1.1.1. Being active
Being active can be characterized as doing something (often involving physical movement) while learning. For example, in a virtual environment, if students explore the environment by steering and peddling a stationary bike while they travel through a virtual environment, that would be considered an active activity (Tong, Marlin, & Frost, 1995). On the other hand, if students were merely watching a video recording of what the active participants saw but without being able to explore or manipulate the environment, that would be considered to be passive in that, at least overtly, the student is not doing anything.
Using this stricter criterion of doing something physically as an indication of being active, there are many studies in the literature that provide wonderful examples of overt activities that can be characterized as being active during learning. Some obvious ones are as follows: looking at and searching some specific locations on a static chessboard (Chase & Simon, 1973) or at a static Lego model in order to copy or reproduce it (Azmitia, 1988),1pointing to or gesturing at what one is reading or solving (Alibali & DiRusso, 1999), gazing at what one is thinking about as measured by eye movement duration (Paterson et al., 2007), underlining or copying-and-pasting some parts of a text (Igo, Bruning, & McCrudden, 2005), repeating sentences verbatim or copying problem solution steps (VanLehn et al., 2007), summarizing paragraphs using delete and substitution rules (Brown & Day, 1983), manipulating video tapes such as pausing and rewinding them (Chi, Roy, & Hausmann, 2008), rotating objects (James et al., 2002), selecting from a menu of choices (Conati & VanLehn, 2000), and so forth. This set of active activities will also be referred to as “engaging activities” (Table 1, rows 1 & 2).
Table 1. Characteristics, overt activities, and cognitive processes, for active, constructive, and interactive activities, from the learner’s perspective
|Characteristics||Doing something physically||Producing outputs that contain ideas that go beyond the presented information||Dialoguing substantively on the same topic, and not ignoring a partner’s contributions |
|Overt activities||Engaging Activities Look, gaze, or fixate Underline or highlight Gesture or point Paraphrase Manipulate objects or tapes Select Repeat||Self-construction Activities Explain or elaborate Justify or provide reasons Connect or link Construct a concept map Reflect, or self-monitor Plan and predict outcomes Generate hypotheses||Guided-construction Activities in Instructional Dialogue: Respond to scafffoldings Revise errors from fdbk Sequential or Co-construction Activities in Joint Dialogue: Build on partner’s contr Argue, defend Confront or challenge|
|Cognitive processes||Attending Processes Activate existing knowledge Assimilate, encode, or store new information Search existing knowledge||Creating Processes Infer new knowledge Integrate new information with existing knowledge Organize own knowledge for coherence Repair own faulty knowledge Restructure own knowledge||Jointly Creating Processes Creating processes that incorporate a partner’s contributions|
Note that the term active is used in this taxonomy in a different way from the more traditional use of the term active in the memory literature. In that memory literature, an activity, such as rehearsing by repeating words, is considered passive, but in this taxonomy, it is considered active. The difference is that in this taxonomy, the term active characterizes the overt activity per se, whereas in the memory literature, the term active refers to the outcome of learning and memory. For instance, rehearsing or repeating words is a passive strategy of learning because it leads to less learning and remembering as compared to deeper levels of processing.
There are numerous ways one can also elicit such engaging activities. For example, in order to make students focus their gaze on some aspects of the learning materials, one can bold the font or put the important information inside a box if the learning materials are presented in a text or animate the important information if it is presented online. In a classroom context, an instructor could point to or gesture at the important materials on the blackboard; and in math classes, teachers can provide manipulatives such as Dienes’ blocks for students to use. In a virtual laboratory setting, such as a chemistry lab, students can do hands-on laboratory work using flasks, tubes, liquid, and so forth. Thus, the goal of this type of eliciting tactics is to engage the learners. Of course, there is no guarantee that these activities engage the learners deeply. Learners can select from a menu mindlessly or manipulate Dienes’ blocks playfully. However, it is likely that by doing these active activities, learners become more engaged with the learning materials than by not doing these activities.
