Title: Supporting the facilitator in a collaborative learning environment

Authors: Marcos Augusto F. Borges, M. Cecilia C. Baranauskas

Addresses: Institute of Computing (IC), State Univ of Campinas – Unicamp, R. Barao de Paranapanema, 400, ap.112, Bosque, Campinas-SP, 13026-010, Brazil. Institute of Computing (IC), State Univ. of Campinas – Unicamp, Caixa Postal 6176, 13083 970 Campinas, SP Brazil

Abstract: The importance of a facilitator in collaborative learning environments is well known. Nevertheless, computer-based learning environments still lack support for the activities carried out by people in charge of facilitating collaboration among learners. This paper focuses on the interactions taking place in collaborative learning situations, aiming at proposing mechanisms to support the facilitator in computer-based environments. We proposed a conceptual framework to analyse interaction among people in a learning situation mediated by a chat tool. This conceptual framework has proved useful to study aspects such as the dynamics of interactions, the nature and characteristics of conversations, the roles of the participants towards collaboration. Two different contexts of usage were analysed according to this framework. The results of these analyses have been applied to some recommendations for the design of tools to support the facilitator in analysing and promoting collaboration among learners.

Keywords: computer-supported collaborative learning; collaboration; conversation; analysis of interaction; computer-mediated communication.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2003.002152

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2003 Vol.13 No.1/2, pp.39-56

Published online: 21 Jul 2003 *

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