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Fischer, Frank and Bruhn, Johannes and Gräsel, Cornelia and Mandl, Heinz (2002): Fostering collaborative knowledge construction with visualization tools. In: Learning and Instruction, Vol. 12, No. 2: pp. 213-232




This study investigates to what extent collaborative knowledge construction can be fostered by providing students with visualization tools as structural support. Thirty-two students of Educational Psychology took part in the study. The students were subdivided into dyads and asked to solve a case problem of their learning domain under one of two conditions: 1) with content-specific visualization 2) with content-unspecific visualization. Results show that by being provided with a content-specific visualization tool, both the process and the outcome of the cooperative effort improved. More specifically, dyads under that condition referred to more adequate concepts, risked more conflicts, and were more successful in integrating prior knowledge into the collaborative solution. Moreover, those learning partners had a more similar individual learning outcome.