Hausmann B van de Sande C van de Sande VanLehn - arxiv.org

Productive Dialog During Collaborative Problem Solving
arxiv.org (submitted to JLS)

Robert G.M. Hausmann, Brett van de Sande, Carla van de Sande, and Kurt VanLehn

Collaboration is an important problem-solving skill; however, novice collaboration generally benefits from some kind of support. One possibility for supporting productive conversations between collaborators is to encourage pairs of students to provide explanations for their problem-solving steps. To test this possibility, we contrasted individuals who were instructed to self-explain problem-solving steps with dyads who were instructed to jointly explain problem-solving steps in the context of an intelligent tutoring system (ITS). The results suggest that collaboratively developed explanations prompted students to remediate their errors in dialog, as opposed to relying on the ITS for assistance, which is provided in the form of on-demand hints. The paper concludes with a discussion about implications for combining proven learning interventions.