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Collaborative practice of science construction in a computer-based multimedia environment


Computers & Education Volume 30, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This paper discusses a case study of nine pairs working collaboratively in a multimedia CD-ROM science environment. The main goal of the study was to investigate the ways in which the collaborative use of a multimedia-based encyclopaedia can foster science learning. By focusing on pupils' discursive, cognitive and collaborative activities, the study highlights pupils' information handling and knowledge construction in the multimedia context. Also the pupils' developing understanding of the science concepts dealt with in the tasks are considered. The research data consist of video and audio recordings, interviews, questionnaires and field notes collected from one 6th grade primary classroom. The results show that the pupils' activities during task-processing were highly procedural and product-oriented. The nature of the activity was also reflected in the pupils' poster displays indicating rather surface-level and incoherent understanding of the science concepts. The pupils were also found to have inefficient skills in accessing and retrieving information from the multimedia software. Although the findings are strongly linked with the nature of the collaborative task designed around the multimedia context and with the sociocultural background of the pupils, the study illuminates common problems related to the use of multimedia-based CD-ROMs in learning and points out aspects which need to be considered in order to make collaborative learning more effective in multimedia environments.


Kumpulainen, K. & Mutanen, M. (1998). Collaborative practice of science construction in a computer-based multimedia environment. Computers & Education, 30(1), 75-85. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved January 19, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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