1.1.2. Being constructive
How is being constructive different from being active? There is another set of overt activities that can be characterized as more constructive because in undertaking them, learners produce some additional outputs; and such outputs often (but not always) contain new content-relevant ideas that go beyond the information given. For example, in an active type of activities such as underlining, learners are not producing additional outputs, instead, the outputs—in this case the underlined sentences, are a part of the originally presented materials. In contrast, in a constructive type of activity such as self-explaining, learners are articulating what a text sentence or a solution step means to them out loud. In so doing, learners produce utterances that have been referred to as self-explanations (Chi, Bassok, Lewis, Reimann & Glaser, 1989), and these self-explanations often contain elaborations and ideas that are not explicitly stated in the text; therefore, they go beyond the provided information. Furthermore, by articulating, the learners are also active since they are actively generating utterances visibly. Therefore, the activity of being constructive subsumes being active.
To reiterate, a producing type of activity can be classified as constructive only if the outputs contain ideas that go beyond and are not explicitly presented in the learning materials. Otherwise such a constructive activity becomes merely an active activity. For example, in articulating, if the self-explanations are either nonsensical, irrelevant, or verbatim utterances, then a learner is merely being active and not constructive. But if the produced self-explanations are meaningful elaborations that go beyond what was presented, then the learner has been constructive. Thus, in order to know whether a learner is actually generating new ideas in a constructive activity, one must analyze the content of the outputs.
There are many examples of overt constructive activities that have been studied besides self-explaining (Chi, de Leeuw, Chiu, & LaVancher, 1994), such as drawing a concept map (Biswas, Leelawong, Schwartz, Vye, and Teachable Agents Group at Vanderbilt, 2005), taking notes (Trafton & Trickett, 2001), asking questions (Graesser & Person, 1994), posing problems (Mestre, 2001), comparing and contrasting cases (Schwartz & Bransford, 1998), integrating text and diagram or across multimedia resources (Bodemer, Ploetzner, Feuerlein, & Spada, 2004), making plans (Pea & Kurland, 1984), inducing hypotheses (Suthers & Hundhausen, 2003), drawing analogies (Chinn & Malhorta, 2002), generating predictions (Klahr & Nigam, 2004), reflecting and monitoring one’s own understanding and other self-regulatory activities (Azvedo, Greene, Moos, Winters, & Godbole-Chaudhuri, 2006), constructing timelines for historical phenomena (Dawson, 2004), and so on.
Constructive activities, as defined here, have two characteristics. The first, as stated above, is that they often require learners to produce some sort of overt outputs, such as explanations from self-explaining, notes from note-taking, hypotheses from inducing, questions from question-asking, predictions from generating, concept maps from drawing, self-report assertions such as “I don’t understand” from monitoring, perhaps in the context of other utterances such as problem-solving protocols. A second characteristic of constructive activities is that they tend to ask learners to produce some outputs that are not contained in or presented in the learning materials. For example, asking students to compare-and-contrast two worked-out examples requires the learners to say what is the same or different between two worked-out examples, when the instructional materials obviously did not mention this same-or-different information about the two examples. Similarly, asking students to self-explain what a sentence means to them obviously is requiring them to infer new information about that sentence that was not explicitly presented. And asking students to construct a concept map obviously requires students to produce new information about causal relations among concepts that were not spelled out in a text or other sources.
By the very nature of these two characteristics, the assumption here is that in the process of constructing, this set of producing-type activities is more likely to encourage and necessitate producing outputs that contain ideas that go beyond the explicitly presented information than the set of activities listed as active (see Table 1, second row). This greater likelihood is due to the fact that a constructive type of activity requires the generation of externalized ideas that are not explicitly presented. For example, one is more likely to generate additional information and ideas from comparing and contrasting two worked-out examples, let’s say, than by copying two examples, simply because the processes of comparing and contrasting requires the generation of similarities and differences. Statements or features of similarities and differences are not presented in the original learning materials.
There are two caveats or issues to be noted about constructive activities. The first issue has to do with whether the outputs must be externalized. Even though the majority of the studies rely on externalized outputs, the outputs can be internal ones. For example, one could self-explain covertly. However, from a researcher’s point of view, internal outputs will simply be more difficult to assess. Moreover, there may be some advantages to externalizing one’s constructive outputs. For instance, suppose a student is asked to draw a diagram of a geometry problem. By doing so, the student may see other relations in the diagram that was not apparent to her prior to drawing, such as that the angles cut by a transversal line add up to 180 degrees. The point is that the outputs, once externalized, become new materials from which a student can examine and infer further new knowledge.
