The authors talk a great deal about the theory underlying their work. In part, this is because that is what they were asked to do, but it is also an indication of the state of the field. In an established paradigm in which the theories and methods are well agreed upon, such discussion is less central. CSCL, however, has not yet reached the stage of "normal" science. There is much to be worked out yet. This book is offered with the hope that it will help to define a direction for future work in this field.
The chapters appear in alphabetical order (except for the introductory chapter and the afterword) -- not for lack of a better way to organize the chapters, but rather because the organizational possibilities are too numerous and this order does not privilege one over another. By not imposing a topical organizing structure on this collection, it is hoped that readers will feel freer to explore the chapters in a way that best suits their needs.
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