Coordinating collaborative problem-solving processes by providing part-task congruent representations

Bert Slof, Gijsbert Erkens, Paul A. Kirschner

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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    This study investigated the effects of representational scripting on computer-supported collaborative solving of a complex problem. The premise was that effective student interaction would be evoked when the problem-solving task was structured into part-tasks supported representations congruent to the part-tasks (i.e., representational scripting). It was hypothesized that this would lead a better coordination of student discussions of the concepts, principles and procedures in the knowledge domain and consequently to better problem-solving performance. In triads, 39 secondary education students worked on a case-based business-economics problem in four experimental conditions. In one condition groups received three representations, each congruent to one of the three part-tasks. In the other three conditions, groups received one of the representations for all three part-tasks, thus a representation congruent to one part-task, but incongruent to the other two. The results show that using representational scripting evoked more communicative activities and led to better problem-solving performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2011


    • Problem solving
    • External representations
    • Part tasks


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