Thursday, April 5, 2007

CSCL: Computer Stpported Collaborative Learning

When I started doing preliminary research for my research paper, I came across a website devoted to CSCL. This concept seemed to be exactly what I was looking to write my paper on. The site contains information not only on technology in education, but also the theories of learning that are acted out through technological education. Naturally, from there, I looked for text on this subject and was pleased to find two books, a series actually, on the very subject. Each are a compilation of essays from a wide spectrum of professionals. In the first book, published in 1996, contains one article of particular interest to me. It is by the editor of the book, Timothy Koschmann, and offers a general introduction to instructional technologies (IT). It begins by defining paradigms, according to psychologist Thomas Khun, then outlines the history of the paradigmatic shift that has taken place within IT. Next Koschmann discusses CSCL as "an emerging paradigm in instructional technology." Within this section he describes learning theories that technological education functions within. By coupling this information with that from "Toys, Tools, and Teachers" about why and how games or 'toys' can help us learn, I will form a concept for my paper. The second book "CSCL 2: carrying forward the conversation," seems to be a more valuable source for my paper. It is broken down into three sections; the first of which contains four case studies, each with commentary and responses in the form of full essays by separate authors. This same pattern (of commentary and responses) carries on through the next two sections as well. The second section takes a look at learning in collaborative settings, and the third at technologies for collaboration and learning. I especially like this approach, because it gives the reader a basis for analysis. These two books, and the concept of CSCL, has prompted me to take a look at learning theories that involve collaboration, and important aspect of learning and technologies.

"Some would argue that what learners do in computer-supported instructional settings is not collaborative; further, as the field develops, the technology used to support collaboration may not always involve computers, at least not in the ways they have been used in the past. Thus CSCL is used as a designation in its own right to leave open to interpretation precisely what the ambiguous words stand for."

Timothy, Koschmann, ed. CSCL: Theory and Practice of an Emerging Paradigm. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996.

Timothy, Koschmann, Hall Rogers, and Naomi Miyake, eds. CSCL 2: Carrying Forward the Conversation. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002.

No comments: