Visual Representations for Studying Collaborative Inquiry

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Daeun Hong
Srijita Chakraburty
Xiaotian Zou
Yuxin Chen
Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver


The goal of this paper is to present several methods of visualizing student activity and collaboration in PBL in ways that provide insights into the complexity of PBL classrooms. These representations include Chronologically Ordered Representations of Discourse and Tool- Related Activity (CORDTRA) and Social Network (SNA) Diagrams as well as several other examples. Our work is grounded in sociocultural theory, as we consider these representations to help mediate researchers’ interpretation of the multiple data streams generated in PBL, including video, computer log data, gestures, and student artifacts as well as other forms of data such as tests and surveys. We will present several examples of how these visualizations have been helpful in illuminating how students learn in PBL and other forms of collaborative inquiry.

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Special Issue: Research Methodologies for studying PBL