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Pattern Discovery for the Design of Face-to-Face Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Activities

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Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 13, Number 2, ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647


This paper presents a methodology of discovering social action patterns in collaborative learning activities for use in improving activity design, and in particular for restructuring existing designs involving face-to-face social actions to enhance their social dynamics and thus better ensure the achievement of a specified aim. An activity in this context is defined as a sequence of actions that an actor may perform to accomplish a task objective. The proposed methodology validates a design experimentally by comparing the actions it specifies with those that are observed in an actual activity. Analyzing the data collected through such observation is central to determining which actions would improve the social dynamics of the original design. The criteria for adopting a discovered pattern will depend on the activity's aims and the kind of actions observed. The proposed methodology is illustrated using data gathered during physics classes in two schools. The findings suggest that when formulating technologically mediated activities inside a classroom, designers should seek to incorporate face-to-face actions that support the dynamics of the activity and assist in achieving the social objectives of the tasks performed. The inclusion of such actions in design upgrades can also help prevent the occurrence of actions that interfere with the activity. (Contains 9 tables and 2 figures.)


Capponi, M.F., Nussbaum, M., Marshall, G. & Lagos, M.E. (2010). Pattern Discovery for the Design of Face-to-Face Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Activities. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 13(2), 40-52. Retrieved June 27, 2019 from .

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