The second issue concerns the content of the outputs. The assumption is that undertaking an output-producing type of constructive activities does not guarantee, but are likely to promote, the generation of new information. Take question-asking as an example. If a student asks a shallow question that is essentially a verbatim repetition of a text sentence, except converted into a question format, then this student is not being constructive; instead, she is merely being active by engaging with the materials. Thus, question-asking itself is not, by definition, a constructive activity. However, the assumption here is that in the process of generating questions, students are more likely to produce ideas that go beyond the explicit information presented in the instruction. In short, the activity of producing these sorts of outputs makes them active. However, such an activity become constructive if we can ascertain that the content of the outputs contains information that goes beyond what was presented.
There are many kinds of manipulations that may encourage and elicit constructive activities. One method is direct prompting. Using self-explaining as an example of a constructive activity, one can elicit it by prompting students to self-explain (Chi et al., 1994), either by explicitly asking a learner to do so using generic prompts or modeling it for the students initially (Bielaczyc, Pirolli, & Brown, 1995), or embedding questions in a text or other learning resources (Davis, 2003). Indirect methods can also be used to elicit self-explaining and other constructions. For example, by using diagrams (Ainsworth & Loizou, 2003) or making a text more sparse, learners might be encouraged to fill in the blanks (McNamara, Kintsch, Butler Songer, & Kintsch, 1996). Another ablating method is to fade worked-out example lines or steps as a way to encourage students to fill in the missing steps (Atkinson, Renkl, & Merrill, 2003). Thus, many clever methods have tried to elicit self-explaining activities. Other constructive activities can also be elicited using other methods. For example, if one wanted to elicit hypotheses induction from students, one can provide a template such as a matrix for students to fill out (Suthers & Hundhausen, 2003). Again, once elicited, we can only tell that these constructive activities actually generated new domain-relevant information by analyzing the content of the outputs, such as the self-explanations, the questions asked, or the content of the matrix (for the examples above). Since these constructive activities can be undertaken alone, they will also be referred to as “self-construction” activities (see Table 2, row 2, column 2).
Table 2. Pair-wise contrasts involving comparisons between passive, active, constructive, and interactive activities
|Passive||Note taking > No note taking (Trafton & Trickett, 2001) View with practive > View only (Schwan & Riempp, 2004) ||Read & self-explain > Read twice (Chi et al., 1994) Read & self-explain > Read an elaborated text (Hausmann & VanLehn, 2007)||Assemble a plant with an animated agent > No assemble (Moreno et al., 2001) Cooperative groups > Traditional lecture (Ebert-May et al., 1997) |
|Active||Free form note taking = Semistructured note taking (Trafton & Trickett, 2001)||Mapping with explanation > Mapping only (Kastens & Liben, 2007) Direct instruction + reflection > Discovery learning (Klahr & Nigam, 2004) ||Peer tutoring > Filling out guided notes (Mastropieri et al., 2003) Jigsaw group > Individuals gathering information (Doymus, 2008)|
|Constructive|| ||Summarizing in own words = Generating questions (King, 1992)||Explaining to a partner > Explaining to no partner (Roscoe & Chi, 2007a) Learning to solve problems collaboratively with a text > Learning to solve alone with a text (Chi et al., 2008) |
|Interactive|| || ||Interacting with a tutor = Interactive with a peer while watching a tutor (Chi et al., 2008)|
1.1.3. Being interactive
Being interactive can refer to several types of overt activities, such as a learner talking with another person (who can be a peer, a teacher, a tutor, a parent), responding to a system (such as an intelligent tutoring system, an animated agent), or interacting in some other physical way involving motor movements. For example, two children can be interacting physically when they jointly build a Lego model (Azmitia, 1988), or two students are interacting physically when they coordinate their use of a mouse at a single computer monitor. However, even for these latter physical situations, such as when two students work together at a single computer simulation model, learning seems to occur in the verbal discussion rather than in the motoric interactions (Milrad, 2002). This is consistent with the common assumption that discourse activities are related to cognitive processes of learning (Salomon & Perkins, 1998). Moreover, because human dialogues are both dense and rich in content, the dynamics of interactions can be interpreted more accurately by analyzing the discourse content, as compared to, let’s say, a sequence of interacting gestures (although ideally one should analyze both). Finally, human dialogues have also been researched more extensively than other forms of interactions, although few studies carry out content analyses of the discourse. For all these reasons, as a starting point, the taxonomy proposed here will focus on “dialoguing” as the prototype of overt interacting activities.
