Enhancing Sociability of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Environments

  • Paul A. Kirschner
  • Karel Kreijns
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series book series (CULS, volume 5)


Most computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments are purely functional, that is, they concentrate on a specific pedagogy. This is not surprising since their design and use is based on educational grounds and is driven by educators, educational technologists and educational researchers. Unfortunately, these functional environments do not always enable collaborative learning because they miss social interaction, a key element in collaborative learning. One approach for stimulating social interaction is using specific pedagogical techniques that enforce collaborative learning. This chapter presents an alternative approach that is based upon an affordance framework for designing sociable collaborative learning environments. This affordance framework is materialized by devices that enhance group awareness for users of CSCL environments.


Collaborative Learning Social Presence Individual Accountability Positive Interdependence Group Awareness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aronson, E., Blaney, N., Stephan, G., Silkes, J., & Snapp, M. (1978). The jigsaw classroom. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  2. Begole, J. B., Tang, J., Smith, R., & Yankelovich, N. (2002). Work rhythms: Analyzing visualizations of awareness histories of distributed groups. In E. F. Churchchill, J. McCarthy, C. Neuwirth, & T. Rodden (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2002 ACM conference on Computer-supported cooperative work (pp. 334–343). New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  3. Borning, A., & Travers, M. (1991). Two approaches to casual interaction over computer and video networks. In S. P. Robertson, G. M. Olson, & J. S. Ohlson (Eds.), Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems: Reaching through technology (pp. 13–19). New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bradner, E., Kellogg, W., Erickson, T. (1999). The adoption and use of “Babble”: A field study of chat in the workplace. In S. Bødker, M. Kyng, & K. Schmidt (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th European conference on Computer supported cooperative work (ECSCW’ 99) (pp. 139–158). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  5. Connolly, T., Jessup, L. M., & Valacich, J. S. (1990). Effects of anonymity and evaluative tone on idea generation in computer-mediated groups. Management Science, 36, 97–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brandon, D. P., Hollingshead, A. B. (1999). Collaborative learning and computer-supported groups. Communication Education, 18(2), 109–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brush, T. A. (1998). Embedding cooperative learning into the design of integrated learning systems: rationale and guidelines. Educational Technology Research & Development, 46(3), 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clark, J. (2000). Collaboration tools in online learning. ALN Magazine, 4(1). Retrieved May 10, 2003 from Google Scholar
  9. Cockburn, A. & Greenberg, S. (1993). Making contact: Getting the group communicating with groupware. In S. Kaplan (Ed.), Proceedings of the conference on Organizational computing systems (pp. 31–41). New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  10. Daft, R. L., Lengel, R. H., & Trevino, L. (1987). Message equivocality, media selection, and manager performance. MIS Quaterly, 11(3), 355–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Deutsch, M. (1949). A theory of cooperation and competition. Human Relations, 2, 129–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Deutsch, M. (1962). Cooperation and trust: Some theoretical notes. In M. R. Jones (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation (pp. 275–319). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  13. Dieberger, A. (2000, May). Where did all the people go? A collaborative web space with social navigation information. Poster presented at the 9th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW9), Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Retrieved May 10, 2003 from: Google Scholar
  14. Dillenbourg, P. (2002). Over-scripting CSCL: The risks of blending collaborative learning with instructional design. In P. Kirschner (Ed.) Three Worlds of CSCL: Can We Support CSCL. Inaugural address, Open University of the Netherlands.Google Scholar
  15. Festinger, L., Schachter, S. S., & Back, K. W. (1950). Social pressures in informal groups: A study of human factors in housing. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Fischer, F., Bruhn, J., Gräsel, C., & Mandl, H. (2002). Fostering collaborative knowledge construction with visualization tools. Learning and Instruction, 12, 213–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gajewska, H., Manasse, M., & Redell, D. (1995). Argohalls: Adding support for group awareness to the Argo telecollaboration system. In G. Roberson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 8th annual ACM symposium on User interface and software technology (pp. 157–158). New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  18. Garrison, D. R. (1993). Quality and theory in distance education: Theoretical consideration. In D. Keegan (Ed.), Theoretical principles of distance education. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking and computer conferencing: A model and tool to access cognitive presence. American Journal of Distance Education. 75(1), 7–23.Google Scholar
