Supporting communication in a collaborative discovery learning environment: The effect of instruction

Nadira Saab (Corresponding Author), Wouter R. van Joolingen, Bernadette H.A.M. van Hout-Wolters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
190 Downloads (Pure)


We present a study on the effect of instruction on collaboration in a collaborative discovery learning environment. The instruction we used, called RIDE, is built upon four principles identified in the literature on collaborative processes: Respect, Intelligent collaboration, Deciding together, and Encouraging. In an experimental study, a group of learners (ages 15–17) receiving this instruction was compared to a control group. The learners worked in dyads on separate computers in a shared discovery learning environment in the physics domain of collisions, communicating through a chat channel. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the logged actions in the learning environment and the chat protocols showed that the RIDE instruction can lead to more constructive communication, and improved discovery learning activities, as expected, although no direct effect on discovery learning results was found. This study shows the benefits of providing instruction on effective communication and the learning process in a collaborative discovery learning situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-98
JournalInstructional science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • CMC
  • Collaborative discovery learning
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Teaching/learning strategies
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Simulations
  • Instruction


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