Promoting Metacognitive Skills in a CSCL environment: implications for instructional and technology design
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This paper aims to better understand the development of students’ learning processes when participating actively in a specific Computer Supported Collaborative Learning system called KnowCat. To this end, a longitudinal case study was designed, in which eighteen university students took part in a 12-month
(two semesters) learning project. During this time period, the students followed an instructional process, using some elements of KnowCat (KnowCat key features) design to support and improve their interaction processes, especially peer learning processes. Our research involved both supervising the students’ collaborative learning processes throughout the learning project and focusing our analysis on the qualitative evolution of the students’ interaction processes and on the development of metacognitive learning processes. The results of the current research reveal that the instructional application of the CSCL-KnowCat system may favour and improve the development of the students’ metacognitive learning processes. Additionally, the implications of the design of computer supported collaborative learning networks and pedagogical issues are discussed in this paper.