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A Relational, Indirect, Meso-Level Approach to CSCL Design in the next Decade

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IJCCL Volume 1, Number 1, ISSN 1556-1607


This paper reviews some foundational issues that we believe will affect the progress of CSCL over the next ten years. In particular, we examine the terms "technology", "affordance", and "infrastructure" and we propose a relational approach to their use in CSCL. Following a consideration of networks, space, and trust as conditions of productive learning, we propose an indirect approach to design in CSCL. The work supporting this theoretical paper is based on the outcomes of two European research networks: E-QUEL, a network investigating e-quality in e-learning; and Kaleidoscope, a European Union Framework 6 Network of Excellence. In arguing for a relational understanding of affordance, infrastructure, and technology we also argue for a focus on what we describe as meso-level activity. Overall this paper does not aim to be comprehensive or summative in its review of the state of the art in CSCL, but rather to provide a view of the issues currently facing CSCL from a European perspective.


Jones, C., Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. & Lindstrom, B. (2006). A Relational, Indirect, Meso-Level Approach to CSCL Design in the next Decade. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 1(1), 35-56. Retrieved July 9, 2020 from .

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