S. Ludvigsen, & U. Hoppe (Eds.), Designing for Change in Networked Learning Environments. Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (pp. 67–76). Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ludvigsen, S., & Mørch, A. (2005). Situating collaborative learning: Educational technology in the Wild. Educational Technology, XLV(5), 39–44.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mercer, N. (2000). Words & minds. How we use language to think together. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mercer, N., & Wegerif, R. (1999). Is “exploratory talk” productive talk? In K. Littleton & P. Light (Eds.), Learning with Computers. Analysing Productive Interaction (pp. 79–102). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mercer, N., Philips, T., & Somekh, B. (1991). Research Note. Spoken language and new technology (SLANT). Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 7, 195–202.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mercer, N., Fernandez, M., Dawes, L., Wegerif, R., & Sams, C. (2003, July). Talk about texts at the computer: Using ICT to develop children's oral and literate abilities. READING literacy and Language, 37(2), 81–89.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mercer, M., Wegerif, R., Dawes, L., Sams, C., & Fernandez, M. (2004). How computers can help children think together about literacy. In C. K. Kinzer & L. Verhoeven (Eds.). Interactive Literacy Education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Middleton, D., & Brown, S. (2005). The social psychology of experience. Studies in remembering and forgetting. London: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miyake, N., & Koschmann, T. (2001). Realizations of CSCL Conversations: Technology Transfer and the CSILE Project. In T. Koschmann, R. Hall, & N. Miyake (Eds.), CSCL 2. Carrying Forward the Conversation (pp. 1–10). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Muukkonen, H., Hakkarainen K., & Leinonen, T. (2000). Introduction to Fle2 Pedagogy. Helsinki: UIAH Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki. Accessed at http://fle2.uiah.fi/pedagogy.html.

  • Muukonen, H., Lakkala, M., & Hakkarainen, K. (2005). Technology-mediation and tutoring: How do they shape progressive inquiry discourse? The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14(4), 527–565.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mäkitalo, Å., & Säljö, R. (2002). Talk in institutional context and institutional context in talk: categories as situated practices. TEXT, 22(1), 57–82.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rasmussen, I. (2005). Project work and ICT. A study of learning as trajectories of participation. Doctoral Dissertation. Intermedia, Nr. 46. Oslo, Norway: University of Oslo.

  • Roschelle, J. (1992). Learning by collaborating: Convergent conceptual change. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2, 235–276.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roschelle, J., & Teasley, S. D. (1995). The construction of shared knowledge in collaborative problem solving. In C. O'Malley, (Ed.), Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (pp. 69–97). Berlin: Springer Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rystedt, H. (2002). Bridging practices. Simulations in education for the health-care professions. Göteborg: Göteborg Studies in Educational Sciences 187.

    Google Scholar 

  • Säljö, R. (2000). Lärande i praktiken. Ett sociokulturellt perspektiv. (Learning in practice. A sociocultural perspective). Stockholm: Bokförlaget Prisma.

    Google Scholar 

  • Säljö, R., & Bergqvist, K. (1997). Seeing the light: Discourse and practice in the optics lab. In L. B. Resnick, R. Säljö, C. Pontecorvo, & B. Burge (Eds.), Discourse, Tools and Reasoning. Essays on Situated Cognition. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Salomon, G. (1993). No distribution without individual's cognition: A dynamic interactional view. InG. Salomon (Ed.), Distributed Cognitions. Psychological and Educational Considerations (pp. 111–138). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

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

    Google Scholar 

  • Scardamalia, M., Bereiter, C., & Lamon, M. (1994). The CSILE project: Trying to bring the classroom into world 3. In K. McGilly (Ed.), Classroom Lessons: Integrating Cognitive Theory and Classroom practice (pp. 201–228). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stahl, G. (2001). Rediscovering CSCL. In T. Koschmann, R. Hall, & N. Miyake (Eds.), CSCL 2. Carrying Forward the Conversation (pp. 169–181). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stahl, G. (2006). Group cognition. Computer support for building collaborative knowledge. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stenning, K., Greeno, J. G., Hall, R., Sommerfeld, M., & Wiebe, M. (2002). Coordinating mathematical with biological multiplication: Conceptual learning as the development of heterogeneous reasoning systems. In M. Baker, K. Brna, K. Stenning, & A. Tiberghien (Eds.), The Role of Communication in Learning to Model (pp. 3–48). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Suchman, L. (1987). Plans and situated actions. The problem of human machine communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Suthers, D. D., & Hundhausen, C. D. (2001). Learning by constructing collaborative representations: An empirical comparison of three alternatives. In P. Dillenbourg, A. Eurelings, & K. Hakkarainen (Eds.), Proceedings of the First European Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (pp. 75–82). Maastricht: Maastricht McLuhan Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • The Cognition & Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1997). The Jasper Project. Lessons in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Valsiner, J. (1994). Bidirectional cultural transmission and constructive sociogenesis. In W. deGraaf & R. Maier (Eds.), Sociogenesis Reexamined (pp. 47–70). New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Valsiner, J., & Van Der Veer, R. (2000). The social mind. Construction of the idea. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wasson, B., Ludvigsen, S., & Hoppe, U. (2003). Designing for change in networked learning environments. In B. Wasson, S. Ludvigsen, & U. Hoppe (Eds.). Designing for Change in Networked Learning Environments. Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wells, G. (1999). Dialogic inquiry: Towards a sociocultural practice and theory of education. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wertsch, J. V. (1991). Voices of the mind. A sociocultural approach to mediated action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hans Christian Arnseth.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Arnseth, H.C., Ludvigsen, S. Approaching institutional contexts: systemic versus dialogic research in CSCL. Computer Supported Learning 1, 167–185 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-006-8874-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-006-8874-3

Keywords

  • CSCL
  • Institutional practices
  • Context
  • Theory
  • Methodology