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What we know about CSCL and implementing it in higher education

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This book is the first that presents an overview of the main topics involved in the study and implementation of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) from a learning viewpoint. It is also one of the few - or the only one - that does this from a research and practical instructional design perspective. Too many books begin with the medium and/or the environments used for CSCL, as if you would write a book on building a house by focusing almost primarily on hammers, saws and screwdrivers. The main topics are clustered in four sections that are derived from reverse ordering the CSCL acronym, because CSCL is all about learning through collaboration that is supported by computers. Although CSCL is increasingly advocated in higher education, specific CSCL implementations - i.e. something more than providing technology without a well developed educational rationale - are uncommon in higher education. The topics covered in this book, each including a review and several examples of current best practices in higher education, can stimulate 'informed' implementation of CSCL in higher education.
Von Klappentext im Buch What we know about CSCL and implementing it in higher education (2004)
CSCL stands for computer-supported collaborative learning. The Kluwer publishing house started a new series of books on the subject last year. The volume reviewed here is part three. The title is nothing if not pretentious. What do we know about CSCL? And what do we know about implementation in higher education? I think the first question is answered better than the second. However, that's not surprising, as I hope to explain.

Exceptional collection of articles This is an exceptional collection of articles for several reasons, firstly for the approach; we start with learning processes rather than technology. The second exceptional aspect is the depth; besides a broad overview, the articles cover the subject in-depth. There is also a daring attempt (and this is what education is about) to link theory and practice. The latter is not done with equal success throughout the book, which comes as no surprise, considering that education rarely succeeds in this. The third exceptional aspect of the collection is its coherence; the authors have actually read each other's work, refer to each other, and attempt to keep the format and level of abstraction of the chapters the same. The book's three sections are preceded by an introduction and there is a concluding chapter that makes no attempt to hide the fact that we are only just starting to obtain an insight into CSCL.

Designing CSCL The volume starts and ends with contributions from the editors Strijbos, Kirschner and Martens, of the Dutch Open University, in Heerlen. The first chapter describes the field and a framework for designing CSCL. CSCL involves a different way of learning from that of individual learning. CSCL is actually mainly discursive and so entails consultation with others, negotiation, explicitness, discussion, reasoning, persuasion, and reflection, while writing, reading, and solving problems, all preferably by means of electronic collaboration. The electronics also make it possible to create and share multimedia applications: illustrations, diagrams, draft files, hypermedia, and so forth.

Necessity Clearly, a great deal of professional practice is extremely discursive, and the knowledge and processes in a considerable amount of practice are rarely stable and constant. The business community consequently seeks individuals with a potential for transformation. That is all very well for the business community but less so for higher education, as it is almost entirely individual, lecturer-driven and therefore seems to be a miserable preparation for professional practice.Higher education and especially a teacher training institute should do something with CSCL and, as this book explains, that demands different methods of teaching. Many examples are provided and the role of technology is clearly explained with due reservation. Here, I discuss a couple of the book's key points.

Spectacular Stahl's chapter is simply spectacular. He explains on the basis of an extremely simple example how learning takes place in a group, and that this is something completely different from how an individual learns. Although, as one of my colleagues commented, the example (a dialogue between a group of young children at a visual display unit) is not about high academic education, its discussion clearly shows how much participant's contributions to a discussion depend on each other and build on each other, and how this can lead to an awareness of what the group does and does not understand.

New ideas on student assessment Chan and Van Aalst discuss new ideas on student assessment. The view of learning and assessment are closely related in education and the chapter provides practical examples for teaching staff who have gone a long way towards integrating collaborative learning into education. The key concept is that student assessment has to be formative and must contribute to the students' own learning and collaboration. The (exclusive) emphasis on assessment of individuals should be replaced. The chapter by Chan and Van Aalst can offer inspiration to teaching staff who use electronic discussion forums and wonder how they can increase the depth of the discussions, encourage greater participation and (ultimately) help students attain a deeper understanding.

Experience necessary for success The chapter by Jarvela, Hakkinen, Arvaja and Leinonen summarises instruction techniques for supporting CSCL. It certainly is instructive but it is not always clear what the purpose of the empirical support is and what experiences there have been with implementation in practice. Take for instance the wonderful technique of 'inquiry-based-learning', in which, for example, students conceive of and investigate their own research questions, in response to a common subject in a course, and then share their knowledge of what they have discovered with each other. I'd say try it and share the learning experiences, but they will probably not be inquiry-based learning experiences. I'm afraid summary descriptions of this kind will never bridge the gap between theory and practice and are therefore likely to lead to discouragement. It doesn't help when the authors say at the end that a little experience is necessary to achieve success with the new learning method. That is precisely what the problem is. And also, exactly what experience is needed? Where do you get it?

