Scripting Social Learning: Investigating Students’ Perceptions of Social Constructivist Learning in Minerva’s Online Learning Environment

Placeholder Show Content


This thesis investigates the tension between promoting accessibility and utilizing social constructivist pedagogies to produce insights about effectively scripting collaboration in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment. Through the lens of student perceptions, I explore the educational model of Minerva Schools at KGI, a new blended higher education institution which uses a proprietary platform to deliver small discussion-based classes while requiring students to live together in residential cohorts. Minerva’s classes employ “active learning” pedagogies which use tracked and graded collaborative participation to actively engage students in class sessions. I assessed 67 students’ perceptions of the presence of social constructivist pedagogy in Minerva’s platform using the Constructivist On-Line Learning Environment Survey. Further, critical incident interviews offered insight into the experiences of 20 students learning on the platform with particular attention paid to productive and unproductive social learning incidents. Findings indicate that though students perceived a strong learning community overall, they perceived social distance and artificiality in the online learning environment specifically. Strict collaborative scripting offers partial explanation for this disconnect. However, students also reported that scripting improved the classroom discourse at times by creating opportunities to participate in class for students who otherwise would not participate. Results can inform the direction of future research in the evaluation of CSCL environments as well as the design of collaborative scripts which both scale and accommodate underrepresented students.


Type of resource text
Date created May 29, 2019


Author Wolf, Jacob
Advisor Pea, Roy
Advisor Willinsky, John
Advisor Harrison, Monique


Subject social constructivism
Subject computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)
Subject scripting collaborative learning
Subject active learning
Subject higher education
Subject accessibility
Subject Graduate School of Education
Genre Thesis

Bibliographic information

Access conditions

Use and reproduction
User agrees that, where applicable, content will not be used to identify or to otherwise infringe the privacy or confidentiality rights of individuals. Content distributed via the Stanford Digital Repository may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

Preferred citation

Preferred Citation

Wolf, Jacob. (2019). Scripting Social Learning: Investigating Students’ Perceptions of
Social Constructivist Learning in Minerva’s Online Learning Environment. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Stanford University, Stanford CA. Available at:


Undergraduate Honors Theses, Graduate School of Education

View other items in this collection in SearchWorks

Contact information

Also listed in

Loading usage metrics...