Discussions of collaborative learning and its benefits have become common currency in many studies. Proponents argue that it promotes active learning, critical thinking, conceptual understanding, long-term retention of material, and high levels of student satisfaction. Despite this list of impressive potential outcomes and the attention it has received, many teachers are unclear as to what precisely is considered the impact of technology in the collaborative learning process. The authors present design principles intended to be useful to teachers in evaluating and monitoring the collaborative learning process. They outline design principles involving two aspects: the participation of the teacher during the collaborative learning process, and the inclusion of a strategy that generates conflicts among members of the group. They also describe the development of two software tools based on the principles they propose
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