Skip to main content

Learning Gains in Pyramid Computer-Supported Collaboration Scripts: Factors and Implications for Design

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12856)


Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) scripts aim to structure the process of collaboration creating opportunities for productive social interaction and learning. Despite CSCL research has shown these benefits for some scripts in particular contexts, more evidence is needed about to what extent learning gains are actually achieved for more families of scripts and in different conditions of implementation. This paper studies how three CSCL scripts based on the Pyramid collaborative learning flow pattern facilitate students learning in online classes. Learning gains are measured in terms of precision and confusion assessment criteria. Students’ behaviour in the learning process, regarding agreement in the knowledge exchange, is also analysed in relation to the learning gains. Results bring out several factors, and implications for the design of fruitful Pyramid scripts implementation, that related to the pedagogical envelope, the type of tasks, pyramid design elements, the need for epistemic orchestration, and debriefing.


  • Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
  • Scripts
  • Collaborative Learning Flow Patterns
  • Learning gains
  • Pyramid script

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

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


  1. Amarasinghe, I., Hernández-Leo, D., Michos, K., Vujovic, M.: An actionable orchestration dashboard to enhance collaboration in the classroom. IEEE Trans. Learn. Technol. 13(4), 662–675 (2020)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Dillenbourg, P.: Over-scripting CSCL: the risks of blending collaborative learning with instructional design. In: Kirschner, P.A. (ed.) Inaugural Address, Three Worlds of CSCL. Can We Support CSCL? pp. 61–91. Open Universiteit Nederland, Heerlen (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Dillenbourg, P.: Design for classroom orchestration. Comput. Educ. 69(1), 485–492 (2013)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. D’Mello, S., Lehman, B., Pekrun, R., Graesser, A.: Confusion can be beneficial for learing. Learn. Instr. 29, 153–170 (2014)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Hernández-Leo, D., Villasclaras-Fernández, E.D., Asensio-Pérez, J.I., Dimitriadis, Y.A., Retalis, S.: CSCL scripting patterns: hierarchical relationships and applicability. In: 6th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, pp. 388–392 (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Kapur, M.: Productive failure in learning math. Cogn. Sci. 38(5), 1008–1022 (2014)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Kollar, I., Fischer, F., Hesse, F.W.: Collaboration scripts - a conceptual analysis. Educ. Psychol. Rev. 18(2), 159–185 (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Kobbe, L., et al.: Specifying computer-supported collaboration scripts. Int. J. Comput. Support. Collab. Learn. 2(2–3), 211–224 (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Liu, L., Hao, J., von Davier, A.A., Kyllonen, P., Zapata-Rivera, J.D.: A tough nut to crack: measuring collaborative problem solving. In: Handbook of Research on Technology Tools for Real-World Skill Development (2016)

    Google Scholar 

  10. Loibl, K., Roll, I., Rummel, N.: Towards a theory of when and how problem solving followed by instruction supports learning. Educ. Psychol. Rev. 29(4), 693–715 (2017)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  11. Malzahn, N., Aprin, F., Hoppe, U., Eimler, S., Moder, S.: Measures of disagreement in learning groups as a basis for identifying and discussing controversial judgements. In: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, pp. 233–236 (2021)

    Google Scholar 

  12. Manathunga, K., Hernández-Leo, D.: Authoring and enactment of mobile pyramid-based collaborative learning activities. Br. J. Edu. Technol. 49(2), 262–275 (2018)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  13. Manathunga, K., Hernández-Leo, D.: Flexible CSCL orchestration technology: mechanisms for elasticity and dynamism in pyramid script flows. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, pp. 248–255 (2019)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Mugny, G., Doise, W.: Socio-cognitive conflict and structure of individual and collective performances. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 8(2), 181–192 (1978)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  15. Radkowitsch, A., Vogel, F., Fischer, F.: Good for learning, bad for motivation? A meta-analysis on the effects of computer-supported collaboration scripts. Int. J. Comput. Support. Collab. Learn. 15(1), 5–47 (2020).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work has been partially funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (COURAGE project, no. 95567). TIDE-UPF also acknowledges the support by FEDER, the National Research Agency of the Spanish Ministry, TIN2017-85179-C3-3-R, PID2020-112584RB-C33, MDM-2015-0502 and by ICREA under the ICREA Academia programme (D. Hernández-Leo, Serra Hunter).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ishari Amarasinghe .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Amarasinghe, I., Hernández-Leo, D., Theophilou, E., Roberto Sánchez Reina, J., Quintero, R.A.L. (2021). Learning Gains in Pyramid Computer-Supported Collaboration Scripts: Factors and Implications for Design. In: Hernández-Leo, D., Hishiyama, R., Zurita, G., Weyers, B., Nolte, A., Ogata, H. (eds) Collaboration Technologies and Social Computing. CollabTech 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12856. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-85070-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-85071-5

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)