SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Conceptual Context
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussions
  8. References

Document-centered software, such as the CoNote application developed at Cornell University, supports cooperative work systems by facilitating communication within work groups via shared annotations (marginal notes) on a set of documents. The central idea is that shared annotations provide an effective communications forum for groups whose work involves frequent reference to some set of documents (e.g., teachers and students, field service workers, editors and publishers, organizations). In this study we examined how students used annotation tools for communication and learning and attempted to identify which factors influenced students’ interpretations of these collaboration tools. It appears that the beliefs that users hold about what constitutes a legitimate educational experience can influence the value they ascribe to educational software. Gender also seemed to have an impact on whether students felt that the annotations helped them create better Web sites and learn more effectively.


Introduction

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Conceptual Context
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussions
  8. References

Existing literature presents conflicting evidence of how CMC affects group coordination and communication. It is difficult to make any meaningful generalizations or predictions about the role of different communication technologies in fostering or inhibiting group participation because the particular characteristics and objectives of a group and its members largely determine the need for different modes of communication. By altering expectations, behavior and group dynamics, CMC systems sometimes facilitate, but at other times hinder, the accomplishment of group objectives. For instance, while Sproull (1986) argues that CMC systems allow for increased egalitarian participation, Herring (1993) claims that CMC groups are less democratic than their proponents claim, because gender-based communication styles, and therefore the power dynamics and biases associated with these styles, carry over into electronic environments. Bordia (1997) provides a synthesis of 18 CMC experiments reporting similar conflicting findings. Some examples of potentially favorable CMC impacts for learning include the disinhibited effect (Dutton, 1996), unblocking users' ability to produce ideas (Gallupe, Bastianutti & Cooper, 1991), and providing a built-in memory and repository of exchanged ideas (Chan, 1997; Gallupe et al., 1991)

This paper examines the use of a document-centered CMC tool created for discussion grounded in and around an artifact. First, we review conceptual issues explored in educational CMC research. Next, we discuss the grounded approach to the use of communication tools by students. We then give the results of a study that examined how students made use of a situated annotation tool and the factors that influenced their perceptions of the usefulness of the tool in an educational context. Finally, we discuss some future research ideas in this paradigm.

Conceptual Context

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Conceptual Context
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussions
  8. References

In a collaborative learning environment knowledge is not transmitted to the students by the teacher but, rather, knowledge is created in an active dialogue among those who seek to understand and apply concepts. Such environments allow students to participate in authentic activities, and to reflect on and modify their understanding (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Harasim, Hiltz, Teles, & Turoff, 1995; Hiltz, 1997; Wegerif, 1998). Murphy, Drabier & Epps (1997) suggest that the very nature of computer conferencing (the capacity to support interaction between and among students and teachers) promotes a collaborative approach to learning. The ability to read and respond to messages posted to an online group creates an open forum for the creation of knowledge. However, collaboration can be negatively affected if communication is stripped of its context, causing the participants to lose the train of the group's thought. This problem usually surfaces at the beginning of a project or topic when traffic is heaviest and when the students are least experienced with the technology (Hiltz, 1994, 1997; Hiltz & Wellman, 1997; Sudweeks & Rafaeli, 1996; Wegerif, 1998).

The central tenets of our research are that (1) document-mediated communications play an important role in learning and problem solving and (2) interactive information resources can provide a powerful new means of supporting such communications. By document-mediated communications, we mean those communication experiences for which a document sets the orientation and significantly frames the context and content. A common example is the notes that are written in the margins of a document. Brown & Duguid (1996) argue that much of the power of fax machines derives from their role in facilitating this type of communication.

Web-based document annotation systems, such as the CoNote system developed at Cornell (Davis & Huttenlocher, 1995) or the ComMentor system from Stanford, extend this “marginal notes” metaphor, enabling documents to provide the context for group discussions. Our experience with the use of these systems, and some preliminary studies that we discuss below, suggest that they play a particularly important enabling role for students with lower self-confidence or with less prior experience in technical (computer science) courses.

