The Interplay of Internal and External Scripts

A Distributed Cognition Perspective
  • Stefan Carmien
  • Ingo Kollar
  • Gerhard Fischer
  • Frank Fischer
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning book series (CULS, volume 6)


This chapter describes different script types that are involved when a person X is accomplishing a particular task Y. We refer to concepts and ideas from distributed cognition theories. It is assumed that individuals are holding internal scripts that guide them in the way they process tasks they are faced with, and these internal scripts are standing in a complex relationship to the external scripts provided by an artifact or by other persons. Three factors are regarded as crucial in order to describe the accomplishment of a task, namely (a) the actual activity, (b) knowledge underlying the activity, and (c) the executive function, a (meta-)cognitive instance that is setting the goals for the task and controls the system’s task accomplishment. For each of these three main factors, several sub-categories are introduced, on which two script approaches are compared. The first approach represents the socio-technical environment Memory Aiding Prompting System (MAPS) designed to support individuals with cognitive disabilities in accomplishing everyday tasks with a focus on “tools for living”. The second approach, the so-called collaborative argumentation script, represents a computer-supported collaborative inquiry learning environment to facilitate students’ collaborative argumentation with a focus on “tools for learning”. Implications of the comparison for the design of external scripts are derived and directions for future research are discussed.


Executive Function Cognitive Disability Computer Support Collaborative Learn Collaboration Script Task Accomplishment 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Carmien
    • 1
  • Ingo Kollar
    • 2
  • Gerhard Fischer
    • 1
  • Frank Fischer
    • 2
  1. 1.University of ColoradoBoulder
  2. 2.Knowledge Media Research CenterTübingen

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