Feed on

Dillenbourg seem to be one of experts concerning pedagogical scripts, perhaps one of creators. I got a copy of his pdf  Over-scripting CSCL The risks of blending collaborative learning with instructional design.

CSCL= Computer Supported Collaborative Learning

A copy of the abstract (2002)

Free collaboration does not systematically produce learning. One way to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative learning is to structure interactions by engaging students in well-defined scripts.

A collaboration script is a set of instructions prescribing how students should form groups, how they should interact and collaborate and how they should solve the problem. In computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), the script is reified in the interface of the learning environment. This contribution  dismantles the concept of script. Syntactically, a script is sequence of phases and each phase can be described by five attributes. The grammatical combination of these elements may however produce any kind of pedagogical method, even those that have nothing to do with the idea of collaborative learning.

On the one hand, the definition of scripts constitutes a promising convergence between educational engineering and socio-cultural approaches but, on the other hand, it drifts away from the genuine notion of collaborative learning.

Will the fun and the richness of group interactions survive to this quest for effectiveness? The answer depends on the semantics of collaborative scripts: what is the design rationale, what is the core mechanism in the script through which the script designer expects to foster productive interaction and learning.

Prof. Pierre Dillenbourgh works in Lausanne, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

My questions:

In adult education, when students are committed to and they have intrinsic motivation, teachers or facilitators only create the circumstances for favourable learning. There is no need for pedagogical scripts?

Young students may have less motivation and they are used to clear rules and certain coercion: what I have to do for getting credits. Wise scripts are neeeded here, I suppose.

I am working with these questions in my way from CCK08 to Edinet. I don’t know  yet how motivates the students are but we need a general structure od learning and pedagogical scripts may help in this modeling.

5 Responses to “Understanding pedagogical scripts”

  1. Jenny Mackness says:

    Hi Heli – I think I understand what you mean by scripting now – this term is new to me.

    I work with adults all the time now and I still provide ‘scripts’ but also with the choice to follow the script or ‘do your own thing’. With younger learners I may not abuild in the choice element.

    Ausubel’s advance organisers came to mind as I was reading your post. I don’t see a script necessarily as a teacher intervention – more of an advance organiser.

    Hope this makes sense.


  2. Keith Lyons says:


    I like Jenny’s take on this. Since your last post I have been thinking about improvisation and how rhythms can develop in learning contexts.

    I think producing scripts will give great clarity so I am adding Elliot Eisner to Jenny’s Ausubel. I like the way he writes about education, teaching and learning.

  3. heli says:

    Hi again, my supporters and digital friends!

    I learnt yesterday when discussing my colleagues in Jyväskylä that the concept SCRIPT come from computer sciences, its is a piece of programming.. don’t know the exact term. So it is very understandable that “pedagogical script” is used while education and ICT scientists work together..

    Life is learning and it is fine.
    It is good to know that the term was new to Jenny (so I know it is not known in all countries). Elliot Eisner seems interesting, him I did’nt know.. thanks!

  4. Heli,
    Great to learn about the scripts. Are they similar to the learning conversations? I have been using such learning conversations in my on-the-job training and adult one-on-one mentoring or training since 2000. I prefer peer mentoring in adult learning. This also involves appreciative inquiry by asking questions and appreciating and acknowledging the responses of the mentees or learners out of the conversation. You could follow the scripts, but that may be more useful for mentoring and assessment after some on-the-job training. This is similar to the practice that Jenny, Keith have mentioned, the learners have their choice too. I learnt that learning conversations started off in around 1995 based on some of my research studies and have been widely used in many on-line conversations such as our blogging and forum discussion and face to face mentoring and assessment. What I have found intriguing with such scripting approach may be: it depends on the persons you are interacting with, on their preferred learning styles, and their skills and background. Scripting could be a teacher-centred approach, and so a good teacher-learner relationship is a pre-requisite to successful implementation, like a mentoring relationship. Was it the case in your experince?
    Would like to see a practical example on this pedagogical scripts. I could share one on learning conversation if you are interested.
    Thanks for this interesting post.

  5. There seem to be some similarities between scripts and learning contracts too. I have found learning contracts pretty interesting. I have used learning contracts in my training as well as being trained (whilst I studied for the Post graduate qualification). Learning scripts could be very powerful teaching tool, whereas when combined with learning conversation and appreciative inquiry could yield better results. However, once the learner has achieved to a certain level, PLE and eportfolio might be more appealing to the learners. Do you think eportfolio and PLE could substitute scripting in later stages of learning?