The LEAD project focuses on one specific type of "higher-level cognitive" learning activity, i.e. collaborative problem solving. Collaborative problem solving is an essential aspect of our day-to-day performance in society. The ability to solve problems together is crucial for personal development, for progress in practice, and on a wider scale for the European society as a whole. In addition, when people solve problems they learn. It is therefore not surprising that problem solving as a learning activity has a long and fruitful tradition in educational practice. Often, collaborative problem solving doesn't occur naturally. Learners have to perform two tasks that are difficult to achieve: they have to solve the problem and they must collaborate. Networked- computing technologies have the potentials to provide learners with the kind of support that will improve their task performance.
The LEAD project stresses that one of the most important challenges with regard to technology-enhanced learning is to develop effective networked-computing support for face-to-face problem-solving discussions. To achieve this one has to gain a deeper understanding of face-to-face and computer-mediated interactions, their interdependence, and their effects on learning and cognition. The LEAD project will enhance state-of-the-art research by studying this complex interplay within a collaborative classroom setting, an arrangement that has hardly been addressed in educational research and practice.
The LEAD project blends theory-driven design of a networked learning environment with empirical educational research. This will result in the design of a Discussion Support System (DSS) with associated pedagogical scenarios for face-to-face problem solving. The DSS and scenarios will be implemented and evaluated in real-life classroom situations. The evaluation is based on a set of success criteria that address the various dimensions of technology-enhanced learning.
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
75272 Paris 6
Paris Cedex 16
1013 ED Amsterdam
NG7 2RD Nottingham