Toward a Science of Group Cognition
Studying virtual math teams involves explorations along multiple dimensions: (a) designing a testbed to support interaction within teams, (b) analyzing how math is discussed within this setting and (c) describing how the teams achieve their cognitive tasks. Previous chapters have shown in various ways how virtual math teams co-construct their shared worlds of math discourse. This concluding chapter discusses how the VMT Project designed an environment in which this could take place and be studied; it reviews how the project approached the rigorous study of what took place in these virtual worlds; and it reflects on the nature of group cognition as an object for scientific investigation. In this way, the present volume prepares the way for a science of group cognition, a systematic description of the processes at the group level of analysis that may contribute to problem solving, knowledge building and other cognitive tasks undertaken by small groups collaborating synchronously over networked computers.