Scaffolding Collaborative Learning Opportunities: Integrating Microworld Use and Argumentation

  • Toby Dragon
  • Bruce M. McLaren
  • Manolis Mavrikis
  • Eirini Geraniou
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7138)


This paper presents our research efforts to support students’ collaborative process when learning mathematics and science as they interact with microworlds and engage in discussions and structured arguments. The system provides students with an environment to explore challenging problems and encourages them to collaborate using a discussion tool to argue and share their rationales and insights using specific examples from microworlds. The challenge of providing useful analysis in such a situation is to recognize, across the learning environment as a whole (both microworld and discussion tool), situations where students need support, and then to make the learners aware of these situations in a productive manner. We present a use case that demonstrates how students work within the system and how we envision the system will provide support. We conclude that the analysis and support that we propose has the potential to enhance the benefits of a combined system and offer more support than a system focused on the individual tools separately.


Collaboration intelligent support microworlds argumentation discussion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toby Dragon
    • 1
  • Bruce M. McLaren
    • 1
    • 2
  • Manolis Mavrikis
    • 3
  • Eirini Geraniou
    • 3
  1. 1.CeLTechSaarland UniversityGermany
  2. 2.Carnegie Mellon UniversityUSA
  3. 3.London Knowledge Lab, Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonUK

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