In an earlier pilot project we were able to integrate a current prototype of the proposed intervention with the Virtual Math Teams environment. We have run a series of successful research studies in classroom contexts with a variety of versions of the support intervention that have yielded interesting findings. Analysis of recent studies is in progress.
Stahl, Gerry (2009). Studying Virtual Math Teams, Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Series, Vol. 11, Springer. HTTP://WWW.SPRINGER.COM/EDUCATION/LEARNING+&+INSTRUCTION/BOOK/978-1-4419-0227-6.
The goal of the project is to produce interventions that improve the effectiveness of the Virtual Math Teams environment in ways that achieve maximal cognitive and social benefits for on-line learners. Expensive instructors and content providers will continue to develop instructional materials and act as moderators to the extent that resources allow. Their resources can be stretched by means of reporting technology that quickly and effectively assists them in identifying the teams that are in most need of their involvement. Fellow students will support each other in dealing with their struggles with the materials. Inexpensive software agents will aid human facilitators in matching students who can help each other as well as in offering help to structure their collaborative learning conversations to make them more effective.