  20. Gaver, W. W. (1991). Technology affordances. In S. P. Robertson, G. M. Olson, & J. S. Ohlson (Eds.), Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems: Reaching through technology (pp. 79–84). New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gaver, W. (1996). Affordances for interaction: The social is material for design. Ecological Psychology 8(2), 111,129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gay, G., & Lentini, M. (1995). Use of collaborative resources in a networked collaborative design environment. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 1(1). Retrieved April 1, 2004, from Scholar
  23. Gibson, J. J. (1977). The theory of affordances. In R. Shaw & J. Bransford (Eds.), Perceiving, Acting and Knowing (pp. 67–82). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  24. Gilbert, L., & Moore, D. R. (1998). Building interactivity into web courses: Tools for social and instructional interaction. Educational Technology, 38(3), 29–35.Google Scholar
  25. Gunawardena, C. N. (1995). Social presence theory and implications for interaction and collaborative learning in computer conferences. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 1(2/3), 147–166.Google Scholar
  26. Gunawardena, C. N. (1997). Social presence as a predictor of satisfaction within a computer-mediated conferencing environment. Annual Journal of Distance Education, 11(4), 8–26.Google Scholar
  27. Hallet, K., & Cummings, J. (1997). The virtual classroom as authentic experience. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning: Competition-Connection-Collaboration (pp. 103–107). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison.Google Scholar
  28. Hiltz, S. R. (1994). The virtual classroom: Learning without limits via computer networks. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.Google Scholar
  29. Hiltz, S. R. (1997). Impacts of college-level courses via asynchronous learning networks: some preliminary results. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 1(2). Retrieved May 10, 2003 from: Google Scholar
  30. Hiltz, S. R. (1998). Collaborative learning in asynchronous learning networks: building learning communities. Invited Address at “WEB98”, Orlando, FL. Retrieved May 10, 2003 from: Google Scholar
  31. Hobaugh, C. F. (1997). Interactive strategies for collaborative learning. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning: Competition-Connection-Collaboration (pp. 121–125). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-MadisonGoogle Scholar
  32. Hooper, S., & Hannafm, M. J. (1991). The effects of group composition on achievement, interaction, and learning efficiency during computer-based cooperative instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 39(3), 27–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Johnson, D. W. (1981). Student-student interaction: the neglected variable in education. Educational Research, 10, 5–10.Google Scholar
  34. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1974). Instructional goal structure: Cooperative, competitive, or individualistic. Review of Educational Research, 44, 213–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1989). Cooperation and competition: Theory and research. Edina, MN: Interaction Book CompanyGoogle Scholar
  36. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1993). Creative and critical thinking through academic controversy. American Behavioral Scientist, 37(1), 40–53.Google Scholar
  37. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1994). Learning together and alone: Cooperation, competition, and individualization (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  38. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1996). Cooperation and the use of technology. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology, 1017–1044. New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan.Google Scholar
  39. Johnson, R. T., Johnson, D. W., & Stanne, M. B. (1985). Effects of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic goal structures on computer-assisted instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(6), 668–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Johnson, R. T., Johnson, D. W., & Stanne, M. B. (2000). Cooperative learning methods: A meta-analysis. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota. Retrieved May 10, 2003 from: Google Scholar
  41. Kearsley, G. (1995). The nature and value of interaction in distance learning. (ACSDE Research Monograph No. 12, pp. 83–92). State College, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University, American Center for the Study of Distance Education.Google Scholar
  42. Kerr, N. (1983). The dispensability of member effort and group motivation losses: Free-rider effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 78–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kerr, N., & Bruun, S. (1983). The dispensability of member effort and group motivation losses: Free-rider effects. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 5, 1–15.Google Scholar
  44. Kirschner, P. (2002). Can we support CSCL? Educational, social and technological affordances for learning. In P. Kirschner (Ed.), Three worlds of CSCL: Can we support CSCL. Inaugural address, Open University of the Netherlands.Google Scholar
