Linser Department of Political Science, The University of
Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3052, AUSTRALIA.
Som Naidu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Multimedia Education Unit, The University of
Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3052, AUSTRALIA.
This paper describes the experience of using a web-based simulation in the political Science department at the University of Melbourne. It compares the effects of using traditional media for teaching and learning with those that issue from CMC via the Internet and WWW. Consequently it argues that the effectiveness of using CMC in the teaching and learning environment is dependent on the design by which it is implemented. Using Web-based simulations as a teaching tool for Political Science demonstrates that CMC can be both a stimulating and effective pedagogical experience. A simulation designed for collaborative learning in context will not only motivate and encourage students to learn, but as a result, will also be a more effective tool in teaching and learning than traditional means used in the discipline.
The communication revolution in the 20th Century has changed, and is continuing to radically transform modern societies by increasing social dislocations and space-time compressions of information transmission. Yet our pedagogical models and educational practices still rely to a large degree on practices and models that belong to an age in which print and the oral word were the dominant media of communication.
During the second half of the 20th Century Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), has deepened this revolution as the technology became not only widespread, but also more sophisticated in the potentialities it provides for creating, collecting, processing and disseminating information. More specifically, and reliant on CMC, in the last decade of the 20th Century, the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) have created a new type of space in which the communication process takes place.
This paper explores some of the structural conditions (1) created by CMC via the Internet and the WWW, and the effects they engender in applying this media in our educational practices . It seeks to understand how these effects differ from the effects of using traditional oral and print media for teaching practices and how they influence the learning process. More specifically, the paper will evaluate Web-based simulations as a teaching tool, particularly in political science, by reporting on and evaluating the simulation used in the 'World Politics in Transition' course in the Political Science Department at The University of Melbourne.
The paper begins with a discussion on the difference between CMC and traditional print and oral media used in teaching, focusing on some of the effects of using CMC as a teaching and learning tool (2). It then addresses the issues involved in the use of the WWW for simulations as teaching tools in general, and for political science in particular. Finally, it discusses the simulation used in the 'World Politics in Transition' course at the University of Melbourne and argues that it is the pedagogical design built to take advantage of the structural effects of using the new communication media that enables a transformation in our educational practices to better suit the environments which they need to serve.
The traditional method of teaching arts and social science courses and particularly political science relies on a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, exams and individual student research - mostly in the form of essay writing which involves reading and analysing books and articles pertinent to the researched subject. From the perspective of the communication environment that these forms of oral and written ie. Linguistic; communicative media of teaching engender, it is their contrast to the structural conditions imposed by CMC via the Internet and the WWW which will be analysed in this section (3).
Lectures are mostly structured as a uni-directional form of oral face to face communication, addressing the students en masse (4). The lecturer usually stands or walks around the lecture theatre in front of the students while the students are all seated (hopefully) in silence, listening and busily taking notes. Lecturers sometimes also avail themselves to the blackboard (more recently to whiteboards or over-head projectors) to provide in written form the names of significant authors, titles of significant works, lecture outlines, important concepts and other information. Though lecturers may quote from different sources they are the authors of the lecture (5).
By contrast, seminars and tutorials in which discussion takes place, are bi-directional forms of communication. Students and tutors take turns in addressing each other and the class, in a multi-participant conversation. Thus the structure of these environments allows for joint authorship of these 'events'. But again, like in lectures, speakers and audience must take turns in authoring utterances.
All three are 'events' that take place at a specific time and at a specific location on campus requiring the attendance of all parties. In other words they are synchronous communication 'events' requiring the presence of participants. Moreover, lecture theatres, seminar and tutorial rooms place limits to the number of students that can attend any particular 'event'.
The structure of these communicative 'events' places a high premium on the knowledge of the lecturers and tutors placing them at the centre of the knowledge acquisition and distribution process. Knowledge is selected and passed on from the lecturers to the students and is corrected, reinforced, added to, explained, and evaluated for the students by the lecturers and tutors who are accepted as authoritative.
Individual student research in the form of essays and papers on the other hand, does not require the student to be present in any particular time or place for the learning process to occur. It does however require them to attend to printed communication media - books, article etc., - that unlike the 'event' character of the lectures and tutorials, are 'objects' with definite size and spatial characteristics. Thus, as materials in the teaching environment they too are restricted by availability to the space occupied by the student and time it takes to access them.
