Analysing role distribution and meta-cognitive processes in children's computer-mediated collaborative writing

Littleton, Karen and Vass, Eva (2005). Analysing role distribution and meta-cognitive processes in children's computer-mediated collaborative writing. In: Constantinou, C. P.; Demetriou, D.; Evagorou, A.; Evagorou, M.; Kofteros, A.; Michael, M.; Nicolaou, Chr.; Papademetriou, D. and Papadouris, N. eds. Multiple Perspectives on Effective Learning Environments. Nicosia: University of Cyprus, p. 400.


Socio-cultural approaches to human cognition emphasise the mediational role of cultural tools and artefacts in human practices. "The mastery of mediational means is an essential aspect of the process of learning" (Saljo, 1999:152). However, new cultural tools do not simply represent new ways of resourcing an existing activity. As research on computer-mediated cognition suggests, they change the processes/activities they are used for, thereby modifying our ways of thinking and creating new ways of constructing knowledge (Saljo, 1999). This paper discusses the ways in which one can investigate the mediational role of computers in structuring collaborative activities. In particular, it considers how, through facilitating role distribution, computers have the potential to open up new meta-cognitive spaces for reflection. Role differentiation is explored in two computer-supported contexts - collaborative problem solving and collaborative creative writing. The complementary roles of 'navigator' (Light & Littleton, 1999) and 'editor' (Vass, 2003) will be
explored in these two different contexts and characterised as enabling reflection (new meta-cognitive processes). It will be argued that through navigating or monitoring the task, the children both acquire skills to jointly engage in the completion of the task and to reflect on the joint processes of knowledge construction.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 22281
  • Item Type
  • Book Section
  • ISBN
  • 9963-607-65-9, 978-9963-607-65-5
  • Extra Information
  • 11th European Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction

    Section E 14 Social Aspects of Learning
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2005 University of Cyprus
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