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Facilitating Knowledge Convergence in Videoconferencing Environments: The Role of External Representation Tools

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Executive Summary

The study analyzed how two types of graphical representation tools influence the way in which dyads use shared and unshared knowledge resources in different collaboration scenarios, and how learners represent and transfer shared knowledge under these different conditions. The paper varied the type of graphical representation (content-specific vs. content-unspecific) and the collaboration scenario (videoconferencing vs. face-to-face). 64 university students participated. Results show that learning partners converged in their profiles of resource use. With the content-specific external representation, learners used more appropriate knowledge resources. However, learners in the videoconferencing scenarios differed from learners in direct collaboration in how they use the representation tools.

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