Are all discourse activities the same? On the surface, the overt activity of interacting in dialogues seems straightforward and uniform. One could just describe it as two learners discussing some concept, topic, or problem. However, as in the case of utterances generated by an individual in activities characterized to be constructive, if the content of dialogues is analyzed, then it soon becomes apparent that different dialogue patterns emerge, and some patterns are in fact not interactive at all. For example, it is often the case that one partner dominates and makes most of the contributions and the other partner merely agrees or contributes with a continuer-type of response such as “ok” or “uh-huh.” (The top of Fig. 1 illustrates an example in which A self-explains and B does not make any substantive contributions.)
The dominating partner, or the “speaker,” participates in activities that can be characterized as explaining-to-self or explaining-to-partner. In explaining-to-self, the “speaker” is basically self-explaining, and in explaining-to-partner, the “speaker” is basically telling the partner in a teaching manner. In both types of activities, the “speaker” is ignoring any contributions from the partner, either because the partner hardly initiates any contributions or because the partner’s contributions are not substantive. Detailed snippets of this type of noninteracting or individual dialogues pattern and suggestive ways of recognizing and coding them are presented in Appendix A. In short, in this type of individual dialogue pattern, the partners are really not interacting much, and if they take turns dominating episodes of dialogues in a cooperative or reciprocal way, then each partner is basically participating in a self-construction type of activities.
However, there are two other dialogue patterns that do characterize interactive activity, in the sense that both partners are making substantive contributions on the same concept or topic, and neither partner ignores each other’s contributions. These are described below.
188.8.131.52. Interacting with an expert in instructional dialogues: When a learner interacts with an expert (someone who knows the content domain, such as a tutor, an instructor, or a more knowledgeable peer), the dialogues tend to take an alternative well-defined pattern. The expert often starts with a question to request a response from the student, then the expert gives corrective feedback, and then there is more extended dialogue discussing the issues (Graesser, Person, & Magliano, 1995). Two separate sets of data, one involving 11 content experts (but they were inexperienced tutors) tutoring in a conceptual domain (see Fig. 2 in Chi, Siler, Jeong, Yamauchi, & Hausmann, 2001), and the second one involving a single very experienced expert tutor tutoring in a procedural problem solving domain (see Table 3 in Chi et al., 2008), both show that the three largest categories of instructional moves tutors make are explaining, providing corrective feedback, and scaffolding or guiding the learner (including asking questions, giving hints, initiating a step, etc.). In other words, the dialogue pattern can be characterized as instructional dialogues in which the tutor leads and controls the conversation by explaining, giving corrective feedback, and guiding the student, while the student basically responds to the expert’s leads and queries, revises errors from corrective feedback, takes few initiatives, and seldom changes the topic of conversation. (See Fig. 2 for two episodes that portray tutor scaffolding.) The learner’s activities in the context of instructional dialogues can be referred to as “guided-construction” (see Table 1, row 2, column 3). As stated before, these activities are constructive to the extent that the student’s responses are substantive and meaningful.
184.108.40.206. Interacting with a peer in joint dialogues: When a learner interacts with a peer, such interactions can sometimes characterize a pattern of joint dialogues, which occur when both peers make substantive contributions to the topic or concept under discussion, such as by building on each other’s contribution, defending and arguing a position, challenging and criticizing each other on the same concept or point, asking and answering each other’s questions. This kind of activity is constructive, as defined earlier, because the learners are generating knowledge that goes beyond the information given by the learning materials. For example, the “speaker” who does the answering of a partner’s question may be self-constructing new knowledge and ideas. Thus, joint dialogues refer to a pattern of interactions in which both partners make substantive contributions to the topic or concept under discussion in a more balanced way (within a given episode of analysis), rather than making contributions on different points or concepts in an unbalanced or cooperative way, as in individual dialogues. (See Fig. 3 for an example of joint dialogues.)
The substantive contributions in joint dialogues can be made either sequentially or in a more overlapping way. In a sequential turn-taking case, each “speaker” takes turn after her partner finishes his/her turn. This type of learner activities in the context of joint dialogues will be referred to as “sequential-construction.” On the other hand, if learners build on or expand upon each other’s line of reasoning by completing each other’s sentences rather than waiting for the partner to finish her thoughts and ideas before interjecting, this type of learner activity in joint dialogues will be referred to as “coconstruction.” (See Fig. 1, bottom, for an example.)
Besides sequential-construction and co-construction, individuals in joint dialogues can also participate in self-construction, in which each “speaker” incorporates the contributions of the partner and extends her own understanding. (This differs from self-construction in individual dialogues, e.g., explaining-to-self or to-other, in which the “speaker” ignores the partner’s nonsubstantive contribution). Self-construction in joint dialogues is a novel dialogue pattern proposed here; thus, we have not attempted to code it. It is not depicted in Table 1, row 2, column 3.
How can dialogues be elicited? On the surface, this may appear straightforward. One can elicit it naturally by pairing students to work together. One partner may naturally discuss with the other, or one can also instruct a student to explain to another (Roscoe & Chi, 2007a). However, it is tricky to elicit a specific kind of dialogue pattern, as will be mentioned later. Many studies do exist that have offered ways to script collaborative dialogues such as by having students use simple sentence openers (Soller, Linton, Goodman, & Lesgold, 1999), posing questions with generic prompts (Chi, Bassok, Lewis, Reimann & Glaser, 1989), or following a more complicated set of scripted instructions (Rummel and Spada, 2005; Weinberger, Ertl, Fischer, & Mandl, 2005).
In summary, this section proposes that a taxonomy of a learner’s overt activities (summarized in row 2 of Table 1) may be a reasonable first cut at differentiating active from constructive from interactive activities. Active activities are those that basically engage the learners’ attention, such as focusing or gazing upon some aspects of the learning material, repeating the materials, or manually manipulating the presented learning materials. Constructive activities are those that require learners to produce some outputs, which may contained some new ideas, such as in self-explaining, drawing a concept map, or inducing hypotheses, and reflecting. Interactive activities involve participating in two kinds of dialogue patterns, either with experts (instructional dialogues) or with peers (joint dialogues). Within instructional dialogues, learners could be participating in guided-construction activities (e.g., respond to scaffoldings & hints, revise errors from corrective feedback); and within joint dialogues, learners could be participating in sequential-construction or coconstruction activities (e.g., build and elaborate on a partner’s contributions, argue and defend a position, criticize partner’s contribution).
Three caveats need to be underscored here. First, our taxonomy classifies only overt learning activities because we can only tell that students are undertaking them if they are visible. Obviously these activities do not have to be carried out overtly. For example, one could be self-explaining covertly, as students often do spontaneously. Second, for any given activity, whether active, constructive, or interactive, they can be correctly classified to the extent that analyses of their content agree with our interpretation. This is true for all three kinds of activities. For example, an active activity such as pointing would not be engaging if a learner points at random symbols on a chalk board. Similarly, for a constructive activity such as self-explaining, it would not be producing new ideas if a learner self-explains primarily by paraphrasing (Teasley, 1995). Similarly, for an interactive activity such as dialoguing, it would not be interactive if only one of the speakers is contributing substantively. In short, these activities per se cannot be classified correctly unless some analyses of the content of the activities are undertaken. Third, nevertheless, the claim here is that the set of activities designated as active is more likely to engage learners than being passive, the set of activities designated as constructive is more likely to enable the generation of new ideas than the set of activities designated as active, and the set of dialogue activities designated as interactive is more likely to encourage jointly produced substantive contributions than individual dialogue patterns.
1.2.2. Processes underlying being constructive
What are the processes that may underlie being constructive in a way that generates new ideas? Constructive activities, such as self-explaining, drawing a concept map, comparing and contrasting cases, inducing hypotheses, allow the learners to infer new ideas, new insights, new conclusions, from making deductions and inductions, from reasoning analogically through comparisons, from integrating new knowledge with old knowledge, or linking information from disparate sources. In short, these various “creating” processes of comparing, connecting, inducing, analogizing, generalizing, etc., allow the learners not only to infer new knowledge but also to repair and improve their existing knowledge. It will also be assumed here these “creating” processes of constructive activities may necessitate the “attending” processes such as activate and assimilate. Thus, “creating” processes include “attending” processes.
How would these creating processes enhance learning? Inferring new relations, new conclusions, and new insights obviously makes one’s knowledge more rich, and repairing one’s knowledge also makes it more coherent, more accurate, and better-structured, and so forth. These changes can deepen one’s understanding of new materials and have been shown to improve learning. Many of these processes have been proposed for learning from explaining-to-self (Chi, 2000) and explaining-to-other (Roscoe & Chi, 2007b).