Which tools go with which educational viewpoint and learning task Other chapters deal with subjects such as the role of feedback, research into human support and collaborative learning, reasons for making the electronic environment more social, and there is a discussion of most of the systems and environments that support collaborative learning. Another important chapter is the one by De Graaf, De Laat and Scheltinga, in which a good attempt is made to link the educational viewpoint and learning task to the possibilities of electronic collaborative tools.

Conclusion This book can be recommended to anyone with a background in education who would like to know more about CSCL. The text may be too abstract for beginners and too academic for use as a practical guide. However, I may be underestimating the reader. I therefore end with the recommendation I made at the start: if you want to include a CSCL course in your study programme, this book is for you.

This review is originally published on the SURF E-learning Themesite http://e-learning.surf.n

[Source: www.elearning-reviews.org]
Von Jerry Andriessen, erfasst im Biblionetz am 01.10.2005

iconBemerkungen zu diesem Buch

Gerry StahlThis book’s title should not be taken to imply that we know a large set of eternal truths about CSCL, but that we are engaged in a collaborative process of building shared knowing about the field and its potential.
Von Gerry Stahl im Buch What we know about CSCL and implementing it in higher education (2004) im Text Building collaborative knowing

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KB IB clear
Gregory Abowd, Albert Bandura, Russell Beale, Carl Bereiter, John Seely Brown, Jerome S. Bruner, Allan Collins, Donald F. Dansereau, Pierre Dillenbourg, Alan Dix, P. Duguid, Janet Finlay, Frank Fischer, D. R. Forsyth, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Ernst von Glasersfeld, Rogers Hall, Martin Heidegger, Patrick Jermann, David H. Jonassen, Immanuel Kant, Paul A. Kirschner, Timothy D. Koschmann, Jean Lave, Heinz Mandl, Karl Marx, Naomi Miyake, Martin Muehlenbrock, Jakob Nielsen, Donald A. Norman, A. M. O'Donnell, Walter Ong, Michael Polanyi, Jeremy Roschelle, Marlene Scardamalia, Daniel L. Schwartz, John R. Searle, Ben Shneiderman, A. Soller, Lew Semjonowitsch Vygotsky, Etienne Wenger, Ludwig Wittgenstein

