CSCL and Conceptual Change


How do students use language and gesture to share and improve their ideas? This topic summarizes an important early, well-known research study in the area of computer-supported collaborative learning. It shows how students were able build stronger concepts in physics by working together with a computer-based visualization, emphasizing the role of metaphor and qualitative relationships in their process of conceptual change. It also looks at how students use informal, everyday language to share, debug and confirm their evolving understandings. Since this 1992 publication, technologies, research methods, and scientific knowledge in CSCL has advanced greatly, and yet this remains a particular valuable and clear example of what collaborative learning looks like as it happens.

Video Resources

For a brief overview of CSCL and Conceptual Change, watch the 5 minute introductory video featuring Jeremy Roschelle:

15 minutes about CSCL and Conceptual Change featuring Jeremy Roschelle:

Interview with Jeremy Roschelle:

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  • Roschelle J. (1992). Learning by collaborating. Convergent conceptual change. Journal of The Learning Sciences, 2(3), 235-276. [Access Online]
  • Roschelle, J. (2013). Special Issue on CSCL: Discussion. Educational Psychologist, 48(1), 67–70.

Learning Scientists Who Have Researched This Topic

  • Pierre Dillenbourg
  • Tim Koschmann
  • Jeremy Roschelle
  • Stephanie Teasley