Assignment One:
Collaboration in a Personal Learning Experience

CS 4670/7467: CSCL
Professor Amy Bruckman
Format:Double spaced, 12 pt. font
Approximate Length:5 pages
Percentage of Grade:15%

Analyze a personal experience in which other people played a significant role in your learning. Apply Vygotsky's theories, and show how they help you understand the experience.

You may chose any experience you wish, as long as other people played a significant role. It's a good idea to pick something that you found hard. The places where you had difficulty will be interesting to write about. Some possible topics are martial arts, a team sport, a class group project, or trying to speak a foreign language. It can be either in school or out, and may involve formal in-school learning or informal free-time learning. You may chose any learning experience that had a collaborative element.

To conclude your analysis, suggest ways in which you might improve the learning situation to foster better collaborative learning.


In your papers, make sure that you show me that you understand the educational theory you have read. That's the main point of the assignment. You will be graded on these criteria:

For each of these criteria, you will receive either a plus, check, or minus. A check means "good job--you have met the expectations of the assignment." A plus means "you impressed me." A minus means you did not fully satisfy the assignment in this respect. Roughly speaking, each plus moves you up one step from the starting grade of half way between an A- and a B+, and each minus moves you down. All assignments in this class will be graded with this method.

If English is not your first language, you may request an exemption from being graded on your writing. Note this on your paper when you hand it in. This means that you both can not be penalized for bad writing nor get extra credit for good writing.

The suggested length is approximate. Don't worry if it ends up a bit short or long, and please don't play with formatting to try to make it look longer or shorter. Just please don't make your paper more than double the suggested length.