KB IB clear
anchored instructionanchored instruction, AwarenessAwareness, Chatchat, collaboration scriptcollaboration script, Computercomputer, Computervermittelte Kommunikationcomputer mediated communication, CSCLComputer-Supported Collaborative Learning, distance learning / Fernunterrichtdistance learning, Efficiency (Usability-Dimension)Efficiency, E-LearningE-Learning, E-Maile-mail, Entdeckendes Lerneninquiry learning, Epistemologie (Erkenntnistheorie)epistemology, Errors (Usability-Dimension)Errors (Usability-Dimension), Explizites Wissen, Gefühlefeelings, GenderGender, Gruppenarbeitgroup work, Gruppendynamikgroup dynamics, HCI/MMI (Human-Computer-Interaction)Human-Computer-Interaction, Hermeneutik, ICTICT, Implizites Wissenimplicit knowledge, Interaktioninteraction, Internetinternet, Jigsaw methodJigsaw method, Learnability (Usability-Dimension)Learnability, Lernenlearning, Lernumgebung, Memorability (Usability-Dimension)Memorability, microworldmicroworld, Motivationmotivation, NewsgroupsNewsgroups, Nonverbale Kommunikation, Ontologieontology, Pädagogik / Erziehungswissenschaft, problem-based learningproblem-based learning, Satisfaction (Usability-Dimension)Satisfaction (Usability-Dimension), situated learning / situated cognitionsituated learning, social loafingsocial loafing, social presence theorysocial presence theory, Softwaresoftware, Support, Theorietheory, UsabilityUsability, Vertrauentrust, Wissen, Wissensmanagementknowledge management
Jahr UmschlagTitelAbrufeIBOBKBLB
Das Kapital (Karl Marx) 20000
Group dynamics (D. R. Forsyth) 3100
Oralität und Literalität (Walter Ong) 22200
 Tractatus logico-philosophicus (Ludwig Wittgenstein) 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, 7, 4, 3, 2, 2, 5, 12100241213967
1781  Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Immanuel Kant) 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 7, 3, 2, 2, 3, 8, 84419811882
1930Mind in Society (Lew Semjonowitsch Vygotsky) 5, 4, 7, 11, 5, 4, 5, 3, 17, 4, 8, 1213718121367
1958Personal Knowledge (Michael Polanyi) 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 828281239
1960The Process of Education (Jerome S. Bruner) 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 7, 5, 6, 2, 3, 4, 8611582176
1960Wahrheit und Methode (Hans-Georg Gadamer) 20300
1962Being and Time (Martin Heidegger) 13000
1962Thought and Language (Lew Semjonowitsch Vygotsky) 38200
1966The Tacit Dimension (Michael Polanyi) 5, 2, 3, 7, 6, 3, 1, 1, 8, 4, 4, 12371122918
1969Sprechakte (John R. Searle) 16100
1987Designing the user interface (Ben Shneiderman) 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 3, 635261219
1988    The Design of Everyday Things (Donald A. Norman) 1, 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 126220124975
1991Acts of Meaning (Jerome S. Bruner) 20000
1991Situated Learning (Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger) 2, 5, 3, 3, 2, 6, 4, 1, 6, 2, 4, 613126913
1992Cognitive Tools for Learning Personenreihenfolge alphabetisch und evtl. nicht korrekt (David H. Jonassen, M. Kommers, J. T. Mayes) 5, 3, 1, 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 1, 5, 3, 61986940
1993    Mensch Maschine Methodik Personenreihenfolge alphabetisch und evtl. nicht korrekt (Gregory Abowd, Russell Beale, Alan Dix, Janet Finlay) 1, 3, 1, 3, 5, 2, 8, 1, 3, 1, 3, 474144982
1994    Usability Engineering (Jakob Nielsen) 4, 2, 7, 1, 5, 2, 3, 3, 3, 1, 7, 4314445216
1996Computers in the classroom (David H. Jonassen) 3, 4, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, 4, 2, 1, 6, 825108780
1996CSCL (Timothy D. Koschmann) 3, 2, 3, 4, 2, 5, 8, 1, 4, 2, 5, 10995010981
1996The Culture of Education (Jerome S. Bruner) 15000
1998Self-efficacy (Albert Bandura) 26000
1999Collaborative Learning (Pierre Dillenbourg) 5, 3, 1, 4, 2, 5, 7, 3, 3, 2, 5, 126332121854
1999  Designing Web Usability (Jakob Nielsen) 5, 4, 2, 2, 8, 2, 2, 4, 2, 8, 4, 6207664533
2001Euro-CSCL Personenreihenfolge alphabetisch und evtl. nicht korrekt (Pierre Dillenbourg, A. Eurelings, K. Hakkarainen) 4, 279, 4, 5, 5, 7, 11, 2, 5, 6, 6, 1446110141544
2002   Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (Gerry Stahl) 1, 1, 1, 1, 4, 4, 5, 5, 2, 6, 5, 8445081293
2002Education and Mind in the Knowledge Age (Carl Bereiter) 4, 1, 2, 2, 1, 3, 3, 2, 3, 1, 3, 41554711
2002Three worlds of CSCL (Paul A. Kirschner) 4, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 6, 5, 2, 1, 6, 6583961365
2002   CSCL 2 Personenreihenfolge alphabetisch und evtl. nicht korrekt (Rogers Hall, Timothy D. Koschmann, Naomi Miyake) 2, 2, 3, 2, 1, 3, 1, 4, 1, 1, 2, 29132589
Jahr UmschlagTitelAbrufeIBOBKBLB
Philosophische Untersuchungen (Ludwig Wittgenstein) 38000
1989    Situated Cognition and the Culture of Learning (John Seely Brown, Allan Collins, P. Duguid) 4, 3, 4, 3, 2, 7, 6, 3, 8, 3, 10, 125911121092
1992What are cognitive tools? (David H. Jonassen) 10100
1992    Learning by collaborating (Jeremy Roschelle) 1, 4, 1, 1, 3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 418104377
1992Scripted Cooperation in Student Dyads (A. M. O'Donnell, Donald F. Dansereau) 7, 5, 4, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 42124530
1994    Computer Support for Knowledge-Building Communities (Marlene Scardamalia, Carl Bereiter) 1, 6, 3, 2, 5, 9, 3, 3, 4, 2, 3, 850781262
1994Toward a constructivist design model (David H. Jonassen) 1000
1995    The Emergence of Abstract Representations in Dyad Problem Solving (Daniel L. Schwartz) 1, 1, 3, 1, 1, 1, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2, 6976149
1999    What do you mean by 'collaborative learning'? (Pierre Dillenbourg) 1, 3, 1, 5, 4, 7, 2, 2, 4, 5, 5, 163221161072
2001Facilitating the construction of shared knowledge with graphical representation tools in face-to-face and computer-mediated scenarios (Frank Fischer, Heinz Mandl) 2300
2001   From Mirroring to Guiding (Patrick Jermann, A. Soller, Martin Muehlenbrock) 2, 1, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 6956378
2002    Over-scripting CSCL (Pierre Dillenbourg) 1, 5, 3, 8, 8, 6, 7, 4, 8, 5, 12, 184633181857
2002   Can we support CSCL? (Paul A. Kirschner) 4, 4, 3, 1, 1, 2, 3, 1, 1, 2, 2, 41274600
2002Task and Interaction Regulation in Controlling a Traffic Simulation (Patrick Jermann) 3000

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Scripts for computer-supported collaborative learning

Effects of social and epistemic collaboration scripts on collaborative knowledge construction

(Armin Weinberger) (2003)    

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