1.2.3. Processes underlying being interactive in dialogues
As described above, individuals interacting in dialogues can participate in three types of dialogue patterns, individual, instructional, and joint, but only the latter two types are interactive. In these interactive types, the “speaker” learns through activities such as self-construction, guided-construction, sequential-construction, and coconstruction. Although these activities may differ in details, from the “speaker’s” perspective, the “speaker” learns by being constructive (with cognitive processes of attending and creating).2 Therefore, the set of processes each speaker in a dialogue might undertake is no different than the processes that a learner might undertake while being constructive alone. Thus, this interpretation reflects Damon’s point (1991, p. 392) that “Even when learning is fostered through processes of social communication, individual activity and reflection still play a critical role.”
That a learner in guided construction learns from being constructive has been shown in Chi et al. (2001, 2008) in the context of tutoring. Here, we will merely illustrate how the activities of sequential construction might enhance learning in interaction. In sequential construction, the partners’ activities consist of building on each other’s contributions sequentially. Our definition of sequential construction appears to be compatible with the majority of conceptions in the literature about collaborative construction, involving the idea of a mutual process of sequentially building on, refining, and modifying the original offer in some way (Baker, 1994). That is, each individual peer is merely creating and elaborating upon the partner’s last contribution in a WIKI sort of way. This occurs sequentially with each partner taking turns building on the last contribution. Thus, making sequential contributions upon a completed prior idea is not that different from having a text as a resource for self-explaining. The difference is that a text is produced by one person and is static, whereas in sequential construction, the contributions produced by both partners change dynamically. This process may be what Salomon and Perkins (1998) might mean by “spiral reciprocity.” Thus, the cognitive processes of learning from sequential construction in joint dialogues are no different from the fundamental processes underlying being constructive individually.
If the processes are the same, what is the difference then between being constructive alone (such as learning from a text), versus being constructive in interaction (as in sequential construction), and how does being interactive contribute to learning? One fundamental difference is that in interactions, a learner has the added advantage of a partner’s contributions. A partner’s contributions can provide additional information, a new perspective, corrective feedback, and a new path or line of reasoning to pursue. But why do the activities of incorporating a partner’s contributions enhance a “speaker’s” learning? There are many obvious reasons. If a partner’s contribution is in the form of corrective feedback, then corrective feedback in problem solving can enhance the “speaker’s” learning by guiding the “speaker” through the search space, as has been shown in tutoring work (Anderson, Corbett, Koedinger, & Pelletier, 1995). A partner’s contribution may also be in the form of a hint or a scaffold, which suggests to the learner to pursue a new line of reasoning, a new equation, etc. (Hume, Michael, Rovick, & Evens, 1996). A partner’s contribution can also contain new information (Chi et al., 2001), so the “speaker” can enrich her knowledge. A partner can also challenge the “speaker” with a deep question (Roscoe & Chi, 2007a), causing the “speaker” to explore other perspectives, ones she would not have thought of herself. A partner’s contribution can also remind the “speaker” of previously considered ideas (Azmitia, 1988).
More importantly, even though the underlying cognitive processes of sequential construction in interactive activities are fundamentally the same as the cognitive process of self-construction in constructive activity, we propose that there may be a second important difference between them, and this difference relates to the outcome of learning. In self-constructing alone with a text, the goal of the learner is to understand what the text says; therefore, the learner must construct an understanding or mental model of the text. In joint construction with a partner, the goal is to produce shared understanding or a “shared mental model” (Cannon-Bowers, Salas, & Converse, 1993; Jeong & Chi, 2007). This shared understanding can be achieved by sequential construction, in which each partner can change her joint understanding in a dynamic way that may result in a more innovative and novel mental model. In short, the potential outcome of this sequential construction process is the emergence of a new conception that was not available to the dyad initially. Thus, this can explain how interactions in dialogues can contribute to learning, in that neither of the partners may have been able to come up with the shared understanding on her own, thus by interacting, both have the potential of taking away a deeper or more novel understanding.
To summarize, interaction in dialogues can involve three types of activities: self-construction that incorporates the partner’s contributions, guided construction (from interacting with an expert), sequential and/or coconstruction with a partner. In all cases, learning results from some kind of construction that the learner undertakes, either by incorporating guidance and contributions from an expert or a peer, or by taking turns in constructing sequentially with a peer, or coconstructing simultaneously with a peer.