Students’ engagement with real-time graphs in CSCL settings: scrutinizing the role of teacher support

  • Line IngulfsenEmail author
  • Anniken Furberg
  • Torunn Aanesland Strømme


This paper reports on a study of teacher support in experimental computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) settings where students engage with graphs in real-time labs within the context of school science. Real-time labs are digital devices and software connected to student-controlled sensors or probes that can measure and visualize data graphically. The empirical setting was a science project about ocean acidification (OA) where lower secondary school students conducted measurements of the pH value of water with increased concentrations of CO2. The analytical focus is on student–teacher interaction during group-work activities where the students carried out, reviewed and reported on the real-time lab experiment. The analyses show that students needed additional support from the teacher in interpreting the real-time graphs and in making connections between the graphic representation, the practical undertakings of the experiment and the underlying scientific phenomena. Most importantly, the study demonstrates the complexity of teacher support in CSCL settings and how this type of support intersects with the support provided by digital resources, peer collaboration and applied instructional design.


Teacher support Computer-supported collaborative experiments Real-time labs Graphical representations Interaction analysis Sociocultural perspective 



We would like to thank our colleagues in the research project Representation and Participation in School Science (REDE) and members of the REDE Advisory Board for discussions and comments on earlier drafts that have benefited this article. We also like to thank our colleagues in the research groups TEPEC, MEDIATE and LinCS for their constructive feedback on earlier drafts. We are also grateful to Professor Andreas Lund, Associate Professor Kenneth Silseth and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable contributions. Special thanks are extended to the teachers and students taking part in the REDE project. This research was funded by the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, and the Research Council of Norway (the FINNUT program, grant number 249872).


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Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher Education and School ResearchUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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