Learning from Explanations: Extending One's Own Knowledge during Collaborative Problem Solving by Attempting to Understand Explanations Received from Others
9 (2): "Special Issue on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning "
On the basis of an experimental study, we propose a cognitive simulation model of
collaborative problem solving and learning. In the experimental study, we investigated how
qualitative and quantitative problem representations in classical mechanics are acquired and
successively interrelated during collaborative problem solving. Two students, who were taught
different aspects of classical mechanics, collaborated on problems which were beyond the
competence of each of them individually. Students successfully learned to interrelate qualitative
and quantitative problem representations. Furthermore, students who initially were taught
qualitative aspects of classical mechanics gained significantly more from the information
provided by their quantitatively instructed partners than the other way round. The model
simulates collaborative problem solving and learning under the conditions set up in the
experimental study. On the basis of the model it was possible to reconstruct the main results of
the experimental study.