Roles in computer-supported collaborative learning

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1 Introduction

The role concept has an important function in various types of collaborative learning and collective learning.

Several authors, e.g. Strijbos & Weinberger (2010) distinguish between emerging and scripted roles, i.e. between roles that emerge from interaction patterns of the participants and roles that are defined in a learning scenario, e.g. in CSCL script.

Strijbos and de Laat (2010) discerned three levels of the role concept: micro (role as task), meso (role as pattern) and macro (role as stance).

Spada (2010) argues that “Scripting roles may have two successive effects. Firstly, adopting the scripted roles while collaborating with the script and secondly, learning the scripted roles and transpose them to unscripted collaboration. Learning scripted roles involves, for example, becoming aware of the conditions of their usage and of their consequences for the collaboration. This long-lasting effect of acquiring the competence of strategic role usage is what we should be looking for.”

See also:

2 Scripted roles

Scripted roles are defined with respect to learning outcome goals that in turn defined cognitive activities learners should engage in. Within this very general perspective, one can distinguish very different kinds of designed role distributions.

E.g. De Wever, Van Keer, Schellens & Valcke (2010), in an online dicussion group scenario, implemented the roles Starter, Summariser, Moderator, Theoretician, and Source searcher.

3 Emerging roles

According to Spada (2010), Strijbos and De Laat (2010) conceptualise “eight roles as participative stances along the dimensions group size (small, large), orientation (individual, group), and effort (low, high): Captain, Over-rider, Free-rider, Ghost, Pillar, Generator, Hanger-on, and Lurker.”

See also digital divide (i.e. our summary of Isa Jahnke's media user typology).

4 Bibliography

  • De Wever, Bram; Hilde Van Keer, Tammy Schellens, Martin Valcke, Roles as a structuring tool in online discussion groups: The differential impact of different roles on social knowledge construction, Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 26, Issue 4, Emerging and Scripted Roles in Computer-supported Collaborative Learning, July 2010, Pages 516-523, DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2009.08.008.
  • Strijbos Willem-Jan & Maarten F. De Laat (2010) Developing the role concept for computer-supported collaborative learning: An explorative synthesis, Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 26, Issue 4, Emerging and Scripted Roles in Computer-supported Collaborative Learning, July 2010, Pages 495-505, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2009.08.014
  • Strijbos Jan-Willem & Armin Weinberger (2010). Emerging and scripted roles in computer-supported collaborative learning, Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 26, Issue 4, Emerging and Scripted Roles in Computer-supported Collaborative Learning, July 2010, Pages 491-494, DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2009.08.006
  • Spada, Hans (2010). Of scripts, roles, positions, and models, Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 26, Issue 4, Emerging and Scripted Roles in Computer-supported Collaborative Learning, July 2010, Pages 547-550, DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2009.08.011.

5 Links

  • Special issue on Emerging and Scripted Roles in Computer-supported Collaborative Learning, Computers in Human Behavior (Strijbos and Weinberger, eds.) DOI:10.1016/S0747-5632(10)00098-1, ISSN 0747-5632