Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

October 2006


The emerging multidisciplinary field of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) has the potential to address several theoretical, political, and praxis issues within academic librarianship. Librarians are uniquely situated to contribute to the ongoing development of CSCL, and the library is an ideal “place” for the development, implementation, and evaluation of collaborative learning strategies and systems. The author presents three pressing, interrelated challenges within library and information science (LIS) and discusses how CSCL analyzes the social production of knowledge, emphasizing the distinction between cooperative and collaborative learning. Issues of shared concern between LIS and CSCL can best be addressed through ethnographic analysis of small group collaborative learning. Four research strategies that have the potential to capture the social nature of learning are presented.