Collaborative learning, as both a pedagogical method and a cognitive mechanism plays a prominent role in the Learning Sciences. In this symposium we will use the term “cognitive convergence” to encompass various concepts that have been used to explain the important processes underlying successful collaboration, such as intersubjectivity, coconstruction, knowledge convergence, common ground, joint problem space, and transactive reasoning. The goal of the symposium is to contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms of cognitive convergence and to relate cognitive convergence to individual learning outcomes. We include studies that emphasize detailed analyses of the mechanisms, provide ideas about how to conceptualize and measure convergence, and include qualitative and quantitative measures of shared and converging learning outcomes. A special emphasis will be on methodological questions about how to analyze the processes of achieving convergence and how to assess how convergence affects outcomes of collaborative learning.
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