While listening to lectures and participating in discussions in seminars and tutorials does not require any particular skills - though at the university level it does require a certain level of oral competence and knowledge - reading texts and writing does require specific learned skills. These skills are learned prior to their participation at university courses and are supposedly enhanced and expanded through the practice of essay and paper writing.
The form of communication involved in these practices is asynchronous, with authorship being highly significant and strictly defined. Books have definite authors who are located in different time and space to the students and are thus, unlike lecturers and tutors, unavailable to explain or be questioned about their message. Which and how many authors and works a student uses in research and writing usually has important implications for assessing the quality of the essay and knowledge of the student. The importance of authorship is specifically reinforced by strict penalties surrounding the issue of plagiarism.
Printed books and articles used in the traditional teaching environment are also characterised by their linear and sequential presentation of material. This it has been argued contributes to rational and logical thinking. Students are expected to emulate this form in their own authoring endeavours.
The essay or paper authored by the student is an individual response to the 'objects' and 'events' in the course. It itself becomes an 'object' that is taken to represent the knowledge gained by the student from the 'objects' and 'events' presented in the course. And indeed they usually form a significant part of the assessment of the student's achievement in the course.
Written exams on the other hand, like lectures, tutorials and seminars, are usually 'events' that occur at definite times and locations. They require student presence. However, the product of exams, the written paper, like the essay, is an 'object' used to assess student knowledge. There is however a number of types of exams including oral exams or take-home exams. The former requires presence by the student and is a synchronous communicative 'event' while the latter does not require student presence and is thus an asynchronous 'event' producing an essay type 'object'.
In summary, the structural conditions imposed by traditional communication media in the teaching and learning environment include oral uni-directional and bi-directional communication forms whose effect is to privilege authorship and authority of lecturers and tutors in the acquisition and distribution of knowledge; they involve both synchronous and asynchronous forms of communication that, apart from student research essays, require participants to be present in specific locations and at specific times; and they give priority to the printed written form, privileging linear sequential and rational modes of individual thinking made into 'objects' for assessing student knowledge.
CMC made its first appearance for pedagogical practice in the arts and social science in the late 1970's and early 1980's mostly as tools for word processing and statistical analysis. By the early 1990's the Internet and the WWW began to make inroads into the arts and social science courses as tools for communication and resources.
Perhaps the most radical feature of the new communication media is the alterations it makes to the structural conditions of oral, written, and graphical means of communication. It integrates many of the technologies of communication and information processing developed in the last century into a virtual space shattering many of the structural conditions imposed by the other means of communication.
In contrast to traditional lectures, tutorials, seminars, exams etc., CMC via the Internet and the WWW enables both synchronous and asynchronous communication. It means that uni-directional and bi-directional, as well as multi-directional communication can take place. And it means that both 'events' and 'objects' can be presented simultaneously - though it changes the limitations of both. In short it means that all our pedagogical means of communication can be used simultaneously whilst many of their limitations transcended (6).
Consider the structural condition of the traditional lecture or seminar as a synchronous communication 'event' that requires presence in a certain time and location, and consequently the limit on student numbers in a lecture theatre or seminar room. Using CMC via the WWW such a lecture can remain a synchronous communication 'event', yet not require presence of participants at the same location. And it also enables an indefinite number of students to attend. Moreover that same 'event' can be reproduced on demand as an asynchronous 'event' ie it can become a virtual 'event'; that a student can download or trigger online at a different time. The effect is that students rather than lecturers and tutors are placed at the centre of the knowledge acquisition process.
The use of CMC via the Internet and WWW to communicate both student authored essays and 'authorised' texts (usually called: Recommended Readings) - the 'objects' - creates even a more radical transformation to the structural conditions imposed by written and printed communication media. It adds a dimension of interconnectivity of texts as hypertexts and it transforms the 'objective' fixity of the text (Fowler, 1994). Moreover collaborative and joint authorship enabled in seminars and tutorials become optional extras in textual form to a multitude of students simultaneously - copies of text can be reproduced and transferred electronically on demand.
It also changes the very process of linear reading as readers must move back and forth from linear presentation of the written, the iconic and graphical.
