You are here:

Analyzing collaborative knowledge construction: multiple methods for integrated understanding

Computers & Education Volume 41, Number 4, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Documenting collaborative knowledge construction is critical for research in computer-supported collaborative learning. Because this is a multifaceted phenomenon, mixed methods are necessary to construct a good understanding of collaborative interactions, otherwise there is a risk of being overly reductionistic. In this paper I use quantitative methods of verbal data analysis, qualitative analysis, and techniques of data representation to characterize two successful knowledge building interactions from a sociocultural perspective. In the first study, a computer simulation helped mediate the interaction and in the second, a student-constructed representation was an important mediator. A fine-grained turn-by-turn analysis of the group discussions was supplemented with qualitative analysis of larger units of dialogue. In addition, chronological representations of discourse features and tool-related activity were used in study 2 to gain an integrated understanding of how a student-generated representation mediated collaborative knowledge construction. It is only by mixing methods that collaborative knowledge construction can be well characterized.


Hmelo-Silver, C.E. (2003). Analyzing collaborative knowledge construction: multiple methods for integrated understanding. Computers & Education, 41(4), 397-420. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved March 8, 2021 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on April 18, 2013. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct:


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact