Collaboration scripts

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Collaboration scripts (e.g., King, Staffieri, & Adelgais, 1998; Fischer, Bruhn, Graesel, & Mandl, 2002; Soller, 2004; Rummel & Spada, 2005; Elaine B. Coleman, 1998; Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1989) are an instructional method that structures the Collaboration process by guiding the interacting partners through a sequence of interaction phases with designated activities and roles. This method often involves first teaching students how to collaborate then providing prompts or sentence openers that scaffold the scripted collaboration.

Scripts are expected to promote learning by prompting cognitive, metacognitive and social processes that might otherwise not occur, i.e. students are more likely to traverse useful learning paths than in unscripted collaboration. For example, the script prompts interacting partners to engage in activities like posing questions, providing explanations, and giving feedback.

Dillenbourg and Jermann (2006) describe different core scripts, i.e. schemata lying at the heart of any particular collaboration script. They distinguish between jigsaw, conflict and reciprocal script approaches. A reflection phase is often included in scripts.

This method of instruction includes simple prompting, e.g., for self-explanation while a pair is studying an example Hausmann & VanLehn, 2007.

We do not include reciprocal teaching under this category as it includes modeling and other teacher-led activities.

  • Dillenbourg, P. & Jermann, P. (2006). Designing integrative scripts. In F. Fischer, I. Kollar, H. Mandl &, J. Haake, Scripting computer-supported communication of knowledge. Cognitive, computational, and educational perspectives (pp. 259-288). New York: Springer.