"They can read the alphabetic signs in the conventional way, but they must also parse diagrams, illustrations, windows, and icons. Electronic readers therefore shuttle between two modes of reading, or rather they learn to read in a way that combines verbal and picture reading. Their reading includes activating signs by typing and moving the cursor and then making symbolic sense of the motions that their movements produce." (Bolter, 1991:71)
The problem of textual non-linearity and non-sequential reading, which in Stephanie Gibson's apt phrase 'crack open the relationship between user and text', has been raised by a number of writers (Gibson, 1996; Barnes, 1996). The concern is that a cognitive 'bottleneck' or overload maybe the result of the multi-modal processing inherent in multimedia presentation systems. In other words the concern is that the mental resources required for coding and decoding will result in decrease in comprehension. Attention paid to graphic and iconic elements might detract from narrative and from coherent logical and rational thought (Wright, 1993; Craine, 1994)). As Susan Barnes (1996:23) points out, it may be creating a new type of post-literate style of communication that substitutes emotional forms of visual persuasion for the strength of logic. We will return to this problem in examining the Web-based simulation conducted at the University of Melbourne.
What is clear is that the use of CMC via the Internet and WWW requires new skills and competencies to be added to already existing writing and reading skills. Today the core skills, apart from reading and writing, include basic computer familiarity, word processing, telecommunications knowledge including dial-in procedures, online tools including FTP, Telnet, E-mail and web browser familiarity, online library searches, download routines and ability to use system software for all these functions (Martin, 1997).
In summary, the structural conditions imposed by CMC via the Internet and WWW make traditional pedagogical practices more malleable to variations of delivery. Lectures and tutorials that necessitated synchronous presence can now be delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous communication forms. The effect is to make students the centre of the knowledge acquisition process, allowing them to select and attend classes in accordance with their needs and availability - class timetable clashes can become a thing of the past.
Use of the new communication media also transform the way students, and teachers for that matter, research, read and write. Using hypertext, textual linearity and sequential reading and writing give way to interconnection and collaborative writing. While the problem of necessary additional skills needed to use the new technology is significant, the experience of the Simulation at the University of Melbourne, as we shall see, shows it is solvable. Moreover far from distracting attention from narrative and logical thought, as we shall see, it can enhance contextual thinking.
In one way or another, simulations of real-time environments have been used as a tool for teaching in many areas and disciplines. This has been the case especially in areas like medicine or in the art of war, where pedagogical practice in real-time environments carries too high a risk. It is also used where access to real-time environments is either restricted or very limited as in law, which is restricted to certified professionals or as in space exploration, which is too costly. Moreover, in multivariate environments where outcomes from initial conditions are difficult, if not impossible, to predict with any measure of accuracy, it is often useful to use simulations to evaluate possible outcomes.
There are at least 3 types of simulations currently used for teaching. The first and more traditional type of simulation involves CMC only incidentally. This type relies on a conference like setting in which all participants are available to each other at the same time and in the same location eg. UN Model simulation. The second type of simulation is the computer-generated simulation. This type which appears as a software program, more often on CD-ROM, is really designed for single users, who feed variables into the program which then uses them to construct an environment appropriate to these variables in the particular field that the program aims to simulate eg. CASCON developed at MIT (Bloomfield, 1997) and Exploring the Nardoo River System and Stagestruck developed at the University of Wollongong ("Eco challenges for students", 1998). The third type, and the one which we will report on here, is the Web-based simulation in which CMC is used to create a space in which students playing roles connect to each other and generate the simulation activity in the field being studied.
The idea behind using simulations as pedagogical tools relies on the idea that experience is the best teacher. If access to such experience in real-time is for some reason not possible, than for teaching purposes an artificially created environment may be, if not ideal, at least sufficient.
Combined with the fact that the structural conditions of traditional pedagogical communication media can be transformed by the new technologies, it seems reasonable to think that the new multimedia potential of CMC which enable us to create artificial environments for pedagogical purposes, would be used for that purpose more extensively.
However, even a cursory look at most university course handbooks will reveal that although a number of Web-based simulations have appeared in different disciplines, including nursing, organizational writing, and other courses, the uptake for such simulations has been slow. It seems that redesigning courses away from the traditional pedagogical model is not as popular as it could be.
One explanation for this is that lecturers accustomed to traditional pedagogical practices are reluctant to engage with the new technology for various reasons, including lack of familiarity with the technology, lack of institutional commitment and support, lack of equipment etc. While these reasons may indeed explain reluctance, there are at least two strong arguments that suggest that the instructional value of using CMC and simulations should persuade them to make that extra effort to overcome the obstacles.
The first argument is that inherent to the design of simulations is that they are a problem-solving activity within a context. Current thinking on learning and instructional design emphasises precisely the utility of learning activity within context. Viewing learning from this perspective means two things. Firstly it means that the social, interpersonal and cultural surroundings within which learning occurs affect both the learning process and outcomes. Secondly, 'within context' also means that the skills, strategies, and learning processes are seen as being tightly connected to their immediate contexts of practice rather than as neutral tools available for varied general application. In other words, they are seen as highly situated (Lave & Wagner, 1991). The use of simulations can thus help to create courses that provide students with problem-solving activity within a context.
The second argument is that the structural conditions of CMC, as pointed out earlier, provide great flexibility in synchronous and asynchronous communication and joint authorship of 'events' (like seminars & tutorials). This capacity is thus tailor-made for what in educational literature is known as collaborative learning. As described by Roschelle & Behrend (1995), collaboration is "the mutual engagement of participants in a coordinated effort to solve a problem together." Some of the critical features of this concept are that it is based on doing something; that the engagement of learners is cooperative as opposed to competitive behaviour; and there is a shift in the instructors role from provider of information to facilitator of the learning process. Simulations can thus help create courses that enable collaborative learning.
The discussion in the next section shows how both learning in context and collaboration can be designed into a Web-based simulation so that the full advantage of CMC via the Internet and WWW can both be fun and enhance learning.
The use of CMC simulations as a teaching tool in Political Science began in the early 1990s with the collaborative pioneering work of Dr. Andrew Vincent in the Political Science Department and Dr. John Sheppard in the Computer Science Department, both at the University of Melbourne (7). Their first models were really E-mail based simulations, but since 1994 Web pages were added to enhance the simulation with pages for role profiles, research resources and other pages.
In 1998 Dr. Peter Shearman and Mr. Roni Linser received a $5000 Project grant from the University of Melbourne to develop a pilot simulation for the World Politics in Transition course run by Dr. Shearman at the Political Science Department.
The pilot simulation was designed to supplement a hands-on approach to a lecture-based course focusing on theories. The course which aimed to familiarise students with different approaches and theories to World Politics, until 1997, relied on the traditional approach of lectures, tutorials and individual research by students. Students were assessed on the basis of a 3000 word essay and a 2-hour exam at the end of the course.
The new course incorporating a simulation, run in the second semester of 1998, used a Web site, designed by Mr. Roni Linser (aided by the technical officer of the Political Science Dept, Mr. David Lutz), whose pages are an interactive space for students to examine the political processes and theories introduced in the lectures. The Web site enabled students:
Before the simulation began, students attended 2 practice sessions that were devoted to explaining the object and rules of the simulation. They were given access to E-mail accounts and taught how to login, change their passwords, find out which other players were on the network using the 'finger' command, how to change their alias that appeared on their outgoing messages, and how to file their incoming mail. They were also introduced to the various web pages and the forums.
Thereafter and over a continuous 3 week period, by playing roles of different world leaders, organisations and media outlets, students were able to experience some of the dilemmas and issues involved in World Politics and were able to test for themselves the applicability of different theoretical positions involved in the analysis of international relations by reflecting on their own experiences in the simulation. Students also benefited by actively learning:
80 students out of a class of 139 participated in the simulation. Each role was played by a team of 2-4 students who researched their role prior to the start of the simulation and then wrote up a Role Profile. This inturn was put on the Web so that other players could find out information about that role.
The object of the game for the students was to reach the objectives they set out in their Role Profile and enhance the position of their role in the game. They did so by contacting relevant players through the E-mail system, utilising diplomacy, bargaining, threat, coercion etc., as warranted by the specific conditions of their role ie. Playing in character.
The simulation began with a Scenario to which the different roles reacted. The Scenario, written up by the lecturers in-charge, was set up in accordance with real world events adding fictional (or potentially plausible future - "what if...") events. It was set around the possibility of the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran hoping to stimulate the various actors in the simulation to ponder upon the repercussions of such a possibility and to provide likely responses from the perspective of their role.
The simulation ended with a face to face conference, like a UN General Assembly meeting, at which each team presented position papers of their role and negotiated agreements to resolve (where possible) any outstanding issues arising during the simulation.
After the Teleconference each individual student submitted a Role Summary which was an evaluation of:
Given that the simulation replaced the exam for those who chose to do it (participation in the simulation was voluntary) the assessment for marking purposes was divided into 4 components:
The most significant design aspects of the simulation were the allocation of each role to a team rather than to individual students, the development of a scenario that demanded response from every role; and an environment for learning that moved between the Web site, the E-mail system and face to face interaction with peers, lecturer and tutors.
The logic of playing in small teams was based on experience from previous simulations. The amount of work required to keep up with events in the simulation was large - it included initiating events, reading incoming E-mail, evaluating possible responses, researching information and responding. On average it required about 1 to 2 hours per day over the three-week period (including weekends).
Playing in teams rather than individuals, allowed the students to organize their time and responsibilities amongst themselves so that they were not overloaded with work. It also, and significantly, provided them with a partner or partners with whom they could discuss and analyse various options.
The importance of the scenario as the initial condition of the simulation, is that it functioned as a set of themes to consider, and contexts for activity throughout the simulation. This was the problem, or rather set of problems, designed by the lecturer and tutors, which each team needed to address. Their initial responses inturn created new problems that needed resolution and so forth. Thus from the initial context provided by the scenario, new contexts were generated by the activity of students, to which they needed to respond. This continuous shifting context was the reason why so much work was required.
Understanding politics, and in particular International relations, requires precisely this understanding of shifting contexts. Theories of International relations attempt to explain and perhaps predict the behaviour of the international system. But to understand the degree to which they are able to do so requires students to understand the fact that this system is in continuous flux. In the simulation, it was precisely their own actions, which demonstrated to them this flux.
The contexts provided by the fictional scenario to which students responded was framed by a number of other contexts - by the real-world political context, by the educational context of the course, by the context of the students' social networks and by the context of the role which they were playing.
The environment created by the simulation thus put students in a number of contexts simultaneously. The Web site provided them with links to real-world events and actors; the lectures and tutorials continuously linked them to the course, the lecturer and tutors and to their peers; and this was reinforced by collaborative work in the simulation; while the E-mail system functioned as a linkage between the different roles being played.
What the simulation achieved was a process of teaching and learning politics in a number of contexts through collaboration. While collaborative learning, as we pointed out earlier requires the engagement of learners in a cooperative as opposed to competitive behaviour, learning about politics without understanding competitive behaviour is like trying to learn to swim without water.
In summary, the simulation enabled students to learn through the experience of both cooperation and competition simultaneously. In the context of their team they worked through cooperation, while within the context of other roles, they sought to work either in cooperation or in competition depending on the goals of their role and the contexts which they themselves created.
Before we conclude 3 more points need to be addressed, even if only very briefly.
The first is the role played by the lecturer and tutors in the simulation. Both played the part of controllers whose function was to authorise the scope of violent action in the simulation, like bombings, assassinations, and troop incursions between states Also, in cases of disagreements they arbitrated as to what actually happened and served, when requested, to help students think through plans of action and advise on factual details.
Controllers automatically received all E-mail sent by all players since the quality and quantity of the messages were part of the assessment. Thus since they were privy to the various deals and negotiations between various parties they on occasion leaked information and thus played the part of intelligence sources. In short, they played the part of facilitators as well as overseers enabling assessment to be process rather than 'object' oriented.
The second point relates to the relation between skills needed and the argument that the use of graphical interfaces distracts attention from narrative and logical thought. While the 2 practice sessions did on the whole succeed in teaching the requisite skills needed to use the media, we found that it really took about a week for all to feel comfortable in using it. After that, the problem of using the media receded into the background completely, despite the fact that many students had not used E-mail before and were quite nervous about using the technology before the simulation began.
Moreover, far from distracting attention from narrative and rational thinking as feared by some commentators (see above - end of first section), we found that as the simulation progressed students began to feel comfortable and indeed creative in thinking strategically, contextually and globally. They were not only attentive to the details and global consequences of the narrative but were highly creative in developing it.
The third and final point relates to the response of the students to the simulation. We did administer 2 online student evaluation questionnaires apart from the Role Summary assignment, which was a self-evaluation on how they went in the simulation. The 2 questionnaires were identical, apart from 1 question, the first was administered after the first week of the simulation and the second at the end of the simulation. Unfortunately, the results of the first questionnaire were lost in the labyrinth of the server until a few days ago when they were located and could therefore not be analysed in time for this paper. The results of the second questionnaire together with the questionnaire itself, which are available online (8), indicate that despite the work load entailed by the simulation, the overwhelming majority of students who responded, found the simulation useful in helping them understand various aspects of the material in the course and would be willing to participate in courses that offered such simulations.
Our comparative analysis of the structural conditions of different communication media used in teaching and learning and their effects on the teaching and learning environment suggest that the move from the traditional lectures, seminars, tutorials, exams, essay writing and reliance on printed books and articles, to CMC via the Internet and WWW transforms the knowledge acquisition process in a number of ways.
Firstly it makes students the centre of the learning process rather than privileging the authorship and authority of lecturers and tutors. Secondly, it transforms the way students and teachers do research by emphasising interconnection and collaboration rather than isolated individuality. Thirdly it allows for flexibility in the delivery of material in terms of the number of participants, the timing and spatial location of the teaching and learning process. And fourthly, it requires new skills and competencies.
The experience in the use of CMC for Web based simulation in the World Politics in Transition course indeed supports some of these conclusions. However, it shows that pedagogical design is crucial in supporting contextual and collaborative learning. The particular design of the Web based simulation reported in this paper however, was not meant to replace the traditional means of teaching and learning but to augment them so that collaboration and contextual learning could be added rather than completely displace the traditional forms. Consequently, as the role of controllers in the simulation indicates, the authority of lecturers and tutors was not completely replaced but rather augmented by their role as facilitators. Moreover and perhaps more significantly, face to face interaction was not consigned to the garbage of history, but on the contrary given added significance in the collaborative process of learning.
The lesson learned from the experience of the simulation is that while our older pedagogical models for teaching have significant limitations, using CMC via the internet and WWW, if designed with an eye to enhancing older forms as the simulation has done rather than eliminating them, can create a teaching environment that is fun and highly productive for students.
1. The notion of structural conditions and their
effects is an extrapolation from the work of Medium theorists - see
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2. The following discussion, more specifically the
structural conditions and effects involved in each medium of
communication relies on the work of Joshua Meyerowitz (1994), David
Bolter (1991), George Landow (1992) and Richard Lanham (1993).
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3. It should however be noted that lectures and
tutorials also involve para-linguistic communication. How a lecturer
or a tutor speaks (in a droll voice, quickly, slowly etc.), and the
way that they present themselves to students (do they seem excited or
bored, are they approachable or distant etc.,) are also variables
which influence the teaching and learning environment. But for the
most part oral and written communication media form the backbone for
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4. In some cases lecturers do allow question time
providing individual students (one at a time) to communicate their
thoughts and questions to both the lecturer and class.
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5. It may be of interest to note that the term
'lecture' is etymologically derived from the Latin word to gather or
choose coming in the 14th century to mean 'reading'. Many lecturers
indeed read out what they have already prepared in written form.
Substantially lectures often take the form of interpretation of and
commentary on selected readings. Thus for our purposes the
interesting point is the relation between the oral presentation of
lectures, the prepared written text, its authorship and the textual
selection of readings it suggests.
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6. The experience of Distant Education is a clear
testimony to this. See for example the work of Dr. Blaine Price,
Chief Systems Strategist, Knowledge Media Institute at the Open
University, UK "Transforming Education via Knowledge Media" at URL:
and ("Applying Internet technology at the Open University", 1998)
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7. Dr. Vincent currently teaches at Macquarie
University in Sydney and Dr. Sheppard now teaches at Sydney
University. Both are continuing to develop models for Simulations to
be used in Dr. Vincent's Middle East politics courses.
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8. The results can be found at URL: http://ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au/~ronilins/WPT/q2-results.html
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"Applying Internet technology at the Open University" (1998) Australasian Wheels for the Mind Vol.8 N.2 November .
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Roschelle, J., & Behrend, S. (1995) "The construction of shared knowledge in collaborative problem solving." In C. O'Malley (Ed.), Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, Berlin: Springer-Verlag; pp. 69-97.
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Roni Linser and Som Naidu © 1999. The author assigns to Southern Cross University and other educational and non-profit institutions a non-exclusive licence to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction provided that the article is used in full and this copyright statement is reproduced. The author also grants a non-exclusive licence to Southern Cross University to publish this document in full on the World Wide Web and on CD-ROM and in printed form with the conference papers and for the document to be published on mirrors on the World Wide Web.