Computer-supported Collaborative Learning Essay

Computer-supported Collaborative Learning Essay

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As John Carroll and Ann Bishop state “Most learning takes place in communities.” (2005). This could be informal communities, such as a conversation at a workplace, or it could be a more formal setting such as a distance education course. Regardless of the level of formality, humans learn from one another through communication in some fashion. The issue for educators, then is how best to channel this natural tendency for learning, and how to best utilize technology in the process. Therefore, computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) focuses on employing the benefits of collaborative learning via networked computers (Computer-supported Collaborative Learning, 2007). The end-goal is to make use of the power of technology based on reliable and ubiquitous computing environments to facilitate and support learning in communities (Carroll, et. al., 2005).
Pamela Jennings defines computer-supported collaborative learning best when she calls it, “social interfaces or ‘discourse wranglers’ whose function it is to facilitate discourse and support the intersubjective contextualization of ideas, assumptions and beliefs among its users” (2004). This type of tool can be anything from a blog, to a PDA, to a web-enabled television. The progress which technology has made adds fuel to a constructivist fire by providing a foundation for collaboration which simply could not have existed even five years ago. In fact, communications have progressed and smart handheld devices have emerged so quickly that having the computer’s “support” is almost arguable.
The purpose of CSCL is to support collaborative learning through the use of technology, especially courses which utilize the Internet. Such classes are a natural fit for carefully fadi...

... middle of paper ...

..., & Bishop, A. P. (2005). Special section on learning in communities. The Journal of Community Informatics, 1(2), 116–133. Retrieved January 4, 2008 from
Computer-supported Collaborative Learning. (2007). Wikipedia. Retrieved January 4, 2008 from
Fischer, G., Rohde, M. & Wulf, V. (2007) Community-based learning: The core competency of residential, research-based universities. ijcscl 2 (1), pp. 9-40. Retrieved January 3, 2008 from
Jennings, P. (2004). Reflections on interdisciplinary team development for the design of a platform for computer supported collaborative play. Digital Creativity; Dec2004, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p209-222. Retrieved January 4, 2007 from EBSCOHost.

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