A central reason for the success of the Web is that it extends familiar notions from the world of paper documents to the world of interactive information systems. In fact, the Web is re-defining what documents are and how they are used and is transforming the author-reader relationship. Documents are changing from static artifacts produced by a few people for consumption by many people, to dynamic, interactive artifacts that can be produced and used by the same group of people (Brown and Duguid, 1996). Hearst (1996) notes that electronic documents, which make use of hypertextual annotations, create dynamic artifacts that can be used “for supporting dialogue and commentary. Because writing often promotes more writing, documents can be used both to extend debate or as a common basis for agreement.”

Hooper (1992) notes that in cooperative learning experiences, students often benefit more from giving help than from receiving it. In organizing suggestions to give to peers, students are forced to think more deeply about ideas and concepts. Koschmann, et. al. (1996) also believe that the articulation of ideas helps to strengthen a student's understanding of those ideas. It is possible that having to provide other students with feedback on their projects forces students to think more thoroughly about the ideas brought up in the course. For this reason, the integration of annotation tools for promoting critical dialogue among peers may serve to benefit students whose work is being evaluated as well as students who are doing the evaluations.

Despite a rapidly growing recognition of the potential impacts of such developments, we have relatively little understanding of the complex issues surrounding the use of these new resources. The dearth of knowledge exists in a wide range of domains, including but not limited to the design and development of new systems and tools to retrieve and manipulate documents, as well as the uses and impacts of such new tools on learning and problem solving.

The Conote shared annotation system (Davis & Huttenlocher, 1995) has been used to enrich a number of Computer Science courses at Cornell. CoNote is a computer-supported cooperative work system designed to facilitate communication within a group via the use of shared annotations on a set of documents (the ComMentor from Stanford uses a related model). The central idea underlying CoNote and this research is that shared annotations provide an effective forum for groups whose work involves frequent reference to some set of documents, because the documents set a context for communication. In our experience, the shared annotation model provides a better forum for such collaborative activities because the document context enables people to engage in relevant discussions more easily. The shared annotations model also provides a more structured forum than shared authoring tools, because the documents constitute a (relatively) fixed referent for discussions.

Computer-mediated communication is not without potentially negative consequences for the quality of communication and for the social relationships maintained or transformed through that communication. Advocates of the notion of media richness, in which the ability of a medium to explicitly transfer verbal and non-verbal cues is believed to affect the quality of communication via that medium (Culnan & Markus, 1987), have addressed this topic. Computer-mediated communication has also been theorized to alter organizational roles (Cash, 1991; Burkhardt & Brass, 1990)

In previous research we discovered a number of social reasons why people do not collaborate effectively (Gay & Grosz-Ngate, 1994; Gay & Lentini, 1995). Some students claimed they did not want to leave their best ideas online. Others felt that by using resources and annotations they were somehow “cheating.” Students also felt that it was difficult to follow discussions and keep to the topic without coordination or leadership (Gay, Boehner, & Panella, 1997). We were interested in examining other social factors which may shape collaborative activities and environments. For example, studies in the epistemological development of college students have found that female students tend to view learning from a connected, rather than individualistic, perspective (Baxter-Magolda, 1992; Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger & Tarule, 1986). In other words, women may be more likely to see the sharing of ideas and opinions as an integral part of the learning process. For this reason, women may have more positive attitudes in general about the educational value of peer communication and cooperation, leading them to value more highly environments, electronic or otherwise, that foster such interaction.

This new study involves a more integrated use of conversation and documents. Conversations are specifically clustered around artifacts that provide a common point of reference. Also, faculty participation in the CoNote discussions provided an authoritative voice and presence missing from earlier studies. We were studying the implications of:

  • the ability to comment on created knowledge in the same medium in which the knowledge was created
  • the participation of experts in learning conversations
  • asynchronicity

Methods

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Conceptual Context
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussions
  8. References

Description of Test Environment

To explore the concept of document-based conversations, we studied group work organized around a document using the CoNote document annotation system in the context of world wide Web design class taught in Cornell's Department of Computer Science. Sample CoNote screenshots are included in Appendix 3. We provide here a descriptive accounting of how students used the tool and their perceptions of its usefulness for learning and collaborating. The particular course under study was a large, introductory course taught primarily in a lecture format. Approximately 100 students were enrolled, although only about 2/3 of students attended any given class. A member of the research team acted as a participant observer in the course in order to collect relevant contextual information.