  45. Kreijns, K. & Kirschner, P. A., (2004). Determining sociability, social space and social presence in (a)synchronous collaborating teams. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 7(2), 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kreijns, K., Kirschner, P. A., & Jochems, W. (2002). The sociability of computer-supported collaborative learning environments. Journal of Education Technology & Society, 5(1), 8–25.Google Scholar
  47. Kreijns, K., Kirschner, P. A., & Jochems, W. (2003). Identifying the pitfalls for social interaction in computer-supported collaborative learning environments: A review of the research. Computers in Human Behavior, 19(3), 335–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Latané, B., Williams, K., & Harkins, S. (1979). Many hands make light the work: The causes and consequences of social loafing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 822–832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Lewin, K. (1935). A dynamic theory of personality. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  50. Lewin, K. (1948). Resolving social conflicts. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  51. Liaw, S., & Huang, H. (2000). Enhancing interactivity in web-based instruction: A review of the literature. Educational Technology, 40(3), 41–45.Google Scholar
  52. Morrison, D., & Collins, A. (1996). Epistemic fluency and constructivist learning environments. In B. Wilson (Ed.), Constructivist learning environments (pp. 107–119). Englewood Cliffs: Educational Technology Press.Google Scholar
  53. Mulder, I., Swaak, J., & Kessels, J. (2002) Assessing group learning and shared understanding in technology-mediated interaction. Educational Technology & Society, 5(1), 35–47.Google Scholar
  54. Nielsen, J. (1994). Usability engineering. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers (Original work published 1993, Academic Press).Google Scholar
  55. Norman, D. A. (1988). The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  56. Norman, D. A. (1990). The design of everyday things. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  57. Northrup, P. T. (2001). A framework for designing interactivity into web-based instruction. Educational Technology, 41(2), 31–39.Google Scholar
  58. Ohlsson, S. (1996). Learning to do and learning to understand: A lesson and a challenge for cognitive modeling. In P. Reimann & H. Spada (Eds.), Learning in humans and machines (pp. 37–62). Oxford: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  59. Olson, G. M., & Olson, J. S. (2000). Distance matters. Human Computer Interaction, 15, 139–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rice, R. E., & Love, G. (1987). Electronic emotion: Socioemotional content in a computer-mediated network. Communication Research, 14, 85–108.Google Scholar
  61. Rourke, L. (2000a). Exploring social communication in computer conferencing. Unpublished Master Thesis. Alberta, Edmonton Alberta.Google Scholar
  62. Rourke, L. (2000b). Operationalizing social interaction in computer conferencing. In Proceedings of the 16th Annual conference of the Canadian Association for Distance Education. Quebec City. Retrieved May 10, 2003 from: Google Scholar
  63. Shneiderman, B. (1998). Designing the User Interface: Strategies for effective Human-Computer Interaction (3rd ed.). Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  64. Short, J., Williams, E., & Christie, B. (1976). The social psychology of telecommunications. London: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  65. Slavin, R. E. (1980). Cooperative learning in teams: state of the art. Educational Psychologist, 15, 93–111.Google Scholar
  66. Slavin, R. E. (1986). Using student team learning (3rd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Center for Social Organization of Schools, The Johns Hopkins University.Google Scholar
  67. Slavin, R. E. (1990). Cooperative learning. Review of Educational Research, 50(2), 315–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Soller, A. L. (1999). Supporting social interaction in an intelligent collaborative learning system. Unpublished Master Thesis.Google Scholar
  69. Soller, A. L., & Lesgold, A., Linton, F., Goodman, B. (1999). What makes peer interaction effective? Modeling effective communication in an intelligent CSCL. In S.E. Brennan, A. Giboin, & D. Traum (Eds), Psychological models of communication in collaborative systems: Papers from the AIII Fall Symposium (pp. 116–123). Technical Report FS-99-03. Menlo Park, CA: The AAAI Press.Google Scholar
  70. Vallée, O. (1992). The challenge of conferencing system development. In A. R. Kaye (Ed.), Collaborative learning through computer conferencing: The Najadan Papers (pp. 181–187). New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  71. Wagner, E. D. (1994). In support of a functional definition of interaction. The American Journal of Distance Education, 8(2), 6–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wagner, E. D. (1997). Interactivity: From agents to outcomes. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 71, 19–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Walther, J. B. (1999, May). Visual cues and computer-mediated communication: Don't look before you leap. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved April 1, 2004, from Scholar
  74. Wegerif, R. (1998). The social dimension of asynchronous learning networks. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 2(1), 34–49.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul A. Kirschner
  • Karel Kreijns

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations