Sustaining learning design and pedagogical planning in CSCL

Francesca Pozzi, Donatella Persico


This paper tackles the issue of learning design and pedagogical planning in the context of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). In this sector, we witness the same variety of approaches and tools that we find in the technology-enhanced learning (TEL) research field. In particular, in the CSCL context, notions such as “Collaborative Learning Flow Patterns” (CLFP) or “collaborative scripts” have been used to describe and/or run online collaborative learning activities and, consequently, tools have been implemented to reify these concepts and visualise the designs. Despite the differences, most of the existing tools support the representation of learning designs that are already “in the designer’s mind”, while fewer tools specifically aim to provide guidance and support to CSCL designers in the early phases of the design process, that is, when they have to make critical decisions concerning the educational approach, the tools to be used, and the ways to engage the target population. This paper, while focusing on this gap in CSCL research, proposes a unifying model, aimed at supporting pedagogical planning and decision making in the CSCL design process based on the interplay of four model components: Task, Teams, Time and Technology.

Keywords: computer-supported collaborative learning; design process; 4Ts model; learning design

(Published: 16 September 2013)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology Supplement 2013, 21: 17585 -


Computer Supported Collaborative Learning; design process; model; learning design

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