The stated objective of the class is described on the course Web page. The goal of Computer Science 130 is to educate students about aspects of computational thinking and computer programming that will enable them to create rich, interactive documents. The focus of the course is on the use of computational tools for creating and working with interactive information resources. The course materials specifically indicate that students need not have any programming experience to successfully complete the class, although the participant observer indicated that such experience would have proven very helpful. Students in this course used four graduated assignments to develop a Web site based on a topic of interest to them. In addition to working on their own sites, each student was required by the teaching staff to comment on three other students’ sites using the CoNote tool. The three students assigned to comment on a particular project were referred to as the “document group” for that project.

Individual students looked at the site created by the site designer and then used the CoNote computerized bulletin board to post commentary. Like many Web-based bulletin boards, the postings listed the name of the poster and categorized postings by title/thread. Using a button positioned next to the discussion area, commenters were linked to the actual Web document prepared by the student. The professor's intention for using such a tool was to allow students to make and receive comments about work in an appropriate computer environment. Students using the tool were also co-present in classes and may have engaged in face-to-face discussions as well. (However, the participant observer noted that the instructor did not allow any class time for discussion of student work.) CoNote and similar systems differ from a Web-based bulletin board in that the ability to annotate and the medium of knowledge creation are the same (Web-based). CoNote, as an artifact, then, proved to be an appropriate tool in this Web context, but might prove less appropriate in other contexts. Similar tools could be used in other environments, provided the context for the creation and the commentary were the same, a hypothesis we are testing.

Data Collection and Analysis

The participant observer attended all class sessions, completed the projects, used the CoNote tool, and kept a journal documenting his experiences in the course, thereby providing valuable contextual descriptions that informed the analyses and interpretations of other data. Near the end of the semester, all members of the course were asked to complete a questionnaire that posed questions regarding relevant demographic information, computer experience and perceptions of utility of the CoNote tool for their coursework. The questionnaire largely consisted of questions asked in previous studies we had conducted. About 60 percent of students responded to the questionnaire, which was administered during regular class period. Results from the survey were analyzed using SPSS.

Finally, all of the annotations and conversations about documents were organized by document and were subjected to content analysis. The full sample of 124 document group conversations was analyzed with respect to the number of comments generated, participation of the document author in the conversation, and the gender of the author. A smaller sample of 13 document groups was analyzed in greater depth to determine whether the comment was a required comment, how many related comments followed, the type of comment, whether the comment referred to technical aspects of Web site production, whether the comment contained statements intended to show affiliation or affect, whether the comment offered advice, and the gender of the commenter. Types and directions of comments included those from students directed to a document designer, from the document designer to other students, from non-designer students to other non-designer student, from the designer to course graders and from course graders to students.

Technical comments were defined as those containing specific references to HTML tags, Javascript codes or other specific details about how to manage the programming of a site. Affiliative comments were defined as personally disclosive statements (for example “I don’ t understand Mouseovers either,”), comments referring to relationships among students that were not pertinent to the document at hand and expressions of feelings or wishes for others. Advice was defined as statements that included either specific instructions or suggestions for things that should be done. In all, 197 comments were analyzed in this way. In particular, we analyzed the content and structures of the situated conversations in an attempt to provide answers to three questions: 1. Do students perceive document-based annotation tools as useful?; 2. How did the students use CoNote?; and 3. Did the perceptions and uses of this tool vary based on student characteristics?

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Conceptual Context
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussions
  8. References

Two-thirds of the students were juniors, seniors or graduate students. Survey respondents were 70 percent male. About 30 percent of the respondents were engineering or computer science majors–the remainder were distributed among other subjects. Respondents were asked to rate their proficiency as programmers and software designers. Results are shown in Figure 1.

image

Figure 1. Self-reported level of competency as a programmer

Download figure to PowerPoint

It should be noted that the data analyzed are all self-assessment data. Therefore, findings refer to how students assessed their own competency. No pretest was given to determine computer, network or software design competency. As is evident from these tables, the self-selected respondents expressed doubts about their programming abilities. Responses to another question demonstrated similar mixed feelings about software design abilities. (question 11)

Do students perceive document-based annotation tools as useful?

Student perceptions were measured through direct responses to the questionnaire. The next set of tables deals with student assessments of the impact of CoNote on their educational experience in the course.

The analysis reveals that the majority of students felt that CoNote helped them build a better Web site and made them think (see Figure 2). Surprisingly, however, the vast majority of students also stated that they did not believe that CoNote helped them learn. This result suggests that students perceive of learning as something other than thinking and improving their performance on class assignments. Unfortunately, we were not able to discover through analysis of our survey what students believe constitutes an authentic learning experience. Perhaps the student responses reflect a difference in attitudes towards learning demonstrated via experience (such as composing a document using class concepts) and demonstrated via assessment (such as performance on an exam).

image

Figure 2. Student assessments of overall utility of CoNote

Download figure to PowerPoint

Students had a very positive assessment of the value of CoNote for developing relationships that were helpful to others. Almost 95 percent of students felt that other students read their comments and 98 percent felt that their comments were helpful to other students. It is interesting to consider whether the students would have said other students learned from using CoNote even if they themselves did not.

How did students use CoNote?

On the bulletin board, 79 total documents and comment sets were available for analysis. Although we obtained at least partial information from all of the respondents, 45 were incomplete and were dropped from this analysis. Figure 7 shows the number of comments per document. As is evident from the figure, most of the documents generated at least the minimum required commentary from three students on each of four assignments for a total of 12. In some cases, commentary stopped when the document creator stopped working on the site, presumably dropping the course, perhaps accounting for the low number of comments in some groups.

Although students were only required to comment on others’ Web sites, in over half of the cases, the author of the document participated in the commentary. Out of 79 document groups studied, 48 involved participation from the site designer. Site designer comments ranged from a quick “thanks for the suggestions” to more detailed explanations of what was done and why it was done in that particular way.

A total of 197 comments from 13 documents were subjected to more detailed content analysis. About 45 percent of the comments were made as a part of the class requirement. The types of comments posted are listed in Figure 4. As the table shows, when the authors were involved in the postings, they were often extremely vocal, sometimes responding to each posting directed to their documents. A “follow-up posting” was one for which a student used the “post follow-up” button to include it on the class bulletin board. The software automatically indented these postings. Most students did not post any comments as follow-ups, accounting for the large number of postings that failed to elicit a response (147 out of 197). This method of coding the responses should not be taken as evidence that students did not respond or engage in conversations. The content of the postings indicates that students did read and respond to each other's statements about the works being examined. For example, one student noted “I didn’ t comment on the content of your page, so like [sic] it looks good and everything…but what the other two people said is totally true. Might wanna take care of that before they grade your site.” Further, only the textual archive of CoNote conversations was available for our analysis. It is important to realize that these students did meet face-to-face and were co-present on the same campus. Learning conversations may have occurred outside the environment provided by the tool.

image

Figure 4. Types of comments posted to 13 documents

Download figure to PowerPoint

The variety of types of responses is also illustrative of the fact that conversation did often develop around the documents (Sample site). Commenters did not always agree. One noted, “I know that someone else commented that you should narrow your focus, but I would recommend keeping it the same.”

It was most interesting to examine the types of information that were included in the commentary. We predicted that comments might include specific technical suggestions, social or affiliative remarks, or specific advice for the designer. Figure 5 shows the prevalence of each type of communication in the discussion. As Table 5 notes, indicates comments varied in content. In the case of technical information, they often included very specific suggestions for improving or changing portions of the site. For example, “you used this HTML tag and you should have used this one.” Another student commented, “When I filled out your guestbook, it sent me to an error page. I think you need to define the gotofile hidden field that is required for us to use the JSSaveData.” Technical comments ranged from simple hints on small aspects of programming to a few students who actually posted correct code or tags. Interestingly, even the affiliative comments were often specific to issues in the document under consideration. A student would post that they had always had trouble understanding how to perform a particular task, suggesting where the document designer could get help, for instance, “Dynamic HTML: People have had a bit of trouble in this area (myself included). I can only suggest online tutorials that I use. These are: WebReference's Dynamic HTML Tutorials.” One student posted, “The image of the cat didn’ t seem to have any connection with the theme of the site. The frame that is supposed to have the new special friend seems to be a little small for a portrait. I have no idea about how you can make this idea work. I suggest going to the gurus, [Author] or Brian and camping on their doorsteps.”

image

Figure 5. Types of content in posted comments

Download figure to PowerPoint

Is the perception and use of CoNote different based on student characteristics?

The amount of confidence students expressed in their ability to design software seemed unrelated to whether students believed the annotation software helped them build a better site. Of those students who rated themselves either very incompetent or somewhat incompetent, 63 percent reported that CoNote helped them design their site. Of the students who rated themselves somewhat or very competent as software designers, 61 percent reporting finding the tool useful. Overall, 62.5 percent found the tool useful.

By far, gender was the biggest determining factor in student perceptions of the usefulness of CoNote. A regression analysis of three potentially influential student characteristics (major, gender and classification) revealed only gender as a significant predictive variable. This gender relationship was also carried out in the actual postings by males and females. Of the postings examined in depth, 154 came from males, 36 came from females and 7 came from students whose gender could not be determined by the posting or reactions to it. A chi square analysis of the content of the postings by gender showed significant or near-significant differences in content between males (link to typical male atttitude) and females on technical content (females nearly significantly less at p<0.06) and on affiliative content (females significantly more at p<0.00001). Examples of these gender differences can be found in sample Conote site.

While students overall did not feel that the annotation software helped them learn, the gender of the student seemed to have a strong influence over how the student responded to this question. Whereas 29 percent of women said they believed using the software helped them learn, only 8 percent of the men said so. Gender also seemed to have an impact on whether students felt that the annotations helped them create better sites. Though 50 percent of the men believed it helped, 88 percent of the women said that the software was helpful.

Discussions

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Conceptual Context
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussions
  8. References

In many ways, the use of document-centered communication software in this course could be considered a success. Students did make use of the system and participation often evolved into short conversations. Although participation was a course requirement, the fact that students would take time to write detailed and specific technical advice demonstrates that the goal of keeping students cognitively involved with the material was met. For students who typically might feel less comfortable in an engineering program, i.e., women, this tool seemed to serve important functions, such as providing technical advice and allowing students to share and validate their course experiences. Although students did not all equate CoNote related activities with learning, the majority found value in the experience of using the annotation system.

The tool used in this study of computer-mediated communication differs somewhat from other tools in that conversations were focused around specific documents. This effort to keep conversations in the “productive” realm seemed to be effective. Students gave specific and detailed feedback on the sites in both required and optional commentary. This was likely due, in part, to the participation in the conversations of course graders, who sometimes commented on the quality of postings. However, the fact that students could access these sites at their own convenience may also have contributed to their willingness to provide each other with thoughtful comments.

One of our most significant findings derives from the female students’ perception of CoNote's usefulness. Many female students found this software helpful in their performance on course assignments. It is conceivable, therefore, that such tools could help meet the particular needs of the female engineering population. Use of such a tool over time may also encourage other students to begin to see peer interaction and connected learning as a valid and valuable dimension of their learning experience.

Annotation software can be particularly helpful for the less self-confident students in a course. In written evaluations at the end of the semester, a number of students reported that the CoNote system kept them from dropping the course because they could see that other students were at least as confused as they were. What makes document-centered communication different is that students are asking questions in the context of trying to understand the material related to a specific homework assignment. In this context, they are willing (in fact almost need) to ask “dumb” questions. This level of honesty and expression of shared vulnerability can foster a sense of community among students. Likewise, CoNote can enable the more active participation of students who, because of the social dynamics of the classroom, exclude themselves from active engagement.

Unfortunately, most educational environments are organized to favor independent knowledge acquisition and individual performance (Perkins, 1993). Kupperman, Wallace and Bos (1997) state that “students need to overcome many challenges before they are able to take advantage of the Internet as a tool for knowledge building” (p. 1). A major challenge is learning how to abandon the individualistic, authority-based notions of learning that traditional school structures cultivate (Morrison and Goldberg, 1996). Until students and faculty can appreciate the role that peers can play in their own learning, and the role that they in turn can play in their peers' learning, a student group, whether electronic or face-to-face, can never be more than “a collection of individuals coincidentally working on similar tasks” (Kupperman et al., 1997, p.1).

The sometimes surprising and conflicting findings of this study indicate that additional research into the use of document-mediated communication is necessary. For example, the fact that students responded negatively when asked if CoNote helped them learn, even though they said that it helped them think and build a better Web site, suggests that future studies should delve more deeply into how students define learning and what activities and interactions they believe constitute a valid learning experience. In addition, though we have suggested reasons why the female respondents might find annotation software more helpful than male students, a more thorough investigation is called for if we intend to make more definitive assertions about this phenomenon. A survey constructed with these particular concerns in mind, along with qualitative methods such as focus groups and in-depth interviews, may shed more light on both the question of student perceptions of learning and gender-based differences in the perception of collaborative environments.

Other areas of investigation that our research group intends to explore include the use of electronic tools to annotate non-textual documents and the use of tools that allow students to make non-textual annotations. Because computer-based environments enable the creation of multimedia documents, it is only fitting that the document-mediated communication that takes place should make use of numerous forms of media. Such multimedia annotations can include images, animations, audio and video clips as well as text. Because words and text are still the predominant mode of communication among many technology users, the introduction of diverse communication tools and documents will no doubt challenge the implicit assumptions engendered by the prevalence of that single communication medium.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Conceptual Context
  5. Methods
  6. Results
  7. Discussions
  8. References
  • Anderson, T., & Kanuka, H. (1997). Online forums: New platforms for professional development and group collaboration. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 13, 3 [Online]. Available: http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol3/issue3/anderson.html
  • Baxter Magolda, M. (1992). Knowing and reasoning in college: Gender-related patterns in students' intellectual cevelopment. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  • Belenky, M., Clinchy, B., Goldberger, N., & Tarule, J. (1986). Women's ways of knowing: The development of self, voice and mind. New York : Basic Books.
  • Bordia, P. (1997). Face-to-face versus computer-mediated communication: A synthesis of the experimental literature. The Journal of Business Communication, 34(1), 99120.
  • Brown, J.S., Collins, A. & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. The Educational Researcher. 18, 1, 3242. Available: http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/ilt/papers/JohnBrown.html
  • Brown, J.S., & Duguid, P. (1996). The social life of documents. First Monday, 1, 1. [Online] Available: http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue1/documents/index.html
  • Burkhardt, M. E., & Brass, D. J. (1990). Changing patterns or patterns of change: The effects of a change of technology on social network structure and power. Administrative Science Quarterly 35, 104127.
  • Cash, D. C. (1991). Information technology and the redefinition of organizational roles. In Bacharach, S. B. (Ed.) Research in the sociology of organizations. Greenwich , CT : JAI Press.
  • Chan, A. P. (1997). Gathering of strangers in cyberspace: Public opinion on the Internet. Paper presented at the 1997 Convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Chicago , Illinois , July 30-August 2.
  • Culnan, M. J., and Markus, M. L. (1987). Communication technologies. In Jablin, Frederic M., Putnam, L. L., Roberts, K. H. and Porter, L. W.. Handbook of organizational communication: An interdisciplinary perspective. Newbury Park : Sage.
  • Davis, J. R., & Huttenlocher, D. P. (1995). Shared annotation for cooperative learning. Proceedings for CSCL 1995. Available: http://www-cscl95.indiana.edu/cscl95/davis.html
  • Dutton, W. H. (1996). Network rules of order: Regulating speech in public electronic fora. Media, Culture & Society, 18, 269290.
  • Gallupe, R. B., Bastianutti, L. M., & Cooper, W. H. (1991). Unblocking brainstorms. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(1), 137142.
  • Gay, G., Boehner, K., & Panella, T. (1997). Artview: Transforming image databases into collaborative learning spaces. Journal Educational Computing Research, 16(4)
  • Gay, G., & Grosz-Ngate, M. (Spring, 1994). Collaborative design in a networked multimedia environment: Emerging communication patterns. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 26(3), 418432.
  • Gay, G., & Lentini, M. (1995). Use of communication resources in a networked collaborative design environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, [Online] 1(1). Available: http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol1/issue1/IMG_JCMC/ResourceUse.html
  • Harasim, L., Hiltz, S.R., Teles, L., & Turoff, M. (1995). Learning networks: A field guide to teaching and learning online. Cambridge : MIT Press.
  • Hearst, M. A. (1996). Research in support of digital libraries at Xerox PARC, Part I: The changing social roles of documents. D-Lib Magazine, May. Available: http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may96/05hearst.html
  • Herring, S. C. (1993). Gender and democracy in computer mediated communication. Electronic Journal of Communication, 3(2) [Online].
  • Hiltz, S.R. (1994). The virtual classroom: Learning without limits via computer networks. Human-Computer Interaction Series. Norwood , NJ : Ablex.
  • Hiltz, S.R., & Wellman, B. (1997). Asynchronous learning networks as a virtual classroom. Communications of the ACM. 40 (9), 4449.
  • Hooper, S. (1992). Cooperative learning and computer-based instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 40(3), 2138.
  • Koschmann, T., Kelson, A., Feltovitch, P., & Barrows, H. (1996). Computer-supported problem-based learning: A principled approach to the use of computers in collaborative learning. In T.Koschmann, (Ed.), CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm (pp. 83124). Mahwah , NJ .
  • Kupperman, J., Wallace, R., & Bos, N. (1997). Ninth graders' use of a shared database in an Internet research project: Issues of collaboration and knowledge-building. Paper presented at the Computer Support for Collaborative Learning conference, Toronto , Ontario .
  • Morrison, D., & Goldberg, B. (1996). New actors, new connections: The role of local information infrastructures in school reform. In T.Koschmann (Ed.), CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm (pp. 125146). Mahwah , NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
  • Murphy, K.L., Drabier, R., & Epps, M.L. (1997). Incorporating computer conferencing into university courses. 1997 Conference Proceedings: Fourth Annual National Distance Education Conference (pp. 147155) College Station , TX : Texas A& M University. Available: http://disted.tamu.edu/~kmurphy/dec97pap.htm
  • Perkins, D. N. (1993). Person-plus: A distributed view of thinking and learning. In G.Salomom (Ed.), Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations (pp. 88110). Cambridge , UK : Cambridge University Press.
  • Sproull, L. (1986). Reducing social context cues: Electronic mail in organizational communication. Management Science, 32, 14921512.
  • Sudweeks, F., & Rafaeli, S. (1996). How do you get a hundred strangers to agree: Computer mediated communication and collaboration. In T.M.Harrison & T.D.Stephen (Eds.), Computer networking and scholarship in the 21st century university, (pp. 115136). New York : SUNY Press. Available: http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/~fay/papers/strangers.html
  • Wegerif, R. (1998). The social dimension of asynchronous learning networks. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. 2, 1, 3439.
  • Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge : MIT Press.