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Designing Electronic Collaborative Learning Environments

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Educational Technology Research and Development Volume 52, Number 3, ISSN 1042-1629


Electronic collaborative learning environments for learning and working are in vogue. Designers design them according to their own constructivist interpretations of what collaborative learning is and what it should achieve. Educators employ them with different educational approaches and in diverse situations to achieve different ends. Students use them, sometimes very enthusiastically, but often in a perfunctory way. Finally, researchers study them and--as is usually the case when apples and oranges are compared--find no conclusive evidence as to whether or not they work, where they do or do not work, when they do or do not work and, most importantly, why they do or do not work. This contribution presents an affordance framework for such collaborative learning environments; an interaction design procedure for designing, developing, and implementing them; and an educational affordance approach to the use of tasks in those environments. It also presents the results of three projects dealing with these three issues.


Kirschner, P., Strijbos, J.W., Kreijns, K. & Beers, P.J. (2003). Designing Electronic Collaborative Learning Environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(3), 47-66. Retrieved March 30, 2020 from .

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